Baccarat is a game of chance but also a very controlled game, meaning that of all the casino games, baccarat probabilities are the easiest to predict.
With most casino games there is an element of choice that will affect the probabilities of winning or loosing; one of the many joys of baccarat is that the game is so controlled that you know exactly what the chances are at every point, and this is reflected in baccarat probabilities.
Baccarat Probabilities – The Best Bet
Baccarat probabilities determine that a bet on the Bank is likely to win 45.8% of the time, whilst the Player bet will win 44.6% of the time. The remaining 9.6% of the hands are going to come up as a tie. If the possibility of a tie bet is excluded from the equation, the Banker will win 50.7% of the time, whilst the Player will win 49.3% of the time. Very clearly, according to baccarat probabilities, the Banker bet is the bet that is most likely to win more, and therefore should be the best bet. However, in order to balance out the baccarat probabilities that show the Banker to be a better bet, casinos charge a 5% commission on winnings from a Banker bet, whilst no such commission is taken on the Player bet. It is because of this that the casino manages to retain it's edge, all be it of only 1.17% on the Banker bet, whilst the house edge on the Player bet is also low, but a little higher than the Banker bet at 1.36% Thus, even after the compensation taken by the casino, the Banker is still a better bet as it carries a slightly lower house advantage.
Baccarat Probabilities – The Worst Bet
Which ever way you want to look at it, the difference between the Player and Banker position bets is negligible – not so for the tie bet. The tie bet gives the house an advantage of over 14%, making it according to baccarat probabilities the worst baccarat bet that can be made.
Effecting Baccarat Probabilities by Counting Cards
People have argued that card counting can affect baccarat probabilities and can even give the player the advantage. Advocates of card counting in baccarat claim that with knowledge of the burned cards one can make an educated guess as to whether the cards remaining in the deck are likely to create a situation more favorable to the Banker or to the Player. For example, theories have been discussed in which it is stated that lower cards favor the Player whilst higher cards favor the Banker – if this is true, one could realize that after a lot of low cards have been burned, a Banker bet may be preferable. There are card counting strategies for baccarat available, but for the most part card counting is not used to affect baccarat probabilities. The difference between baccarat and other game where card counting has been proven to be highly successful such as blackjack is the sheer absence of any choice. Counting is great, but with only the power of your bet, putting that information to good use is difficult.