Top 3 Mistakes Every Baccarat Player Makes

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Baccarat is a fun, fast, and easy game to play. Most casinos have a wide range of limits at their baccarat tables, so you can play for $10 or thousands in the same casino. You really don’t need to know anything about strategy, because there’s only one bet you should make. And when you play at most baccarat tables, the only thing you need to do is put your bet in the correct spot on the table.

You can find three different types of baccarat tables in casinos. A full baccarat table is larger than other tables and the players take turns acting as the banker. You’re welcome to play this type of baccarat, but just to be clear; the type of baccarat I’m discussing in this article is either mini baccarat or midi baccarat.

Mini and midi baccarat are played exactly the same, and the casino dealer takes care of all of the dealing. When you play mini or midi baccarat, all you have to do is place a bet on one of the three options. Mini baccarat is the most common type in casinos, and it’s played at a table that looks much like a blackjack table.

I recommend knowing the rules of baccarat so you can make sure the dealer doesn’t make any mistakes, but it’s not a requirement to play.

1 – You Bet on a Tie

The absolute worst thing you can do when you play baccarat is bet on the tie. The house edge on the tie bet is over 14%. This makes it worse than almost any bet in the casino. The only game that might have a worse house edge is keno.

Most gamblers have a rough idea of what the house edge is and how it works, but if you’re not sure, here’s an example.

The house edge is a percentage that the casino or house wins on every bet you make, on average. The actual profit and percentage equals the house edge over a long period of time, so your results in a playing session will vary quite a bit. But you can also predict how much you can expect to lose over time by using the house edge. Here’s how it works.

If you know the house edge on a game or bet, you can multiply it times the amount you bet and the answer is your expected loss.

Please Note:

The specific house edge on the tie bet at most baccarat tables is 14.36%. If you make 100 bets on the tie at $20 per bet, the total amount you risk is $2,000. Your expected loss on the 100 bets is $287.20. $2,000 X 14.36% = $287.20.

Compare this to the house edge and your expected loss when you make the banker bet in baccarat. The banker bet has a house edge of 1.06%. If you make the same 100 bets at $20 per hand, you risk the same $2,000. But your expected loss is only $21.20. This is a difference of $266.00 on 100 bets. The tie bet is one of the worst in the casino, and you should never make it.

2 – You Bet on the Player Hand

When you bet on the player hand while playing baccarat, it isn’t as bad as betting on the tie bet. But it’s still not as good as betting on the banker. The player bet has a house edge of 1.24%.

If you compare your expected loss using the same example as in the last section, your expected loss making 100 bets of $20 each on the player hand is $24.80. This is only a difference of $3.60, but when you’re gambling every dollar counts.

Baccarat Dealer at a Casino - Baccarat Table With Bets and a Martini Glass

Many baccarat players get confused when they learn about the house edge because when they bet on the banker hand and win, the casino takes a commission. The commission is usually 5%, and many players make the mistake of thinking this makes the player hand bet better.

The house edge numbers I’m using in this article already include the 5% commission. This means that even after the casino takes the commission, the banker bet still only has a house edge of 1.06%. This is why the banker hand bet is always the best bet when you play baccarat.

3 – You Use odd Bet Sizes on the Banker Hand

When you bet on the banker hand at the baccarat table and win, the casino collects a commission. The commission is usually 5%. This means that the pay out for winning banker bets is actually 19 to 20. This can be a bit confusing, and it can really get complicated if you make odd sized bets in live play.

The simplest way to operate if you’re planning to bet on the banker hand is to make bets in $20 increments and have a stack of $1 chips.

When you win a $20 bet, you can slide a $1 chip out to pay the commission and the dealer can pay you $20.

You can use the same method for $40, $60, and $80 bets, sliding out $2, $3, or $4 when you win. If you bet $100 per hand, you can exchange a $5 chip for a $100 chip when you win.

Other Baccarat Issues

This isn’t a mistake that most baccarat players make, but an article about mistakes isn’t complete without mentioning baccarat gambling systems. The bottom line is that you can’t beat baccarat no matter what you do. You can’t buy or develop a system that can overcome the baccarat house edge in the long run.

I now that some baccarat systems sound good, especially the ones being peddled by unethical people who make all kinds of false claims. I’ve seen advertisements for casino gambling systems that use all kinds of wrong math, and some of them are quite convincing. Save your money and skip any gambling system you see for sale.

It’s also a waste of time to try to learn how to count cards while playing baccarat. If you want to use card counting to make money, you need to stick with blackjack or Spanish 21. Both of those games can be beat with counting; but you can’t get an edge by counting a baccarat game.


Baccarat has three main betting options. Some baccarat games also offer a side bet. It’s easy to avoid all of the mistakes I covered in this article. The only bet you should ever make when you play baccarat is the banker bet. And when you make the banker bet you should always bet in increments of $20.

It makes things faster if you keep a stack of $1 chips on hand when you make bets of $20, $40, $60, and $80, but it’s not required. I also suggest learning the house rules for drawing to the hands, but when you play midi or mini baccarat you don’t have to know the rules because the dealer takes care of everything.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. ...

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