Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games as it was played for the first time during the 14th century. The game first appeared in Italy and it is considered that it was created by Felix Falguiere. Later, baccarat was brought to France, where it quickly started to attract players. The name of the game is derived from the Italian word “baccarat” which means zero as in baccarat, the value of all face cards as well as the tens is zero.
In the past, the game was played mainly by affluent players and it was considered a game that requires a lot of knowledge and skills as its rules were too sophisticated. Presently, things have definitely changed a lot as baccarat can be found in almost every decent casino and what is more, it is preferred by total greenhorns and casino veterans.
If you are not a total rookie at playing baccarat, perhaps, you have heard that the Bank and the Player stand an equal chance of becoming a winner and that the outcome of the round is not determined by the wins and the losses that have incurred in the previous rounds. This is namely what we will focus on in order to elucidate baccarat runs.
Objective and Basic Baccarat Rules
Playing baccarat is definitely not as demanding as some players might think. There are not any complicated rules and moves you should memorize prior to joining the baccarat table. This is the reason why the game has caused a stir among the different types of players, irrespective of their style of play.
Baccarat’s objective is also extremely easy to understand as gamblers just need to get as close to nine as they can. Unlike blackjack, in which when the total of your hand exceeds 21, you bust, while playing baccarat, you simply cannot break. This is possible due to the fact that when the total count of your cards goes over nine, you can adjust it simply by subtracting the first digit. Thus, if you are dealt two 7s, for example, this will mean that you have 14 and when you remove the first digit, you will get 4. In this relation, we should mention the fact that cards count for their face value. Still, this does not include cards such as the tens, the Jacks, the Queens, and the Kings as their value is zero. Aces, on the other hand, count as 1. Just like in blackjack, in baccarat, when your two cards are totaling 9, this means that you have a Natural.
As long as you decide to place your chips on the area marked as Tie, this will mean that you presume that at the end of the round, the total of the hands of the banker and the player will be the same. The remaining two betting options in baccarat are Bank and Player. What players need to do is to decide whether they prefer to place their bet on the Bank, on the Player, or on a Tie. It is important to note that when you place a winning bet on the Bank, you are required to pay the house a commission, which in most cases stands at 5%.
As it was already stated, many players refrain from playing baccarat due to the fact that they reckon that the game is too complicated and it requires a lot of skills and knowledge. In essence, it is just the other way around as its rules are easy to grasp and the underlying principle of the game is 50/50. This is namely the reason why many people draw a parallel between the game of baccarat and flipping a coin.
Gambling aficionados who want to make sure that they will enjoy some bigger wins should bear in mind that in such cases, there is more than meets the eye as they should also pay attention to the fact that it does not matter how many wins or losses the player or the bank has experienced so far, they still stand an equal chance to become a winner. When we say that the game of baccarat is often compared to flipping a coin, we should note that this coin flipping occurs within the limits of a single shoe at a time.
One of the most important things avid baccarat fans should remember is that the cards are shuffled, which means that the way they will be played out cannot be predicted. That is namely the reason why the bets gambling aficionados place should correspond to the limits of a single shoe. This, on the other hand, explains why baccarat lovers are advised not to focus on a single round, but instead, to pay attention to any specific sequence of events that can occur within this shoe.
This is where the alternate method of keeping score comes into use. If we apply this method for a game of baccarat, we should write down the wins and losses of Player and Bank in two separate columns, thus getting an average of 32 columns. Thus, when you take a look at the first column, you will notice that B’s and P’s are alternating. Some of you might wonder how does the second column look like and if you ponder over this, you will say that you expect that P will follow B in half the time, meaning that eventually, there will be 16 Ps and Bs. As long as this does not happen, you should keep in mind that you need to start a new column.
When you take a look at the second row, perhaps, you expect to see 16 Player and Bank wins, but when it comes to the third row, you will become aware of the fact that there are eight B’s and P’s, and hence, you can expect to enjoy only two wins throughout these eight rows. Another thing you should also anticipate to see in every shoe is that there will be one run of five wins, two runs of four wins and four runs of three wins respectively.
With that being said, let’s go back to the second row in which you should find 16 B’s and P’s. Now, you are advised to turn the right side of the card up and to regard the row as a column due to the fact that thus, you will get a clearer picture. Thus, avid baccarat lovers can anticipate that in the second row, there will be eight singles, two pairs, one triple, as well as a half-a-quadruple. The situation is also the same with the third row.
Once we have discussed all these, we can return to the 232 shoes. Now, let’s call a singleton every single entry in Row Two and double every two entries. What we are interested in is to find out how long are the runs in Row Two. If the things we discussed have fallen into place, you should anticipate that half the time, the result of the entry in the row will be PP or BB run. The remaining half will feature the start of a run that comprises at least three P’s or B’s.
