Baccarat is such a boring game. When you take a good look at it, it’s so simple and mind numbing that all I want to do is to fall asleep after a few hands. If you have ever played it online with live dealers, even them looks pretty bored when dealing the cards, and some of them are even yawning so much that you think they will fall asleep in the middle of the shoe. But on the other side, it is the primary game I have chosen for my adventure into becoming a professional gambler. The second I have chosen is Roulette. But we will talk about Roulette another time.
Why choose Baccarat when there are more exciting games around the casino floor to play. Well, first, because being a professional gambler is not about excitement. It is actually far from it. Being a professional gambler is about looking for the best games that offers the best odds of winning against the house on games that have been designed to make you lose more than you will ever win.
You might think that Baccarat offer an exact 50/50 chances of winning, because its either the player or the banker that wins and ties are a push. But nothing could be farther from the truth! The game has a built-in house edge which is the following: 1.06% on banker bets, 1.24% on player bets, and 14.36% on ties.
But what does this all means? It means that the rules of Baccarat have been designed in a way to produce a very small advantage for the house in any case that you would bet either banker or player. The game is designed so that the banker will win 50.68% of all hands that do not result in a tie, and that the player will win 49.32%. If you would be using 100 chips to bet against these percentages would show that you would expect to loose 50.68 and win 49.32. If you subtract one of the other, you would arrive to a difference of 1.36 against the player.
Of course you are gonna say: Why not always bet on the banker if it wins 50.68% of the time! You would be sure in the long run to make money. Well, don’t worry, the casinos are pretty smart about this, and this is why they charge a 5% commission on bankers bet, in order to tilt the advantage on their side.
Let’s see what this commission do to your gambling bankroll: 5% commission means that for every chip of your 100 chips that you bet on the banker and that you win, you will get back 0.95 chip. You should win in the long run 50.68% of the time. If we multiply 0.95 by 50.68, we get 48.15. If we make the difference between this amount and the player edge of 49.32, then the result is an house advantage of 1.17% on bankers bets.
I wont even go into explaining the tie bet. Never bet on this. It’s a sucker’s bet with a house edge of 14.4%!!!
So, why choose Baccarat? Well, the first reason is that it is a game that has a low house edge, and it is a game that will always keep the edge because there are no player decisions involved in the game process, unlike Blackjack, where if you want to get the best edge, you have to play a perfect Basic Strategy every hand.
The second reason is that it is a game that evolves in what I call a “finite” system. What I mean by that is that there is a beginning and an end to a Baccarat shoe. The game start at the beginning, and finish at the end. Unlike roulette, where every spin is an independant result, the next Baccarat hand played is alway relevant to the cards that have been already played. I prefer to try to find a betting method that will suit my style of play inside a finite system. It also has nice indicators called Roads. I don’t use them, but still, I find them nice to watch.
The third reason is that Baccarat has been very well designed from the start. So well designed, that it actually is an almost perfect 50/50 game. If it wasn’t for the ties, in the short to long run, the game would almost always finish equal banker to player something like 40 banker\40 player if we count 80 hands on a 8 deck shoe.
The forth reason is that Baccarat is a high volatility game. As all professional gamblers knows, volatility in a casino game cannot be changed, but it can be influenced. Volatility can be used to make better bet selections.
That is why Baccarat is my main gambling game. And I will talk about it more in future posts.