Baccarat is a game that requires very little knowledge on the part of the player, which makes it highly attractive; however, the simplicity in the play of the game leaves little for a strategy to work with in terms of creating a reality where you can manipulate a positive outcome. Thus when it comes to Baccarat strategy there are certainly some guidelines that should be followed but in terms of a comprehensive baccarat strategy you will not find one.
Understanding the Odds
Of course, as with any game, knowing the game is an essential part in winning the game, and with baccarat the most important element of the game to know is what bets win what. As you know, there are 3 options for bets in a baccarat game, betting with the bank, betting with the player, and betting on a tie. The odds for the banker and the dealer are very close, however the house advantage on the bank bet is usually around .2 % better than the house advantage on the player bet, thus the bank bet is usually the best way to go. Where the big difference comes however is between the bank or player bet and the tie bet. The tie bet in baccarat is notoriously one of the worst bets you can make in the whole of the gambling world. Whilst you can win a 9:1 payout on a tie win, the house advantage on that bet is a whopping, 14%-15%. Thus, for a basic baccarat strategy; never bet on the tie, sometimes bet on the player, and often bet on the bank. If you follow this general rule, you will be able to take advantage of some of the best odds offered by any gambling game in existence.
Baccarat Set Up
Another area in which knowing the game is very important is in the area of the game-setup. Baccarat can come in a number of different forms, and knowing what to look for can help you win. The two most important things to look for vis-à-vis the game-setup is the number of decks in use, and the commission taken by the casino. In both of these cases the lower the number the better, especially when implementing any baccarat strategy. For the most part you won't find a casino that takes less than 4% commission, but if you can find one that takes between 5% and 4% this is a good place to play. Furthermore, a 6 deck game will usually be better than a higher deck number game, and thus especially as a beginner this type of game should be opted for.
Baccarat Betting System
If you so wish, you can follow the advice of some and engage in a betting system for baccarat, and this game actually lends itself well to it as it has such good odds. If you chose to use a betting system you must remember that this isn't going to help you win hands, but it will help you win money in the long run. The recommended betting system to use with baccarat is the martingale system. When using the martingale system you should always start off with small denominations, make sure you have plenty of funds, and be confident that the table max is high enough for you to keep doubling until you win. This system should only be used with the even money bets, i.e. the player bet and sometimes the bank bet depending on the casino.
The martingale system is a betting system that can be used for a number of games with even-money bets, and goes on the basis of doubling till you win. Thus you start with the lowest bet possible, and each round you bet on the same outcome except you bet double the amount that you bet on the last round. This continues until you win at which point you go back to betting the smallest denomination. So long as you don't run out of funds, this system more or less guarantees a recoup of all wagered monies plus the value of the original bet. However, it is recommended to try it in free-play first, as it is designed for short-term wins not for ongoing success and thus best to make up your own mind based on experience.
Baccarat Money Management
So, apart from knowledge of the game that will help you to help yourself, and a baccarat strategy that should reward your play, there is one other vital element that could constitute baccarat strategy, and that's money management. This is absolutely not a concept that is unique to the game of baccarat but it is essential for successful play and continued fun. The idea of money management is that you learn skills that will help your funds to go further, and thus you will be able to play longer and ultimately thrive at the game. So, the first thing to know about baccarat money management is that you should only bring to the table what you're prepared to loose. This sounds very pessimistic, but you must always remember that baccarat is completely a game of chance; you take measures like those listed above that will help you do better but you have no control over the game itself, thus there may be days that you will loose, and this is why you must only ever be playing with money you can afford to loose.
On the same subject, it is good to know when to walk away from the table. If you are loosing hand after hand it is often better to walk away and come back a bit later than to just get angrier and angrier over your losses. In terms of making your funds last, it's a good idea to know exactly how much you have and to set yourself limits for how much you are allowed to play on each round, or during each hour, this way, you can end up playing for however long you determine you want to . To help your money go further, you should also pay attention, and be sensible when it comes to choosing the table you are playing at, especially regarding the table minimums and maximums. There is nothing like a high stakes table to part you and your funds quickly.
Now that you know good basic Baccarat strategy, it might be wise to refresh your knowledge of the rules of Baccarat before you hit the tables.