Any seasoned gambler can tell you of the dangers of faulty gambling strategies. Putting your faith in the wrong place at the tables is a recipe for disaster, and, in many cases, these problems can strike before you have time to react. Today, we’ll take a look at a couple of risky strategies that are commonly implemented in baccarat.

Card Counting in Baccarat

Much like blackjack, baccarat has a card counting strategy that can improve players’ odds of topping the house in some cases. The problem, however, is the rule differences that are common from one casino to another. Unlike blackjack, players aren’t normally permitted to change their bets mid-hand in any case, which means that some circumstances can shift the odds back into the house’s favor. One example of this lies in the reintroduction of cards into the shoe. If you’re familiar with card counting, you’ll instantly understand the problems this action can represent.

The basis of card counting depends on calculating the remaining cards in the deck and how those cards affect your odds of winning. If old cards are reintroduced, the count becomes incorrect and the card counting strategy is immediately out the window.

The Martingale System

At its core, baccarat is a very elaborate coin toss game. Your chances of winning on every hand are nearly 50 percent if you wager correctly. For this reason, many players implement the Martingale betting system at the baccarat tables. To put it simply, players double their bets whenever they lose a hand in order to recoup the losses on the next win. With a bottomless bankroll and no table maximums, this strategy would eventually pay off, but those two qualifiers are worthy of note.

While the limits of your bankroll already make the Martingale system a risky choice, casinos took it one step further by introducing betting limits. With a few consecutive losses, players are introduced to these limits the hard way. When you’re unable to double your loss, the Martingale system doesn’t work. Unfortunately, uninformed players often don’t realize this limitation exists until it’s too late. Remember, each hand is a completely isolated contest with little, if any, correlation to previous hands. Just because the banker bet has won nine times in a row doesn’t mean that the next hand is destined for a player win.

Setting the Record Straight

So card counting and the Martingale system are effectively useless at most casino baccarat tables, but there must be a strategy that works, right? Well, the best way to maximize your odds, statistically, is to bet on the banker every single game. It’s not the most exciting way to play, but it does put the odds in your favor. Don’t be afraid to mix it up with a player bet every once in a while to keep things interesting, but avoid looking for patterns where they don’t exist. This tendency is the pitfall of many ambitious gamblers.

Despite its prestige, baccarat is one of the simplest games in the casino. Choose between the banker and the player, and have fun! Leave the stressful strategies to the blackjack table where they’ll do some good.


Simon is an overactive gambler and the Staff Writer here at Silver Oak. He loves casino bonuses, online slots, and using the em dash too often. Currently, he rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.