Baccarat Strategy

Written by: Cliff Spiller , Online Casino and Game Expert

Baccarat strategy helps you make the best possible game decisions and increase your chances of winning. Expert guides often make it harder for players to understand than it has to be. The game has had a certain mystique ever since it was played in the roped-off section by people in formal wear.

Baccarat’s exclusivity is based on the fact it has good odds and no strategy elements, so casinos often reserved the game for high rollers. With online baccarat, that’s no longer the case. This in-depth baccarat strategy guide will explain some tips to start playing like an expert in minutes.

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Baccarat Strategy – Types of Bets

Baccarat has three basic bets, so it’s an easy game to learn. New players don’t have to master baccarat strategy, so it all comes down to learning which ones have the lowest house edge. Of all casino games without a plan, baccarat has the lowest house edge – if you make the right bets.

Banker Bet

Baccarat Banker Bet Icon

Betting on the banker to win has a house edge of 1.06% and pays out 1:1 odds. It’s the best option because it has the lowest house edge.

Player Bet

Baccarat Player Bet Icon

Betting on the player to win has a house edge of 1.24% and pays out 1:1 odds. The player bet is considered the second-best choice.

Tie Bet

Baccarat Tie Bet Icon

Depending on the casino, the tie bet pays out 8:1 or 9:1 depending on the casino, but it has a house edge as high as 14.36%. Avoid the tie bet at all costs.

If you want to brush up on your game skills, check out our exclusive baccarat guide for a comprehensive overview of how to play and the rules that come with it.

Top 5 Baccarat Winning Strategy Tips

Knowing what you know about baccarat wagers, many tips derive from the decisions you make. If you play according to the odds, you should make the banker bet every time. Taking that one step further, avoid side bets like Dragon Tiger and special game rules like Super 6. Flat betting can be boring for some players, so here are tips that keep the house edge reasonable and let you explore every aspect of baccarat.

  1. Stick to the Banker Bet

    If allowed, place the banker bet always. Its house edge is 0.18% better than the player bet, though this one also has good odds.
  2. Avoid the Tie Bet

    With a house edge over 14%, the tie bet is what experienced gamblers call a sucker bet. It has bigger payouts but awful odds. You should try to avoid this wager while playing.
  3. Ignore the Baccarat Scoreboards

    Scoreboards that give a record of recent baccarat results play into the gambler’s fallacy. This suggests that recent results predict future outcomes. If the last five results have been banker, that doesn’t make it more likely the player will win next time.
  4. Avoid Mini-Baccarat If Possible

    Mini-baccarat hands happen faster because a professional dealer handles the cards. While mini-baccarat has the same rules as the traditional version, faster hands mean you face the house edge more times in an hour. The same goes for online baccarat, so pace your betting by ending sessions sooner.
  5. Use Baccarat Bankroll Management

    Bankroll management helps you calculate a safe budget you should use, then set wagers according to that bankroll. Loss limits and win goals also help end sessions before you get tired, sleepy, hungry, thirsty, or stressed.

Many baccarat players believe they can spot patterns in the game’s results and thus predict future results. Especially in Asian casinos, players pay attention to methods for spotting these figures. While we don’t recommend players put a lot of stock in the baccarat pattern strategy, but it’s essential to present the idea to make informed decisions on your own.

To spot patterns, baccarat players use an electronic board to track results and predict what will happen next. The Bead Plate is a detailed record of results, while the Big Road shows repeating figures. The Big Eye Boy, Small Road, and Cockroach Pig graphics use the Big Road to determine predictability in the coming hands.

Bead Plate

Bead Plate Pattern Infographic

The bead plate is a grid that keeps track of previous hands of baccarat. The bead plate is read from top to bottom. The blue P stands for a player win, a red B stands for banker win, and a green T stands for a tie. Also, blue and red dots indicate player pair or banker pair, respectively.

Big Road

Big Road Pattern Infographic

A grid that tracks previous baccarat hands, but it’s read right to left. If one result happens two or more times in a row, the results read top to bottom until the pattern ends.

The Big Road uses blue, red, and green circles to track results. Many players believe the Big Road allows the human eye to spot patterns more easily.

Cockroach Pig

Cockroach Pig Pattern Infographic

This is the graphic with colored slashes. A red slash means predictable. A blue slash implies chaos. To read this one, you’ll go to the last result on the Big Road. Then go three squares to the left of that result and see if the box is filled.

Look above to see if the same result happened (empty square or filled square). If it did, then it is predictable and has a red slash. If not, it’s chaotic and has a blue slash.

Big Eye Boy

Big Eye Boy Pattern Infographic

The grid on the Big Eye Boy looks similar to the Big Road but reading it is different. The idea is to spot repetitive or non-repetitive patterns. Blue dots signify an unpredictable shoe, while a big red circle represents a repetitive and predictable baccarat shoe.

To determine predictability, go one to the left of the latest result.

