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Baccarat Ratios

S. Stoynova (editor) |

Using Ratios to Make Betting Decisions in Baccarat

Baccarat RatiosBaccarat is a casino game that many high-rollers enjoy playing, with rules being extremely simple, each round taking very few seconds to reveal the result, and betting limits often fitting the preferences of high-stakes lovers. Despite its reputation, baccarat can also offer a great gaming experience to recreational players enjoying less risky bets. The simplicity of the game also makes baccarat suitable for inexperienced players, requiring decision-making only when one chooses what bet to make on each coup.

Even though you do not need any special skills to play baccarat, some players rely on advanced betting strategies to help them minimize losses and extend gaming sessions for as long as possible. While there is no way to predict the result in baccarat, some players keep track of trends, helping them decide the best option to bet on during the next coup. Scorecards are often the tools used to spot trends, with ratios also being used to determine whether it is optimal to ride runs or bet against them.

What are Baccarat Ratios?

What are Baccarat RatiosRatios in baccarat are calculated based on the scorecard of a player and the overall logic of the game. This refers to the fact that there are 3 possible outcomes at any given point and your bet always has a 50-50 chance of being right. Ties result in a push so most players prefer to keep them out of the equation and base their strategies on the idea that the game is like flipping a coin.

However, in reality, shoes are rarely so centered – you do not always get neat patterns that you can rely on as this is a game of chance, after all. You can use statistics to your advantage but you will never be able to predict the outcome of the next hand with absolute certainty. This is important to understand so as to leave behind the idea that there is a way to ‘beat the game’.

The ratios are based on how frequently singletons and runs occur, how long they last, at which point of the shoe they occurred, and so on. The main dilemma players of this game are faced with is whether a trend will continue or not. This may refer to a variety of occurrences, be it as simple as, the game has seen Player-Bank occur consistently for a few hands, frequently over the course of the game, or as complex as how long exactly a run may last.

You can also create general ratios based on the overall frequency of events over many games. This way you get some kind of baseline for probability. This way if you are wondering what the chances are for a specific event to occur at the moment you can have a fairly good idea. However, it is best to adjust this baseline according to the shoe at play.

A lot of players are under the impression that a shoe will always give out hands that eventually balance each other out. That is practically true, however, in reality, shoes can stray pretty far from their baseline. There have been plenty of instances of unlikely events such as 13 ties in a row or 18 Bank wins in a row, and so on. Relying on the basic idea that the shoe will go back to the baseline is simply not enough to make your winnings bigger than your losses.

Of course, the number of hands for the Player and Bank will be even at the end of the shoe but before the end, especially given the number of decks in play, they can vary greatly. The idea here is to focus more on the shoe as a whole and base the ratios on singletons versus runs.

How to Calculate Baccarat Ratios

How to Calculate Baccarat RatiosRatios are calculated over the course of a game. In the beginning, you have 1:1 regardless of whether the shoe starts with a run or singleton. When more than a single run occur they are added to the equation. As the game progresses you will end up with even ratios again, sooner or later, and then you will have to just take your best guess, either based on strategy or the ‘trend’.

When the game has significantly progressed, though, there will be a clear distinction between the two numbers. As we already stated, the ratios are based on singletons versus runs, as opposed to Player versus Bank. Some players prefer to rely on the number of winning hands for Player versus Bank but that is not a very lucrative strategy. There are, once again, those rare events that see the Bank win throughout almost the entire game. So, in this case, if you keep betting that Player will come up next, you will lose, however, if you simply recognize this rare occurrence, you will know that you may take your chances and ‘ride the pony’, or simply wait until the next shoe.

Of course, basing your bets on this type of ratio is no guarantee either but it makes more sense. The tricky part is figuring out how long a run will last, what strategy to employ given the current ratio, or whether you should try to bet according to the idea that the shoe will always balance itself out. There is no universal advice that you should follow when it comes to baccarat ratios. In one shoe the ratio 5:3 might tell you one thing, while in another it might mean something entirely different.

