Baccarat Strategy

Okay, the bottom line question here after reading this information is probably: What is the best bet? Or, how do I win?

The heart of the game lies in its patterns or streaks. Most casinos will offer pencils and blank charts in order to track the trends. Remember, it is streaks or patterns you seek. Many baccarat strategists concentrate on riding the streaks, using a variety of money management theories to parlay their wins. Shoes start to develop characteristics, with Banker rolling off 5...6...7...8 or more wins in a row. The idea is to ride the streak: get on, then off at the right time.

Other shoes are described as "choppy:" Banker, Player, Banker, Tie, Player, Banker, Banker, Player, etc. If you cannot discern a recognizable pattern, you have the choice of not betting at all. Remember, many baccarat players will buy-in, then sit and wait while the game is being dealt, searching for trends, observing patiently, then pick a spot. Naturally, this approach requires great discipline.

Shoes do develop outstanding characteristics that can change as the hands progress. I have seen shoes that are absolutely delightful, with outstanding patterns that repeat time after time. I know, there is not a great deal of logic to this, but I will submit that there isn't a great deal of logic to a shooter at a craps table making pass after pass, while at the next table over, the dice pass every 2 minutes, each shooter as cold as a glacier. Same thing is true a player who has been losing a few, winning a few, but never really getting anywhere but mostly down, the house edge nipping away at the treasured bankroll. Then, out-of-nowhere he rips off 5 wins in a row. What is to account for this happening?

There have been numerous theories posed and written concerning mathematical deviations and streaks in gambling. I will propose that if you see a noticeable pattern or streak develop, pay attention to it. If there is a run of 6 bankers in a row, there is no reason that there can be another one. There are some who upon seeing a run of three Bankers or Players, will bet against it, figuring it can't happen again. It is important to remember that each event or deal, is totally independent of the preceding and following. But with this understanding, there are streaks that occur. The old, "flip an unbiased coin 100 times" example will illustrate my point. That is too small a sample to get the results of exactly 50 heads and tails each. The results will most likely be a deviation for one side or the other, possibly 54 heads to 46 tails. But, within the coin tosses, you will probably have small "runs" of 3, 4, or more of one side of the coin than the other.

The same holds true in baccarat. Despite the independent nature of these events, baccarat aficionados look for repetitious patterns in the game's outcome. They will tell you that you can only lose once when betting into a streak, but lose many times betting against it. I have personally witnessed regular runs of 5,6,7, or more on one side. Most recently I was watching a table where 21 Bankers in a row came out. The fellow sitting next to me kept exclaiming, "There can't be more Bankers after 5 in a row," and proceeded to put his money on Player for another 6 hands. He had lost 11 in a row when he finally switched sides. These are the shoes for which one dreams. Three weeks before, I witnessed 11 Players in a row.

Streaks are the easiest pattern to recognize, but there are also several others which are easy to follow as well. One has a pattern of several wins for one side then switches to the other then back.

Below are several common repeating patterns you will encounter sooner or later.

P-P-B-P-P-B-P-P-B-T-P-P-B-B-P-P-B-T-P-P-B

P-P-P-B-T-P-P-P-P-P-B-B-P-P-P-P-B

P-P-B-B-P-P-B-B-B-P-P-B-P-T-P-B-B-B-P-P

B-P-B-P-B-P-B-P-B-P-B-B-P-P-B-B-P-P

Whatever approach you take, consider baccarat. There is a reason this is the game of choice for the highest of rollers. One of them, author/publisher/player, Lyle Stuart (Lyle Stuart on Baccarat) sums it up: "The Rule of Three says you either bet on the streak, or you don't bet at all...If you bet with the streak and you're wrong, you lose only one wager. If you bet against it and are stubborn, the casino will soon own your potato farm."

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