Online Baccarat
Baccarat Systems

Are there any systems to beat Baccarat or at least to optimize your play?

Baccarat card counting

Let's first discuss card counting. As baccarat is similar to Blackjack in respect to being played from a shoe with all the used card going to the discard pile, it is legitimate to wonder if knowledge of which cards have already being played can help with making predictions about future cards. The short answer is no, or yes but to a negligible degree.

Gambling legends like Edward Thorp and David Sklansky have analyzed the game of Baccarat a long time ago and concluded that card counting was not worth it. Unlike blackjack, you cannot increase your bet while in the middle of a hand. And you cannot bust out of a hand. These features leads to only a small edge from counting the cards, as there is no way to benefit from this knowledge in a big way.

And note that online casinos reshuffle the deck after each hand, so card counting is not applicable to online baccarat anyway.

Baccarat systems to win

With respect to Baccarat systems, what you will often read is about betting systems. As you can vary the size of your bets at each hand (and even omit to bet), some players believe that there are series or streaks and they try to benefit from that. Otherwise this is the only decision that you can make in Baccarat as the way the cards are dealt is determined by the rules (except for the European versions).

The truth is that all these streaks and series are just illusions. Statistically it does not matter what just happened, as future cards are independent from past drawn cards. It does not hurt either to alter your bet size, as this has not effect on your expected value. This is even truer in online baccarat where the constant reshuffling implies perfectly random cards.

The best way to play baccarat is to always bet on the banker, as this is where the lowest house edge is at slightly over 1% (betting on the player has a house edge of 1.25% and betting on tie has a house edge of more than 14%).

The reason why the high rollers prefer Baccarat is because the house edge is one of the lowest to be found at casinos. And the variance is relatively low also. So play online baccarat for the fun, but do not expect (or believe) to find a miraculous formula for winning systematically.