2 to 1 Baccarat
The game known as 2 to 1 Baccarat was developed by Crown Casino, the sprawling gambling and entertainment complex located in Melbourne, Australia.
2 to 1 Baccarat is only available when playing in Australia. Melbourne and the Crown’s sister property in the Western city of Perth continue to earn status as essential destinations for gamblers. Those with bankrolls built for world travel should try their luck at one of the baccarat tables.
This particular baccarat variant has not yet been adapted for play by online casino platforms. Crown Casino’s ownership over the game may be a contributing factor to this lack of online capability, but if the game proves to catch on with players, internet based casino operators will likely develop their own knockoff versions.
This page is intended as an introduction to 2 to 1 Baccarat for players interested in learning more about this unique baccarat variant. You’ll find a section covering the crucial rule changes which distinguish 2 to 1 Baccarat from the age old version known as “the game of kings,” followed by directions on where to find the game, and finally a lesson on proper strategy.
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Rules to Follow
Three important aspects of 2 to 1 Baccarat have been altered to create the new variant on a classic casino game.
Third, whenever the Player or Banker’s hands happen to show identical totals for a tie, players betting on either Player or Banker lose their wager. In regular baccarat, players betting on either Player or Banker receive their bets back in a “push” when the totals are tied, but 2 to 1 Baccarat compensates for the lack of casino commission by including another way to produce losing hands.
When it comes to ties, though, players can still place wagers on the Tie bet, and if the Player and Banker’s hands wind up tied, the payout stands at 8 to 1.
Other than these three rule adjustments, 2 to 1 Baccarat plays like regular online baccarat.
Playing 2 to 1 Baccarat
Players place their wager on either the Player, Banker, or Tie bet. This is done before the dealer distributes two cards each to the Player and Banker positions from a shoe of standard 52 card decks.
Two Cards are Dealt
The dealer will proceed to deal two cards to the Player and Banker positions on the table. All cards will be facing up, as the player will now get to decide what to do next.
Third Card Option
Based on the respective totals of these two card hands, a third card may be dealt to complete either hand. This is done if either of the two hands qualifies for a third card.
Totals can only be one digit numbers, so whenever a total exceeds 9, the left most digit is always dropped to produce the hand total.
The objective of both baccarat variants is to have the hand you’ve wagered on reach a total of 9 or closest to it, and hands can’t “bust” or go over the total in baccarat. Should your hand contain cards like the 8 9 6, for example, your 23 total really becomes a 3 by dropping the leftmost digit. After both hands receive their third card or stand pat at two cards, the dealer then compares their totals to determine the winner.
In 2 to 1 Baccarat, all wagers on winning Player or Banker hands payout at even money, while winning bets on the Tie payout at 8 to 1.
Best Places to Play 2 to 1 Baccarat
Unfortunately for players interested in trying this intriguing new form of baccarat, the game of 2 to 1 Baccarat can only be found in the Crown Casino properties, located in the cities of Melbourne and Perth in Australia.
If you do happen to live in the region, a visit to either of these legendary Crown Casino venues is likely on your schedule at some point, and you’ll always be able to find a few 2 to 1 Baccarat tables on the floor.
As of now the game has yet to be adapted for play by any online casino platforms, with the holding pattern likely attributable to Crown’s ownership over the 2 to 1 Baccarat name and concept.
2 to 1 Baccarat Strategy
For the savvy baccarat player, the best strategy to employ when it comes to 2 to 1 Baccarat may be exercising the discipline to avoid this game entirely. In order to understand the reasoning for such a prohibition, it’s important to understand baccarat’s underlying probabilities and odds.
The beauty of traditional baccarat lies in the game’s ability to combine simplicity with an extremely low house edge. When playing normal baccarat (and 2 to 1 Baccarat for that matter), most players know that the Banker bet actually offers slightly better odds than the Player bet, similar to the Don’t Pass line being a little more favorable than the Pass line bet in craps.
The odds of winning are:
- The Banker bet will win 45.86 percent of hands.
- The Player bet will win 44.62 percent of hands.
- 9.52 percent of hands will produce a Tie.
The reason for this slight disparity comes from the fact that the Banker hand’s drawing rules are mostly dependent on the Player hand’s previous action and current total. In other words, the Banker’s hand is completed last, and just like in blackjack, where the dealer’s hand is completed last, this provides a built-in advantage.
Traditional Baccarat House Edge
When assessing traditional baccarat in terms of the house edge offered to players for each bet, the Banker bet provides a house edge of 1.06 percent, the Player bet is slightly worse at 1.24 percent, and betting on the Tie incurs a house edge of just over 14 percent (marginal difference between six and eight deck shoes).
This extremely low house edge on both the Banker and the Player bets makes baccarat a fan favorite, especially for sharp players who appreciate a low volatility game offering decent odds over the long run. Of course, the best bet is always on the Banker’s hand, but even by mixing it up with the occasional Player bet, you’ll still be facing a house edge right on par with the best bets on the casino floor – all with no memorization or strategy to apply.
However, now that you realize just how generous regular baccarat can be from the player’s perspective, it’s important to understand that 2 to 1 Baccarat was invented by Crown Casino specifically to mitigate this low house edge.
Rule Changes Bring Worse Odds
With just three seemingly simple rule changes – two of which directly reward players, by removing the five percent commission normally assessed to winning Banker bets, and offering 2 to 1 payouts for making three card 8 or 9 totals – Crown Casino was able to devise a new Baccarat game which offers drastically worse odds and higher house edges.
This was accomplished by removing the push payout whenever the Banker and Player hands produced tied totals. As you’ll remember, the two hands will wind up tied 9.52 percent of the time. In ordinary baccarat, this roughly 1 out of 10 occurrences simply results in a push, with all players taking back their bets (except those lucky few who placed a wager on the Tie). In the game of 2 to 1 Baccarat, on the other hand, anyone betting on either the Banker or Player hands when they tie will lose their wager. By virtue of a single rule adjustment, 2 to 1 Baccarat provides players with a significantly reduced overall expectation.
The world class game theorist and mathematician Michael Shackleford, working through his Wizard of Odds brand, crunched the numbers on 2 to 1 Baccarat. He found that the house edge on Banker bets for this new game rises to 2.20 percent or a little more than twice the house edge on Banker bets found in traditional baccarat. The house edge on the Player bet has been juiced to 3.62 percent, representing nearly triple the rate found in the classic version of the game.
From the casino operator’s perspective, the introduction of 2 to 1 Baccarat into the casino economy was akin to creating 6 to 5 blackjack tables to replace 3 to 2 games. Sharp players will always know the difference, and limit their action accordingly to the games with better odds, but the vast majority of casual casino goers will never know the difference. These recreational players, largely there for fun and uninformed about the intricacies of casino game math, blindly sit down at a 2 to 1 Baccarat table, never knowing that the regular baccarat game a few feet away offers a much better value.
AP Heat has a page about possibly counting cards in 2 to 1 Baccarat.
With the numbers laid out like they are above, it becomes clear that the only viable strategy for 2 to 1 Baccarat involves walking right by the table, and finding a classic game of baccarat instead.