Baccarat – the best and worst betting strategies

Added: May 25, 2022

Last updated: May 10, 2024

Strategies pop out left and right, but are they worth it in baccarat? Here are the best and worst baccarat Punto Banco strategies that you should know. I’ve tried to make it as straightforward as I could – brace yourself!

What are the best and worst Baccarat (Punto Banco) strategies?

Baccarat (or Punto Banco) is a top-rated game and is gaining a lot of ground, and for a reason. It’s captivating and exciting.

Also important, it’s easy to play. All you need to do is place a bet on the Player or the Banker.

Furthermore, the game has beautiful payout rates (low house edge), as long as you choose the right bets and stay away from the so-called sucker bets.

Online casinos offer many Baccarat variations, such as Lightning Baccarat, Speed Baccarat, Baccarat Squeeze and Tiger Dragon Baccarat.

Is there a strategy you can use when you play Baccarat? Yes, there is!

With Baccarat, like Roulette or Blackjack and many other table games, there is a strategy you can use

Applying a strategy won’t make you automatically rich, but it certainly makes a difference. And more importantly, you can limit unnecessary losses (and risks).

I have done extensive work on this and am keen to reveal which Baccarat strategies are best and not. The latter is also useful to know!

Believe it or not, but there are too many players out there who throw away money for no reason. And don’t expect online casinos to tell you to stop.

In short, it’s up to you if you want to outsmart the casinos or not. So, if you’re still interested, I hope it’s paying off reading the rest of my analysis below.

Baccarat – 3 kinds of strategic decisions

There are 3 aspects (3 types of strategic decisions) you should bear in mind.

– 1 – GAME TACTICS: What tactics do you use during the game? For example: do you have to draw a card or not?

– 2 – TYPE OF BETS: Which types of bets (bets) have the highest payout percentage? And which ones do you need to avoid?

– 3 – BETTING SEQUENCE (STRATEGY): How much do you stake when you play? For example, do you have to raise your bet after a loss or after a win? Or do you always keep the stake the same? There are many well-known betting strategies like the Martingale, Reverse Martingale or Fibonacci betting strategy. Which one fits best?

Let me tell you more about these 3 aspects.

1 – Game tactics

Game tactics are more about the decisions you make during the game. With Blackjack, for example, you need to decide whether you want to draw or not. It does matter.

Baccarat is a different game, though. With Baccarat, you don’t need to make that decision. The dealer decides whether a 3rd card is drawn or not, according to predetermined rules.

In short, no game tactics are required. I told you that Baccarat is easy to play!

2 – Which bets do you play? Main bets and side bets.

There are 3 main bets and also dozens of so-called side bets.

The main bets are a bet on a:

  • Win of the Player (Punto or Player)
  • Win of the Banker (Banco or Bank)
  • Draw (or Tie)

The payout percentages of the 3 main bets:

  • Bet on the Banker: Payout rate is 98.94%
  • Bet on the Player: payout percentage is 98.76%
  • Bet or Draw of Tie: Payout percentage is 85.88%

I guess it speaks for itself that you need to avoid the Draw (or Tie) bet, given the low payout percentage. Put it differently; the house edge is a staggering 14.12%!

There are also dozens of side bets, where you bet on specific combinations of cards for the Banker and Player.

Even though these seem highly lucrative (due to the high payouts), these are anything but that. The odds are low, and the payout rates are way too low (between 80% and 90% for the most side bets).

It’s for a reason why these side bets are also called sucker bets. If you want to outsmart online casinos, I can only say that if you better stay away from these bets.

3 – Betting strategies

It’s a crucial question. How much do you stake?

As it turns out, it has a significant impact. Yes, of course, if you stake more, you run more risk. However, the question is whether you should take the risk or not.

 

There are many known betting strategies such as:

With the Martingale Strategy, you double your stake, if you have lost the previous game. You continue to do so until you win. Once you win, you start the sequence again. The idea is that, if you double every time, after a loss, you end up with a profit.

Unfortunately, once you lose 8 (or more) consecutive times, you could end up in a horrible situation that your bankroll dries up. Besides, you could face limits imposed by casinos.

The Reverse Martingale Strategy works in the exact opposite way. You double your stake if you have won the previous game. If you have a winning streak, this strategy is very appealing.

The Fibonacci Strategy is comparable to the Martingale Strategy, but the increments of increasing the next stake (after a loss) are not as steep as the Martingale Strategy. It follows the series 1-2-3-5-8-13-21 etc. It is less progressive and less risky than the Martingale Strategy.

In the D’Alembert strategy, you increase your stake with 1 unit (say 1$) after a loss. After a win, the increment decreases with 1 unit. The stakes become much higher in the case you have lost more times than you have won. The idea is that you can make up for the previous losses, with the higher stakes.

 

Overview of best and worst Baccarat betting strategies

In the table below, you can see the results of my detailed calculations of the various betting strategies.

I conclude that the Constant Bet strategy is most suitable for those who prefer to limit risks and play cautiously. As an alternative, those players can pick the 3-step Reverse Martingale Strategy.

Players who are more aggressive and are in it for more massive wins are best off with the Reverse Martingale Strategy.

Strategies you should avoid at all times are the Martingale Strategy and the D’Alembert Strategy.

Below, you have the details.

The Constant Bet Strategy is suitable if you want to play for a long time.

With this strategy, you always bet the same amount on the Banker or the Player.

This betting strategy works well for novice Baccarat players or those in it to enjoy the game and play as long as possible. Having fun is paramount and making a (modest) profit is even more fun.

This strategy’s advantage is that you limit your risks, as your stakes remain constant and will not increase after a won or a loss. Therefore your risks are not as progressive as with the other strategies.

