Online Baccarat Strategy Guide

INTRODUCTION:

Though its origins are disputed, there is no question that Baccarat is both one of the longest-extant as well as most popular games in Land Casinos as well as online. Favored by Asians, it is not unusual to find the game in most larger and medium-sized Land Casinos in the United States and abroad. Furthermore, Baccarat is also offered at the vast majority of online casinos that have an assortment of table games.

It’s not really accurate to say that Baccarat is a deceptively simple game, because it is, in fact, quite a simple game. More accurately, people often deceive themselves into thinking that the game is anything but simple coming up with complicated and convoluted strategies in an attempt to mitigate the house edge.

If you’re going to take nothing else away from this, then understand this: You cannot combine negative numbers and get a positive number as a result. If you multiply your bet by the house edge, then you get an expected loss (negative number) so when you add more bets to your initial bet, you get a greater expected loss.

baccaratplay

METHOD OF PLAY-DEALER:

Aside from any side bets, the base game of Baccarat is quite simple to play and requires no actual decision making on the part of the player, with exception of what to bet. Aside from side bets, there are three bets the player can make:

Banker: Bet that the final total for Banker will be greater than Player. Pushes on a tie.

Player: Bet that the final total for Player will be greater than Banker. Pushes on a tie.

Tie: Bet that Banker/Player will tie, loses otherwise.

Some casinos (perhaps online, too) will offer a player the option to, “Bank.” That has nothing to do with actually betting on Banker, it simply means that the player gets to act as the house and can put his/her money up against that of the other players. Many people choose not to bank because they are then faced against the action of the entire table, which may be more than they want to risk. Further, California card rooms will require that a player banks, (because all players pay a per hand fee) but there are usually conglomerates termed, “Corporations,” that handle all of the banking of the game.

Here is how the winner of a bet is determined:

1.) Cards are scored as: Aces = 1, 2-9 = Card Value, 10’s + Faces = 0 Points

2.) The highest score is the winning side, excepting ties.

3.) Both sides start with two initial cards, the value of the score after those two cards shall be the value of the hand for that side UNLESS the value is more than ten. If the total is more than ten, then subtract ten from the total, so 6+8 =14 would score as four.

4.) If either the Player or Banker have a total of eight or nine points, then both hands shall stand as one (or both) has a natural. The game ends and bets resolved.

5.) If the player total is 0-5 with no Banker natural, then the Player side will draw one more card.

6.) If the Player has six or seven points, then the Banker will draw on a total of 0-5 points.

7.) If the Player takes a third card, then the Banker will draw a third card under the following conditions:

Banker Score 0-2: ALWAYS DRAWS

Banker Score 3: Will draw UNLESS Player draws an eight.

Banker Score 4: Will draw IF Player draws a 2-7, otherwise stand.

Banker Score 5:Will draw if Player draws 4-7, otherwise stand.

Banker Score 6: Will draw if Player draws 6-7, otherwise stand.

Banker Score 7: ALWAYS STANDS

8.) The higher score wins and Banker/Player bets all Push in the event of a tie.

9.) The tie wins if there is a tie and always loses otherwise.

10.) Pairs (Side Bets) Banker Pair wins if the first two cards of the Banker’s hand are the same rank and it is the same for the Player’s cards on a Player Pair bet.

11.) Winning bets generally pay as follows:

Player: Even Money

Banker: Even Money, less 5% commission on any amount won.

Tie: Generally Pays 8:1, which is called 9-FOR-1. If you actually see a table that pays 9:1 (9-To-1) that is an improvement, but still a steeper house edge than Banker/Player.

Pair Bets: 10:1

NOTES:

The 5% Commission on a winning Banker bet comes as a result of the fact that Banker is simply more likely to win than Player. The reason why is because the drawing rules give the Banker a greater probability of winning a given hand.

DEALER PROCEDURE:

A new shoe will generally consist of eight decks and will begin with a dealer exposing the top card of the deck and then removing that number of cards from the shoe. If the top card is a ten or face, the dealer shall remove ten cards.

The cut card is placed sixteen cards from the bottom of the shoe. When that card is reached, the current hand will be finished and one more hand will be played. If the cut card comes out on what would otherwise be the first card in play of a hand, then that will be the final hand.

