How to Break Even with the House Edge in Baccarat

Despite its simplicity and ease of play, baccarat has never enjoyed the popularity of its fellow card game, blackjack. This may be due to its reputation as a high-roller's game, or to the fact that hand decisions in baccarat are all predetermined. Or it may be because no special strategy can be used to get rid of the house edge. Whatever the reason, baccarat remains under the shadow of other casino games.

This is a shame since baccarat is really one of the better choices available in a casino. Slots, which are very popular, have very bad odds for players. You lose more money in slots than in any other game. But baccarat has the lowest house edge at 1.06% if you bet on the bank, meaning for every 100 units wagered, you only lose 1.06 of it on average. This makes baccarat a very sustainable gambling habit.

To play smart baccarat, first go to the mini baccarat tables. These are the size of blackjack tables and are meant for low rollers. Pick a full table so that the dealer will have more players to deal with and play is slower. This will save you money. During play itself, you should always bet on the bank. Only if you feel lucky (and this isn't often) should you bet on player or even a tie.

Now here is what you can do to lower the house edge even more: Get rated for comps. When you go to a casino, always sign up for their players' club. When you play slots, you should use your player's card to get rated. For table games like baccarat, you must ask the pit boss to have you rated for comps. Baccarat play may not count for much in the house's comp system, but if you play regularly and for long periods, you will get your rating improved.

Don't forget to be nice, by the way. If casino employees like you, it is easier to get comps. When it is time for you to ask for a free drink or buffet for example, you may get away with more than what your comp rating entitles you to if you ask nicely.

How does this help you? Well, the house edge in baccarat is only 1.06% if you bet on the banker. If you get even a 2% worth of rebates and free gifts, you have already won back what you lost!

So you see, baccarat isn't just for high rollers. It can also be for smart and frugal gamblers.

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