Baccarat Strategy – How to Reduce the House Edge in Baccarat

Baccarat is a game of chance that’s famous for attracting high-rollers. In Macau, for example, where bets of up to $100,000 per hand are commonplace, it generates more revenue than any other table game. And in casinos around the world, it’s a game that’s been bolstered by new technology to attract more customers and boost revenues.

Eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier (dealer) from a dealing box, known as a shoe. The shoe contains two cards each for both the Player and Banker. A third card can be drawn if either the Player or Banker’s first two cards total 8 or 9. A tie is when both hands have a value of 9 and no one wins.

Players bet on either the Player, Banker or Tie by placing chips in the corresponding areas on the table layout. The game is a non-zero-sum game, meaning if the player wins, the bets are paid out in proportion to their winning total. If the banker wins, the bets are paid out according to a different formula that takes into account the size of the bets and the odds of the win.

The game’s rules are simple. Generally, the player must stand on any score of 6 or 7 and draw a third card when the banker totals 0 to 5. The banker will stay on a score of 8 or 9, though.

Some advanced players use a pattern system to reduce the house edge. It is based on the theory that shoes will often zigzag between banker and player wins, with double win streaks appearing in clusters. When this occurs, it’s suggested that players double down on their bets on the opposite hand to win the next game.

Other players may use a variation on the Martingale strategy, called the Paroli System. Unlike the Martingale, it uses positive progression, doubling your wager after every win and returning to your initial bet size after a loss.

But despite the popularity of these baccarat strategies, it’s important to understand that the game has a low house edge and doesn’t necessarily require skill or strategy. Nevertheless, there are some key things to keep in mind before sitting down at the table.