Baccarat House Edge
In any casino game, the house advantage is what percentage of the money the establishment takes, on average, of your wagers. The lower the house edge, the better the chances of winning in the long run, and the longer you'll be able to play on a starting bankroll. If you want to understand the Baccarat house edge, then you need to understand that the standardized rules of the Baccarat game aren't always follows to a tee, so there is some variation in how these numbers work. However, if you know how and why these values come out like they do, then you can find yourself in a better position to try to win at this game.
The Baccarat House Edge for Common Bets
The three most common bets in this game are the banker, player and tie wagers. Most games use an eight-deck shoe, and this means that the house edge on the banker bet is 1.06%, which is the lowest of any bet in the game. The player bet comes in at 1.24%, a respectable level, but the tie wager has a house advantage of a whooping 14.36%. As you can see, this lends itself to a basic strategy of focusing on the player and house bets and staying away from the tie.
Many games also allow wagering on whether the player or banker will be given a pair on the first two cards. In an eight-deck game, the Baccarat house edge on either of these bets is 10.36%, which is also substantially higher than the banker or player options. With that having been said, it can actually turn out a lot worse if you're playing in a game with a slightly different format, and that's what we're going to look at here.
Single-Deck House Advantage Issues
Games that are dealt with a single deck are more and more popular, and it's something that changes the house advantage on all four of the popular bets. It lowers the Baccarat house edge on the banker bet a little to 1.01%, and it increases it slightly on the player bet to 1.29%. The tie bet increases slightly as well to 15.75%. With all of that having been said, it shoots the pair bet to incredible levels with an overwhelming 29.41% house advantage. This is so high because it's so relatively easy to make pairs with a single deck of cards.
Card Counting Mechanics
Card counting is something that's applied to a lot of games, and the whole point for this game is that it tells you what the house advantage is like based on the cards left in the deck. When certain cards leave the deck, that increases the value of the player bet and decreases the value of the banker bet. Other cards leaving the deck have the opposite effect. The idea is that the Baccarat house edge for the banker and player bets can actually switch so that the player bet is the stronger of the two.
Wiki Tips: It takes a lot of practice and work to be able to count cards on this level, but it's important to realize that the mechanics of this technique are all about keeping up with what you think the house advantage is like based on what cards have been dealt and which ones remain in the deck.