As long as there are casino games, punters have been looking for creative ways to beat the house edge. In the case of casino card games like baccarat, one of the first things that bettors look at is card counting. But just how effective is this strategy? And, even if it works, is it worth the effort? We’ll be looking into all that and more here. But, to answer all our questions, we need to know the basics of baccarat betting first.
Baccarat Betting Options
As you know, in baccarat, you only have three betting options. These are;
- The banker bet. It has an edge of 1.06%.
- The player bet. It has a house edge of 1.24%.
- The tie bet. It has an edge of 14.36%.
The first two betting options come with a 1:1 payout ratio. However, depending on a few factors, the tie bet can come with an 8:1 or even a 9:1 payout ratio. But, considering how high its house edge is, it’s never a prudent bet to place. So, you’re left with either the banker or the player bet.
Card Counting In Baccarat
Now, the purpose of card counting is to help you determine which of these two sides you should bet on when the next hand is dealt. To count cards correctly, you need to find a new 6-deck shoe. An 8-deck shoe also works here, too though. It will help if you have a new deck because that’s the only way to follow events and know what has happened so far. So, when card counting in baccarat, what you do is;
- Add 1 (+1) to your counting every time 1 (Ace), 2, or 3 are dealt.
- Add 2 (+2) to your counting each time a four is dealt.
- Remove or subtract 1 (-1) from the count when you see a 5, 7, or 8 dealt.
- Remove or subtract 2 (-2) each time six is dealt.
- Remember that ten and all other face cards (except Ace) have a value of 0.
With this in place, a bettor typically makes player bets when the count is at +16 or higher. Banker bets are made when the count is at +15 or lower.
What Makes Card Counting Worthless In Baccarat
While card counting works perfectly in blackjack, the value it offers you in baccarat isn’t worth the amount of time and effort to master the skill. The major problem here is that baccarat cards are two symmetric. As a result, one card doesn’t offer that much advantage over the other. So, to make any significant profit when card counting in baccarat, you’d need to place massive bets.
There’s no doubt that card counting gives you a level of advantage. But what it offers you doesn’t do enough to justify its use. So, it would help if you have another advantage play method.