You need to pay attention to every single hand and take into consideration what the chances for a certain event are. You also need to always keep in mind the fact that rare events can occur at any given time. When it seems like the shoe is very off-balance, be careful because those are the moments that give birth to the most unlikely events.

Looking for balance in baccarat, however, is what most strategies are based on. Balance, in the sense that the shoe will statistically have an even number of runs and singletons on average. It is crucial to know the exact meaning behind this and look at the percentages. Runs of two are the most common ones, meaning that row two in your scorecard will be about 50% full, row three, four, and so on are left with smaller percentages on average.

We have not mentioned ties all that much here and that is simply because they are usually left out of betting strategies as they result in a push and are therefore not considered a winning hand. Unless, of course, you have placed a bet on them but that is not recommended because ties usually occur about once every eleven hands, whilst the payout for a correct bet on them is 8 to 1. Perhaps, it is the casinos’ way of silently taking their commission, but wins on Player or Bank have a lower commission and higher frequency, so we highly recommend you stick to them.

Step-By-Step Explanation

Step-By-Step ExplanationSay the first hand that is dealt is won by the Bank. This is the beginning of the shoe, there is nothing to go on, so all you can do is guess. Next up, Player wins. So far, two singletons. Next, Player wins again. The ratio now is 1:1, one for singletons to runs. The question is whether the run will continue or not. Bank wins next. This makes the ratio 2:1. Then, Player wins. The ratio becomes 3:1. Bank wins three times in a row, making the ratio 3:2. Then, Player wins two times in a row, resulting in 3:3. Based on these ratios and the different baccarat strategies, which we have also covered for you, you can make a fairly educated bet, minimizing your losses, and even walking out a winner.

How Baccarat Ratios Affect Strategy

How Baccarat Ratios Affect StrategyRatios directly affect all baccarat strategies as they help players pick the best way to advance. Each occasion calls for a different strategy and a player must be able to recognize those moments and adapt. Most strategies rely largely on the number of singletons versus runs. They require more precision, naturally, and that is why it is so important to keep a detailed scorecard.

In order to keep track of ratios, you need to note them in your scorecard as well. You can do that however you want, some people quickly jot down the number above the corresponding column and encircle it. That is only one way though, the idea is to do it quickly and in a manner that is easily understandable for you.

As we already mentioned, baccarat strategies are based on the balance of the shoe, and we have already gone over the exact meaning of the word in this context. Most strategies include betting against the imbalance of the shoe, with the idea that a run cannot last forever, and therefore betting against it is a sure winner. Well, there is no such thing as a sure winner in any game of chance. There are other strategies that take advantage of a large imbalance and, another term we already mentioned, ride the pony. This means that they bet on the trend, which is the rare event that is currently occurring. They bet that it will continue. Some people consider this a poor strategy, however, the same result happening all over again is just as likely as the run ending after three or four hands. After all, the chances are 50-50, right? Well, not exactly.

The point of keeping score and calculating ratios is to have an idea as to whether one thing is more likely to occur than another. For instance, if there have already been plenty of runs in the shoe, it is unlikely that a long one will occur. Not impossible. It is very important to keep that in mind. If there have not been any runs for a fairly large portion of the game, though, it is likely that you will experience one of those rare events. At that point, you need to remember that there is no certainty here, you cannot know how long the run will last, so most strategies would have you stop betting at this point.

Ratios and Basic Strategy

baccarat live goldenThe basic strategy for baccarat is based exactly on betting against the imbalance of the shoe. In order to know when the right moment to use this strategy has come, you need to be aware of the ratios. Of course, this is not a long-term strategy and, in fact, you are expected to quit playing at some point, if you are using it. In order to be more successful at baccarat, you will have to learn to use all strategies at precisely the right moment. That said, let us go back to the basic strategy – ratios will help you figure out when a run is less likely to continue for a long time and when it is a good idea to bet against it. Again, keep in mind that ratios will not give you any definitive answers.

