Odds

Odds and Probabilities

One mention of the word Baccarat brings images of red velvet ropes, dealers in tuxedos, and obscenely large amounts of money on the table. But as attractive as the image of Baccarat is, the odds of Baccarat are even more attractive.

Baccarat offers some of the best odds of any casino game. The house’s edge in Baccarat can be as little as 1.01%. When you compare that to games like Roulette (~5%) and Keno (~25%), Baccarat can seem like a bargain. But what are the exact odds involved in Baccarat? What is the house’s edge on a Player bet and what’s the house’s edge on a Banker bet? Does it pay to bet Tie? What if the casino is paying 9-to-1 on tie bets? Do the odds change? Can I be a long-term winner at Baccarat? These are all valid questions; let’s examine them and expose the probabilities involved in the game of Baccarat with eight decks in the shoe.

What is the house’s edge in Baccarat?

Compared to other games, the house’s edge in Baccarat is thin. The houses edge for a Banker bet is 1.06% and the edge for a Player bet is 1.24%. That means you’ll lose $1.06 for every $100 you bet on the Banker and $1.24 for every $100 you bet on the Player. This edge is slim considering that you’ll lose $14.36 for every $100 you bet on Tie (14.36%).

Is there a way to get a better edge in Baccarat?

Yes! The edge on Player bets is constant from casino to casino but does change as you get closer to the end of the shoe (more on that later). However it’s possible to find a table that will improve your edge on Tie bets and Banker bets.

For example, most casinos pay 8-to-1 on a Tie bet, however there are some casinos that pay 9-to-1. When you find a table offering 9-to-1, the casino’s edge is reduced from 14.36% to 4.84%. That’s a significant reduction, but it still makes Tie a poor bet because it will lose four times more money than a Banker bet on average.

Another way to get better edge in Baccarat is to find a table that offers a Banker commission of less that the standard 5%. Here’s how different commissions alter your edge ( “+” is the house’s edge, “-“ is your edge).

Commission Edge

5%

+1.06%

4%

+0.60%

3%

+0.14%

2.75%

+0.03%

2%

-0.32%

1%

-0.78%

0%

-1.24%

If you ever find a game of Baccarat offering a Banker commission at 2% or less, sit down and keep betting on the bank. You’ll win in the long run. Casinos know this, however, and no one to my knowledge offers commissions that low.

Does the house’s edge change?

Yes – slightly. A bet on Banker is always better than a bet on Player, but this fact become truer as the deck nears completion. Every time a card is dealt, the house’s edge on the Banker bet falls and its edge on the Player bet rises.

Can I be a long-term winner at Baccarat?

No. Many have tried and all have failed. There are systems for sale that claim they can beat Baccarat, but these claims are false. No amount of card counting or bet scaling will make you a winner in Baccarat. Baccarat is a fun game and the edge is thin enough that it’s possible to run hot and make some money, but only the house wins in the long run.