Now, if we take a look at the distribution of the Row Two entries, we will notice that the number of the sets of consecutive Twos stands at 2,169. Despite the fact that it was anticipated that the number of the singletons will be 1,085, in fact, they are 1,124. The doubletons, on the other hand, turned out to be 537, but the expectations were for 542.
It was also expected that the triples should be 271, but they turned out to be 274. It was also expected that the consecutive Row Twos will be 136, but eventually, they were 125.
In other words, this means that Row Two acts in the same manner as it was expected. It was anticipated that 50% of the entries will be singletons, that 25% of them will be doubletons, and 12.5% will be triples. In the final analysis, it turned out that per shoe, there were 4.8 singletons, 2.3 doubletons, and 1.2 triples.
Thus, it turned out that there were a total of 9.3 sets per a single shoe, and in each shoe, there was a maximum of twelve singletons and six doubletons. There were not more than five triples per a shoe.
What is more, there were approximately 17.9 runs per shoe and there was not a shoe which had less than nine runs. Apart from one shoe which had 41, none of the remaining went over 24.
Runs vs Singletons
As we mentioned above, the game of baccarat operates on the basis of the 50/50 principle, which is the reason why gamblers can anticipate that the number of the runs and the singletons will coincide. Still, in some cases, the shoe can deviate from this set balance point, but you should not worry about this as gamblers can easily return it to its balance point.
For baccarat fans who are wondering what does playing a singleton and a run means, we should elucidate that this refers to betting whether you will see an entry in Row Two or not. In practice, this means that you are making your stake in favor of a singleton or against it. It is important to note that the number of the entries per a shoe is 36 and it is expected that there will be 18 singletons, as well as 18 runs. Considering the fact that the singletons to runs ratio is 3:1 or more, your bet should be in favor of a run. If the ratio is 1:3, however, you start betting that instead of a run, you will have a singleton.
Let’s assume that the ratio is 3:10 and the bet you have placed on Player is a winning one and it is entered in the 1st row of the 14th column. Now, you should make a stake on Bank due to the fact that the ratio you will enjoy is 4:10, which is quite close to the 50/50 split.
Betting Row Three
The Basic Strategy says that betting on row three means that you presume that this row will be empty, which means that you anticipate that there will not be three or more consecutive Player or Bank wins or a run. Players are required to place such a bet three times and as long as they experience a loss, they need to wager three units. You need to repeat this two times and if both sets of wagers are unsuccessful, you just need to terminate your play for this shoe.
Now, let’s say that you have placed three unsuccessful bets and you decide to wager three units that there will be two runs. This time, the ratio is 3:5. Still, if you decide to wager three units, you need to know that this is quite risky due to the fact that the ratio you have is less than 1:2. As long as the ratio is 3:9, for example, wagering three units is a much better move. Baccarat lovers are advised to stick to the Basic Strategy only if the ratio is 1:3 or under this value.
Betting Row Four
It is also anticipated that in every shoe, there should be nine runs, three of which can make their way to the 3rd row of the scorecard. Even though their number is so humble, you can still place your stake for or against having an entry in Row Four. Still, you are advised to do this as long as the ratio between the runs on three and the runs on four goes over 6:1 or 1:6.
Basic Baccarat Strategy
The Basic Strategy is also extremely straightforward, which is why you are highly unlikely to face any troubles to follow it. According to it, avid baccarat lovers should stake one unit that two in a row will not become three in a row. What is more, you should also wager three units that two in a row will not become three in a row as long as you have experienced three consecutive losses. In the event that you place such a bet and it is not a winning one, you should repeat this procedure once again. If this time you experience four losses, you are advised to quit the game and wait for another shoe. It is simple as that.
The Basic Strategy says that you should place a stake each time when there is an entry in the Second Row. As long as this is not your lucky day and eight subsequent losses incur, you can simply discontinue your play for a while and wait for the next shoe. In the event that you score a win during steps between 2 to 4, you simply need to come back to the first step.
Useful Tips for Playing Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the most sought-after casino games because of its low house edge. The house advantage for bets on Bank and Player is 1.06% and 1.24% respectively. One of the most important things you should keep in mind about the game of baccarat is that when you place a bet on a Tie, the advantage the house enjoys grows to the overwhelming 14.4%. This makes wagering on a Tie one of the worst possible moves you are presented with when playing baccarat, which is why it is advised to abstain from making such bets.
Many players consider that wagering on Bank is the best option, which is why they continue placing one and the same bet over and over again. In fact, the chances for the Bank to become a winning hand are 45.85%, whereas the chances for the Player hand to become a winning one are 44.62%. In other words, both of the hands have roughly the same odds of becoming winning ones. Yet again, we should note that the game of baccarat is based on the 50/50 principle, which means that wagering only on Bank will not guarantee you only wins.
Money management is yet another simple, yet very important tip you should make use of while playing baccarat. Prior to embarking on your gambling adventure, it would be better if you set limits when it comes to wins and losses. Once, you reach one of these preset values, you just need to discontinue your play, no matter how hard it might be.