Ratios and Advanced Strategy

Ratios and Advanced StrategyAll advanced strategies for baccarat are meant for high-rollers, however, there are specific times when a low-risk player needs to employ them too. There are ways to spot when a run may potentially last more than the average of two or three hands. Here, however, you need more than ratios because you also need some basic statistical knowledge that pertains to baccarat. For instance, something that will definitely help you out is knowing that you can expect to see two-in-a-row runs lasting nine to eleven times about 47.7% of the time in a single game.

One of the advanced strategies for baccarat includes, once again, betting against the imbalance of the shoe, just like the basic strategy, but with more bets. It is meant for those who can afford to keep the basic strategy going even when rare events occur. This means placing bet, after bet, after bet, while also doubling them, until the run’s end. Ratios help this strategy in a number of ways. For instance, one can use ratios to calculate the probability of the run continuing until the end of the shoe. One key thing to remember while keeping track of runs is that you should never bet against a run past the middle of the shoe.

Other advanced strategies include, as previously mentioned, riding the pony. When you spot a trend that statistically makes sense you can go ahead and keep betting on it. Naturally, that does not mean making bigger bets with each hand that contributes to the run. Instead, once you’ve had a win, take your chips back, and leave the ones you have just won. That way you will either win or leave with all of your money. Every time you walk away with as much money as you came with is a win.

Now, after you have done this for a few hands, you will see that the odds are definitely not in favor of this run continuing. At that point, you can either lower your bet or remove it entirely. Of course, you will find people who simply let their bet ride and see it double, triple, quadruple, and so on, and if you are willing to risk it, or can afford to risk it, go ahead. These things happen. However, it is far more likely that those players, who now have a mountain of chips on the table, will inevitably end up losing every single one of them by making stupid bets.

What any player can take away from this is that you must be prepared for rare events. This applies to all forms of gambling. You also need to remember that just because you keep betting does not mean that you are bound to win. You are not. You are more likely to suffer more losses because of this tactic. When you hit loss after loss, after loss, you lose your edge, your bets start to get illogical and things just get messier. Always keep your head. After a few unsuccessful bets – quit, take a break, just stop, and think about whether you should really keep going.

The same goes for people who decide to ride the pony and end up losing a large sum of money just because they had a gut feeling, although, to be entirely fair, those people are mostly intoxicated rich guests at various casinos. Of course, you can see regular folks make that same mistake too, that is why you need to have a money management strategy figured out. It takes discipline to stick to it and create reasonable targets, even more so, to walk away after you have reached said targets, but you need to.

How to Win by Using Baccarat Ratios

How to Win by Using Baccarat RatiosIf you look over the detailed explanation of ratios and how they work, you will easily be able to tell how exactly they can help you win. You can spot trends easily and immediately recognize the possibilities for the next hand. In a large portion of cases, shoes are more imbalanced and will have a definitive trend like a clean-cut 7:1 for singletons manifest during the play.

However, as we already noted, this is a game of chance and that chance will always be 50-50. At this point, you may question the reliability of ratios, percentages, or trends in baccarat. The point is not that ratios are 100% correct and will definitely predict the next hand correctly. No, the point is that, mathematically, there are a limited number of possibilities and the probability rate is the only thing one can rely on when it comes to gambling.

So, even if the ratio is a ridiculous number like 23:1 for singletons, that does not mean that next up you will have a singleton again, or, if you rely on the opposite logic, that the shoe will strive for balance and the next hands will result in a run. The only thing that ratios tell you is which outcome is more probable. You can experience all sorts of rare events like an entire shoe of singletons or a ton of ties in a row, you name it. But if you use your brains and stick to the logical bets, you will walk away with more wins than losses.


ConclusionRatios are something every baccarat player should keep track of. They are helpful for every strategy and will help you recognize the right time to switch from one strategy to another. There is no universal way to win at baccarat, however, with the help of mathematics, you can learn to play in a manner that maximizes your wins and minimizes your losses. Placing the right bet is a matter of more than strategy or ratios, it depends on a lot of factors that are different for every shoe. Relying only on numbers will not be enough, so you will need a lot of experience before you can bet every single hand in a shoe. And, of course, some good old-fashioned luck.