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Baccarat Strategy

A COUNTING FORMULA - PART ONE

Baccarat Counting FormulaPerhaps there is a way to apply the principles of deck penetration in a formula that can enhance your approach to baccarat. You are going to be using card counting principles in employing those method, but in this particular example, you are not counting the individual cards and placing a value on them, but instead you are counting hands.

The hands in question are the results of the Banker hands and Player hands winning. Remember again that in a regular game, the Banker hand will win 45.9% of the time, while the Player hand will win 44.6% of the time. What does this mean? Well, theoretically, we can assume that of every 100 hands, we can expect that there will be about one more Banker hand than Player hand winning. In other words, it's relatively even.

Let's take yet another angle on this. And to do that, first let's explain what happens in a blackjack game, if you are a card counter. Speaking in generalities, you may be using a system where you count the high cards that come out of the deck as a minus-one, and the small cards that come out as a plus-one. You may not be counting every card; for example, you may not be counting the eights and nines at all, because they are theoretically neutral.

In this baccarat method, we are going to keep track of the Banker and Player wins by assigning a simple number to them; something where we can add or subtract one from the figure at all times, and we are going to ignore the ties, which happen about 9.5% of the time. For this we don't even really need a notepad, even though you can use one if you want to.

Let's quickly go over a variation on this proportional count, because we have to recognize that there are ties in the mix too. If you completely ignored ties, and took them out of the mix, the Banker hand would win 50.7% of the time and the Player hand would win 49.3% of the time. That is a difference of 1.4%, which we would round down to a discrepancy of one hand per hundred. It is awfully close to the 1.135% difference that would be the case if we did not ignore the ties anyway.

Of course, we recognize that there ARE ties, and that when you bet on either the Banker or Player hand, you are going to lose when the tie wins, so there is a price to pay. There is never going to be a time when the tie is the most likely outcome on a hand, and since the tie carries with it a house edge of 14.36%, you want to be very careful about betting on it.

We do know, though, that there is approximately a 9.4-to-1 chance that it will wind up a winner, so it may be worth it, if you are nimble enough with calculations in your head, or can use a notepad to your advantage, to employ a side bet in determining when to strike with a "tie" bet. For example, if you notice that a tie, based on expectations, is 7-to-1 to hit at a particular point, and understanding that it pays 8-to-1 odds, you want to start thinking about it.

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