If you’re looking for a table game with minimal house edge and James Bond-style gambling fun, baccarat is the game for you. This slow-moving, ritualistic game is available at most Las Vegas casinos for table minimums of $25 to $100. And with just three possible outcomes – player win, banker win and tie – the game is easy to understand and manage.
In baccarat, the objective is to correctly guess which hand will come closest to nine. Two cards are dealt to the banker’s and the player’s hands, and a third card may be drawn in some cases. The winning hand is the one with a final digit closest to nine, with tens counting as zero and aces counting as one.
Baccarat is played in high-roller rooms at some casino resorts, and the game can also be found online. Free baccarat games allow players to practice their strategy without the pressure of betting real money and are an ideal way for new players to get comfortable with the game before they play for real.
A successful baccarat bettors should focus on the banker and player bets, with the tie bet being left alone. The banker bet has a much lower house edge than the player bet and is the better place to make your money. The tie bet, however, has a higher house edge than both of the other two bets, and intelligent players should avoid making this bet altogether.
Advanced baccarat players should use a combination of flat betting and pattern trend analysis to improve their chances of winning. Begin by placing flat bets on the banker and player hands, then keep a record of results in your baccarat score sheet. Look for zigzag patterns of wins and losses, and make bets according to the pattern. If a streak appears, bet on the same side for as long as it remains winning.
Another baccarat strategy is the 1-3-2-6 system, which allows players to stretch their bankroll over more rounds and reduces the amount they can lose if they don’t win. This is a simple strategy that requires discipline, but it can help baccarat bettors avoid big losses. Another variation on this system is the 1-3-2-4, which uses similar math to increase the number of rounds but reduces the total bet size by two units. This makes the strategy more palatable to those who are afraid of losing too much money.