Have you ever heard the expression “house edge”? This is the competitive advantage that the casino has in every table game and on every slot machine.
While you might think it’s unfair that the casino has the upper hand in everything, consider why that is the case. If there was a game or a slot machine where the player had the edge and so was expected to win, everyone would play that game to win money. And very quickly, the casino would go bust. If the casinos go bust, nobody would have anywhere to place bets for entertainment.
With this in mind, it’s best to consider the house edge as a small tax on your playing enjoyment. But while you should be prepared to accept those losses, you should know that not all games have the same house edge. Some are smaller than others, and these are the games you can target to ensure your gambling money goes further.
Games with the lowest house edge give you the best chance of making a profit in any given session.
Play Baccarat for the Best Advantage
Of all the leading casino table games, including blackjack and roulette, baccarat has the lowest house edge at just 1.06%. That means that for every $100 you wager, you are expected to lose $1.06. Of course, you might get unlucky, lose more, or get fortunate and win cash instead, but the math says you should expect 1.06% losses.
In comparison, the house edge in roulette is 2.6% for the single zero pocket European Roulette games and 5.25% for the American Roulette version, which has a single zero and a double zero pocket.
Blackjack is interesting in that the base house edge is 2%, but unlike other casino games, you can get better results from following a good playing strategy. In doing so, your house edge could be as low as 0.5%.
However, there is no such strategy to use in baccarat. The game is simple to play and has no decision-making for the player, so the house edge remains static. If you want to minimize your losses, unless you are a blackjack wizard, you should stick with baccarat.
How to Play Baccarat
When we say baccarat is simple to play, we really mean it. Many people think it is a sophisticated game reserved for deep thinkers and high rollers. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You have just one decision in baccarat – whether to bet on Banker, Player or a Tie. And that’s it. Once you have made your choice, the dealer does all the work, dealing the Banker and Player cards until the hand concludes.
Because of this, you don’t even need to really understand what’s going on. When you play baccarat online, just sit back, place your bets and watch the action unfold. With that wafer-thin casino advantage, you will be playing for a long time.
For those who like to at least grasp the basics of what is happening, here is a guide:
- You place your bet on Banker, Player, or Tie
- The dealer deals two cards on Banker and two on Player
- The one that gets closer to a score of nine wins (or a Tie is declared)
- Each card from ace to nine counts as face value
- Any ten or picture card is valued zero
- For totals of ten or over, the first numeral is dropped, leaving the second numeral as the total
- For example, 8-7 is a total of five
- There are various combinations that mean a third card is dealt – these are explained on the game rules
You will soon get used to this curious game. As the dealers will take your money or hand you your winnings at the end of each round, there really is nothing you need to do.
Now you understand what is going on, you can try this out for yourself next time you visit a land-based casino or play online. You’ll soon feel like James Bond, who enjoys baccarat, and it won’t take long before you see why the house edge is so low. With either Banker or Player winning, it would be 50/50 except for the rare occasions that both hands score the same total, and the result is a Tie.
Aside from playing an advanced blackjack strategy for a lower house edge, the only other casino game that many consider can rival baccarat for house edge is video poker. That game requires you to make poker and probability-based decisions, rendering baccarat by far the easiest choice for simplicity and profit potential.