Baccarat is a common sight on most casino floors, as the game is popular with players all over the world. Players are drawn to the game because of its elegance and action, as well as its best-in-class house edge, which is among the lowest of any casino game available.
Baccarat is especially popular with high-stakes gamblers, known as whales in the industry, because no other casino game attracts the high-limit action that baccarat does.
In this article, we’ll look at the enticing house edge by dissecting the baccarat odds and casino hold for each of the main bets available while playing the game. We will examine the odds for the banker, player, and tie bets, as well as a few of the most popular baccarat side bets. Let’s get right into it by looking at baccarat odds and the house edge!
What Exactly Is the House Edge?
Have you heard the expression “the house always wins?” It’s true, because every game that the casino spreads has a mathematical advantage built in.
That’s not to say you can’t ever win; you absolutely can; it just means that if you play long enough, the casino will eventually get some of your money.
That being said, not all casino games are created equal in terms of house edge.
Bingo, keno, and the Big 6 Wheel all have house edges of more than 20%. Craps, blackjack, and roulette all have casino advantages of 5% or less. Baccarat has a razor-thin house advantage of just over 1%, making it a very player-friendly game that provides players with more than a fair chance at the table.
Even in a game as appealing as baccarat, there are bets on the layout that you will want to play and others that you will want to avoid. Now that we’ve established the house edge, let’s take a closer look at each individual bet available while playing baccarat, including the baccarat odds and house edge for each betting option.
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What Are the Baccarat Odds?
We will look at all of the bets that can be made while playing baccarat in this section. We will explain what each bet is and how to make it, and then we will go over the baccarat odds by providing you with the house edge for each of these bets. Let’s begin by looking at the most appealing bet available in the game, the banker bet!
When you play baccarat, you bet on which of the two hands, the player hand or the banker hand, will come closest to 9 without going over. While the names of these hands suggest that you can only bet on the player hand and the casino has the banker hand, this is not the case. You can bet on any hand you want.
The draws are governed by some complicated drawing rules, and as a player, once you’ve decided which hand to bet on, all you have to do is sit back and watch how the cards fall into place.
The only distinction between the player hand and the banker hand is the predetermined drawing rules we just discussed. There is no need to go into detail about those rules because they are quite complicated, and the casino ensures that they are enforced on your behalf, but we will provide you with a quick overview below.
If applicable, the player hand always draws first, followed by the banker, who has slightly less aggressive drawing rules, giving the banker hand a statistical advantage over the player hand. The casino compensates for this advantage by charging a 5% commission on winning bets on the banker hand.
Invest in the Banker
Many casual players are put off by this commission because they believe it makes the banker bet the inferior of the two bets. However, despite the 5% commission, the banker hand is still the better bet for the players when it comes to the house edge.
The banker bet has a tempting house edge of 1.06%. That means that for every $100 wagered, the casino will only hold about $1.06. When compared to a typical penny slot machine, where the hold can be as high as 15%, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy playing baccarat.
Bet by the Player
When comparing the player bet to the banker bet, it falls just short in terms of house edge, with 1.24%. However, when compared to almost any other available bet on any other casino game, the player bet in baccarat is still one of the best bets that can be made.
Personally, I prefer to have the math on my side, so I usually place my baccarat bets on the banker rather than the player.
However, the difference in house edge between the two bets is so slight that you are unlikely to notice a significant difference, regardless of which bet you prefer to play. That leaves it up to personal preference as to which bet you prefer to make.
Many players will bet on the player hand because the casino will allow you to expose those cards at some tables, adding another level of excitement to the game. Other players prefer to bet on the player hand because paying commission slows down the game and is inconvenient.
In any case, you can’t go wrong betting on either the player or the banker hands, as they are both very fair bets when compared to most other casino games.
Bet on a Tie
After discussing the main baccarat bets, the player and banker bets, we will look at the various side bets that can be played. The tie bet is technically a side bet, but it is so common that many players treat it similarly to the player and banker bets.
Don’t fall into that trap! Despite the fact that the tie bet is on almost every baccarat layout I’ve ever seen, it’s nowhere near as good a bet for players as the player or banker bets.
It can be difficult to resist the temptation to place a bet on the tie, which pays out at 8-1 odds. However, when you see that the house edge for the tie bet is over 9.5%, which is nearly ten times higher than the other typical baccarat bets, you should avoid it at all costs!
Bets on the Side
For many years, the only bets available when playing baccarat were the player, banker, and tie bets. However, there has been an explosion of side bets on baccarat games in recent years. Let’s look at some of the most popular baccarat side bets below.
The ideal couple
The Perfect Pair bet is a baccarat side bet that is based on either the player or banker hand drawing the same two cards. Baccarat is typically played with an 8-deck shoe, which contains 8 of each card.
This is a fun side bet that is a solid play when compared to the typical tie bet, as it has a 3.34% payout. That is still significantly higher than both the player and banker bets, but if you are looking for some side action, I would always recommend the Perfect Pair bet over the tie bet.
Super 6 is a baccarat side bet in which you expect the banker hand to win with a 6. Winning bets on the Super 6 pay 15-1, making it one of the highest paying baccarat side bets available.
As is almost always the case with odds-based payouts, the higher the odds are when you win, the greater the house edge. If you want a chance at making it big, you’ll have to pay for it! The Super 6 side bet has a payout of approximately 4.4%, which is slightly lower than the Perfect Pair bet but significantly higher than a standard tie bet.
The final baccarat side bet that we will discuss today is the Dragon 7 bet. The Dragon 7 bet is similar to the Super 6 bet, but instead of needing the banker hand to make and win with a 6, you need the banker hand to make and win with a 7.
The big catch with the Dragon 7 bet is that it must be a three-card seven to win. That makes it much more difficult, but don’t worry, the casino compensates by awarding winners a massive 40-1 payout for winning bets.
We just discussed how higher payout odds usually mean a higher house edge, and the Dragon 7 bet is no exception.
The house edge on the Dragon 7 bet is 7.6%, which means that while it isn’t as good as the other side bets we’ve looked at, it is still better than the tie bet! If you haven’t already guessed, I dislike the tie bet!
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There are far more table, side bet, and betting limit options available online than in a traditional casino, and there are few things better than being able to gamble from the comfort of your own home. You’re really missing out if you haven’t tried online baccarat! Thank you for reading, and good luck with your online baccarat playing!