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# Baccarat Strategy

A guide to online casino baccarat strategy including baccarat players strategy and baccarat dealers strategy.

In baccarat one player is chosen as the ‘player’ and another as the ‘dealer’. The remaining players have only to decide which of these two to back and are therefore not involved in any card play decision-making. Therefore the blackjack strategy focuses on the strategy of the ‘player’ and the ‘dealer’.

## Player’s strategy

The player has to make a decision if and only if his hand value is 5. That decision is whether he should take the third card or not. The possibilities of his taking the third card are listed below.

• If the third card is an ace, two, three or four his hand value increases from 5.
• If the third card is a five, six, seven, eight or nine his hand value decreases from 5.
• If the third card is a ten, jack, queen or king his hand value remains at 5.

There are two strategies option to the player.

• Simple strategy: This is based on the assumption that all cards have equal probability of being drawn. The player benefits on four cards and loses on five cards and therefore he should stand.
• Card counting strategy: The assumption that all cards have equal probability of being drawn is not valid because some cards have been discarded from the earlier deals. If more high value cards have been discarded, then the probability of getting low cards is greater and therefore the chance of increasing the hand value goes up. Hence the correct strategy is to ask for another card. If more low value cards have been discarded, then the probability of getting high cards is greater and therefore the chance of decreasing the hand value goes up. Hence the correct strategy is not to ask for another card. Card counting strategies give negative scores to high cards and positive scores to low cards and keep a running count of the score of the discarded cards. A positive running count indicates that a higher proportion of high value cards are left in the deck and vice versa.

## Dealer’s strategy

The dealer’s strategy is based on the knowledge of his hand and the player’s hand. Of his hand the dealer has complete knowledge. Of the player’s hand the dealer can estimate the following.

• If the player takes a third card his hand value is 5 or less.
• If the player doe not take the third card then his hand value is 6 or more.

Computer simulations have shown that the following is the optimum strategy for the dealer.

• If the player has not taken a card, the dealer should take a card if his hand value is 5 or less.
• If the player has taken a card, the dealer should take a card if his hand value is 3 or less.
• If the player has taken a card, the dealer should not take a card if his hand value is 7.
• If the player has taken a card, then in the remaining cases of dealer hand value the dealer should take a card if the player’s third card had middling values.

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