Main Bets in Baccarat Explained

Preferred by high rollers, Baccarat is a go-to game of adrenaline junkies and firm believers in good fortune. Although having a structure similar to Blackjack, Baccarat does not allow for any strategic planning and the outcome of every hand is pure luck, which is probably the main appeal of this centuries old card game.

There are three main variants of Baccarat, played with 6 to 8 decks – Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque. Online casinos nowadays often offer additional versions of the game, such as Squeeze Baccarat, Speed Baccarat, Low Limit Baccarat and High Limit Baccarat, with the main differences being the variety of the side bets and “wider” betting ranges. Regardless of the variation, the basic rules and the main bets remain unchanged – players always choose between the three main betting areas: Player, Banker and Tie, each with the different payout ratio.

The object of Baccarat is to accurately predict which of the three main bets will end up with the total closest to 9. The final hand value in Baccarat is calculated by adding together the assigned card values and then eliminating the first digit – whatever remains is considered as the hand’s total value.

Player Bet

Player bet comes with even money payout and the house edge of 1.36%, which makes it the second best option in Baccarat. Although the RTP for this bet is lower than with the Banker bet, wagering on the Player is still worth considering, especially as it does not come with the commission percentage like the Banker bet.

The frequency rate may not be as high as with the Banker, however the very fact that you get to keep the entire amount of your winning is still a huge advantage of this particular stake; if you are going for the win, Banker will be the safest option, but if you are after profit, Player is definitely the right choice.

Banker Bet

This bet is considered to be the best option out of all three. The house edge is the lowest, which is why most of the players usually opt for it  – if you win, Banker pays even money, with 5% commission deducted from the payout total.

In terms of frequency, Banker bet wins more than 50% of the time, which is exactly why the house introduced the 5% commission money. The house edge of 1.17% can also be demonstrated with an example: if, for example, the player wagers $100, every wagered dollar will bring $0.95 potential profit (deducting the 5% commission). Since the expected winning rate is 50.68%, multiplying the expected profit with the winning rate percentage will give you the result of 48.15. Deducting the result from the expected losing rate (49.32%) results in the house edge for the Banker bet – 1.17%.

Even with the commission, Banker bet can easily turn out to be pretty profitable in the long run, unlike Tie bet, which, despite offering the highest payout ratio, is also known as the “sucker’s bet”

Tie Bet

The payout odds for this bet are without a doubt extremely appealing – 8 to 1 or 9 to 1, but what makes this betting option so unpopular is the occurrence rate. Unlike Player or Banker bets, there is less than 10% chance that the player will actually win Tie bet – a wager that the Player and Banker hands will have equal value.

According to some statistics, Tie will occur on every 11th hand, which, in combination with the fairly high house edge of 14.4%, makes it extremely risky, to say the least. However, Baccarat is all about risk, and if you are not willing to take it every once in a while, then perhaps you ought to think about a card game with a higher strategic potential and a lower risk factor overall.