The disadvantage is that this strategy is a bit boring. Moreover, it will, indeed, not make you rich.

The Martingale Betting Strategy – famous but not a good idea

With this strategy, you double the stakes following a loss. As soon as you have won, you start the sequence again from scratch.

The results show that this strategy does not yield the desired results.

The stakes (after you have lost, say 6 or 7 times consecutive times) are so high that if you lose again, you end up with empty pockets. And yes, it happens more often than you think. And the upside is also limited. After all, the win (after a successful sequence) is limited to 1x the original stake.

Who would have thought that this strategy produces poor results? Whilst it is such a famous strategy?

The fact is that the Martingale strategy is far too risky in practice. Only in that hypothetical situation that you have an infinite bankroll, and the casino allows you to stake to infinity would this strategy work. We all know that this is not the case. Casinos have their limits, and I’m sure you have as well.

The Reverse Martingale Betting Strategy – suitable for players who are in it to win and go for it

This strategy works in precisely the opposite way as the Martingale Strategy. You double your bet if you have won the previous game.

It becomes highly lucrative if you win several consecutive times. You decide upfront if you start the sequence after 3, 4, 5 or 6 straight wins.

This strategy has four variants: the 3-step, 4-step, 5-step, or 6-step Reverse Martingale Strategy. After all, it is not realistic to continue doubling. At some stage, you stop.

This strategy’s main advantage is that you only take more risk when you’re on a winning streak.

The danger is that you won’t get the so-wanted long winning streak (say 5 or 6 consecutive wins). As a result, you could end up empty-handed.

My calculations prove that this strategy yields superior results, as long as you are keen to take a risk.

The D’ Alembert Betting Strategy – way too risky and totally unsuitable

The D’Alembert Strategy does not work. It is too risky, and the problem is that the stakes are way too high at some stage.

After all, you increase your bet every time you lose. The stakes decrease following a win. But, if you have lost more often than you have won, you could end up in a situation where the stakes are too high and where everything goes the wrong way.

This strategy is inappropriate. Period.

The Fibonacci Betting Strategy – famous mathematical series, but that’s all there is to it

The Fibonacci Strategy sounds statistical, and it is. However, it does not imply that it is a good strategy.

The strategy is less risky than Martingale or D’Alembert’s strategy, but still too risky. In the end, it doesn’t generate enough profits to compensate for the risk.

Even with this strategy, you get into serious trouble if you lose 6 or 7 consecutive times.

Interior of a casino

Results calculations Baccarat betting strategies

Below, I have the details of the calculations that support my conclusions. Yes, the research was extensive, and I have used a Random Number Generator and a mathematical programming language (“R”).

I simulated 1 million Baccarat sessions of 100 games (or round). For those 1 million sessions, I worked through the various strategies.

The analysis below is a bit statistical, so mainly written for those readers who are keen to understand the ins and outs.

Two sorts of players – risk-averse players and risk-seeking players

I have carried out the calculations for two groups of players:

  • Players who prefer to avoid the risk and are cautious. Usually, these are recreational or novice Baccarat players.
  • Players who like to take more risks and aim for a bigger win. They know that odds of winning massive are not as high and that odds of losing the entire bankroll are substantial.

Below, I summarise the assumptions in my calculations for risk-averse and risk-seeking players.

RISK-AVERSE PLAYERS

  • The total initial deposit (bankroll or balance) is $/€100.
  • The player stops once he has a balance of $/€200 or more (so at least $/€100 profit). Once he has reached this balance, he is pleased and stops playing.
  • The player also stops playing if his balance is zero (that is, he has no money left)
  • The stake of the first spin is $/€ 1
  • The session ends after 100 times.

RISK-SEEKING PLAYERS

  • The total initial deposit (bankroll or balance) is $/€100.
  • The player stops once he has a balance of $/€500 or more (so at least $/€400 profit).
  • The player also stops playing if his balance is zero.
  • The stake of the first spin is $/€ 5
  • The session ends after 100 times.

Results for risk-averse players

Below are the results for risk-averse (defensive) players.

If you apply the Martingale Strategy, there is a 25.3% chance that you lose the entire initial bankroll of $/€100. Chances of losing everything are higher, though, than with any other strategy. In short, this strategy is too risky if you are risk-averse.

Besides, you see that the expected payout percentage is 97%, which is lower than most other strategies. Only the D’Alembert Strategy has a lower and worse payout percentage (95.5%).

The Constant Equal Bet Strategy has the highest expected payout percentage (99.1%), but your chances of making over 40$/€ are nil.

The Reverse Martingale Strategy delivers the best results. You’ll not end up empty-handed. Moreover, you have an excellent chance to make a sizeable profit. The payout percentage is also pretty good and well above 97%.

Results for players seeking more the risk

Below, you see the results for the more offensive players.

If you stick with the Martingale Strategy, you’ll have a 64.9% chance of losing everything. Again, it is considerably higher than all the other strategies. In short, this strategy does not bring what you want as an offensive player. Even worse, you have no chance of making a profit of $/€ 400 (which was the original aim).

Results for the Reverse Martingale Strategy are much and much better. Yes, the odds of losing everything are also substantial (60.0% in the 5-step and 73.2% in the 6-step) but, now you do have a realistic chance of making the targeted $/€ 400 profit.

The D’Alembert Strategy is, also for risk-seeking players, the worst strategy. The expected payout percentage is a low 90.1%. Besides, chances of bagging the $/€ 400 profit are nil.

You can see that the Constant Bet strategy has the highest payout rate of 94.9% but that there are no chances to win big. Win anything above $/€ 200? Forget it.

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