Small Road

Small Road Pattern Infographic

This is a slight variation of the Big Eye Boy, so you’ll read the Small Road similarly to the Big Eye Boy. With the Small Road, you go two to the left of the latest result to determine predictability.

Blue circles represent chaos, while red circles represent predictability.

Best Baccarat Betting Systems

The goal of baccarat betting systems is to modify your wagers to lower the house edge or increase your chances of winning. This is based on a fallacy because the house edge doesn’t change from one wager to another.

Many gamblers believe in betting systems, while some help players win money in the short term. If you want to test these systems yourself, here is a rundown of the most popular baccarat betting systems.

Positive Progressive Baccarat Strategy

A positive progression baccarat strategy is one in which you increase the size of your wager after a winning bet. It’s designed to take advantage when a player is on a hot streak. If you lose, then you return to the base number again. Several of these systems exist.


Paroli Betting System Infographic

If you win, then you double the size of your bet. If you lose, then you return to your base wager. The only difference is you return to the base (no matter what) after three consecutive winning wagers.

With a base bet of $5, you would increase it from $5 to $10 to $20 to $40 and then start back at $5. If you lose at any point, start at $5 again.


Parlay Betting System Infographic

The Parlay System is used when you make your original wager plus winning bet if you win. If you wager $5 and receive $5, then you bet $10. If you win again, then increase it to $20.

It is similar to the Paroli system, but you don’t return to $5 after three winning wagers. Unless you have a cut-off point for increasing the point, it means you will likely lose your wager with the first losing bet.

Negative Progressive Baccarat Strategy

A negative progression betting system calls for a player to increase their wager after losing. If you wager $5 on a losing bet, you increase your wager on the next round of play. The systems below call for players to increase the stake by different amounts.


Martingale Betting System Infographic

With the Martingale betting system, anytime you lose a wager, double the amount of the next one. A $5 base bet would become $10, then $20, then $40, and so on. If you win, then the sequence ends with you winning $5.


Dalembert Betting System Infographic

The D’Alembert system calls to increase the wager by one unit every time you lose a wager. A $5 base bet becomes $10, then $15, $20, $25, $30, and so on. The virtue of this system is the increases are incremental instead of exponential, so the risk of loss is less.


Fibonacci Betting System Infographic

This is a mathematical pattern in which the following number is the sum of the previous two numbers. The next number after 1+1 is 2, the next number after 2+1 is 3, and the following number would be 5 (3+2).

The Fibonacci system starting with a base $5 bet would be $5, $5, $10, $15, $25, $40, and so on.


Labouchere Betting System Infographic

Write down a 3-number sequence. Let’s say the numbers are 1-3-5. You would wager the sum of the first and last numbers (6). If you win, you cross off the 1st and 3rd numbers and bet what’s left (3). If you lose, you add the amount of your last wager to the end of the sequence (1-3-5-6), then wager the first and last number (7). For each stake, you either subtract numbers or add numbers according to the outcome of the previous bet.

Flat Betting Baccarat Strategy

flat bet icon

Flat betting is when you make the same wager on every single hand of baccarat. If your base bet is $5, then your strategy would be to maintain $5 on every hand. This might sound boring, but it’s strategically sound.

Baccarat money management calls for players to determine their bankroll, then wager no more than 1% to 2% of that bankroll each round. With flat betting, you can pre-determine that 1% to 2% wager, then stick to it throughout the baccarat session. Gaming mathematician Michael Shackleford ran simulations with several hands-on casino table games and determined that flat betting is better than progressive betting over the long term.

What Is The Best Baccarat Strategy?

Baccarat Game Guide Icon

The best baccarat strategy is to avoid exotic betting schemes and employ flat betting. Most of your calculations should be done before the session begins. Pick a flat wager that’s 2% of your bankroll, bet on the Banker, and enjoy a good game of baccarat.

Use Baccarat Strategy and Play Online Today!

Baccarat strategy is easy when you don’t overthink things. You’ll encounter a lot of complicated betting techniques and other tips that sound insightful, but baccarat is a game of chance that doesn’t need a lot of analysis. To optimize your chances of success, find the best wager in the game and make flat bets. Keep our simple baccarat strategy advice in mind to increase your odds of winning when playing.

Baccarat Strategy – FAQ

Below you can find some of the questions players ask us about baccarat strategy.

What is the best strategy for baccarat?

The best strategy for baccarat is to bet on the banker. It has the lowest house edge at 1.06% and pays out 1:1 odds.

How do you win at baccarat every time?

Just like any other game of chance, there is no sure-fire way to win at baccarat every time. You can implement different strategies and tips to increase your odds of winning, but remember that in the long run, the casino has the edge.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Online Casino and Game Expert

Cliff Spiller is a casino industry expert who enjoys writing relatable content and game guides for both beginners and experts. He's a history buff, poker player, and huge Dallas Cowboys fan.

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