The dealer will keep track of any Banker commissions owed using markers and then collect any commissions due at the end of a shoe.

When playing an online game, the number of decks may vary. Furthermore, on Video Baccarat online, it is often the case that the whole shoe is reshuffled after every hand.

HOUSE EDGE ON EIGHT-DECK BACCARAT:

Here are the house edges of the available bets based on eight decks:

Banker: 1.0579% (98.9421% RTP)

Player: 1.2351% (98.7649% RTP)

Tie: 14.3596% (85.6404% RTP---8:1) OR 4.844% (95.156% RTP---9:1) OR 9.6108% (90.3982% RTP---8.5:1)

Pairs: 10.3614% (89.6386% RTP)

(ODDS for Different Numbers of Decks Available at WizardofOdds.com)

NOTES ON HOUSE EDGE:

The first thing that you will notice is that Banker has a lower house edge than Player, but for those really committed to the game, it is worth mentioning that such is not always the case due to effect-of-removal. From a practical standpoint, if one count count cards computer-perfectly, the advantages that would be found in Baccarat would be hardly worth the time. However, if you did want to learn some basic EoR’s, you could actually identify situations in which Player is a better bet than Banker with some frequency, particularly towards the end of a shoe.

Although, when you see players taking their copious notes (and they do) at the Baccarat table, that is probably not what they are doing.

The Tie Bet can often be more liberal in certain Land Casinos than others, but it will always be a greater House Edge (lower RTP) than the Player and Banker bets. The Tie is countable only in theory, one would have to be nearly perfect AND the opportunities that would present themselves, with great rarity, would not be worth the time cost from a practical standpoint.

The Tie Bet can sometimes be advantageous if Baccarat is allowed to be played in conjunction with an Online Casino Bonus, despite the greater House Edge, but more on that later.

The practice Baccarat game here:

Actually recalculates the House Edge after every hand based on the remaining cards, so if you would like to play around and try to figure out a way (without a computer) to account for effect-of-removal, that is at least a fun and free way to do it.

DO NOT PLAY GARBAGE SYSTEMS:

If you want to employ betting systems for fun, and understand that there is no way that they can help you beat the casino in the long run, then more power to you, good luck and have a blast! However, do not delude yourself into thinking that waiting for certain results, or varying your bets eliminates the House Edge, it doesn’t even dent it.

One of the more common, ‘Methods,’ of play when it comes to Baccarat is not exactly a betting system, per se, but has more to do with deciding when to bet one side or another. What will happen is that players take copious notes of the results of previous hands and attempt to use them to predict what the next result will be.

In these cases, players will set certain parameters for what and when to bet, effectively incorporating systems with, ‘Methods,’ in many cases. One example is that some individuals believe that Player will not come up on four consecutive completed hands. In this case, they may adjust their betting by way of a Martingale (or similar) system to attempt to come out ahead provided four consecutive, ‘Player,’ decisions DO NOT happen, or they may sometimes opt only to bet after three consecutive Player decisions HAVE happened, figuring that there will not be a fourth.

In the case of the method/system about, someone playing the latter way who loses due to a fourth consecutive Player decision may choose to bet against the fifth, or alternatively, to wait for another occurrence of three consecutive Player decisions in order to bet against a fourth. When a player waits for another occurrence of three Player decisions, he/she will often elect to bet a greater amount than the previous occurrence in order to make up for money lost and turn a profit.

The best strategy for Baccarat is not to play at all as it is a game with a House Edge working against the player on almost all hands. However, these sort of systems are enjoyable for many people and are (technically) better for minimizing overall expected loss than would be playing every single hand. That is true only because every hand played has a House Edge working against the player, of course.

The fact of the matter is, the way records are kept, these results-only records are often not conducive to anything. Just for fun and to provide an example, I took a look at four shoes of Baccarat on the Wizard of Odds Play for Fun game above to see what effect-of-removal could do to the House Edge.

The reason why is because the House Edge of Baccarat is variable and is determined by effect-of-removal. However, for any counting mechanism to work it would have to be nearly computer-perfect, but could theoretically be employed on a Live Dealer game provided a shoe (rather than continuous shuffler) is used and the results put into a program. Even then, opportunities to bet at an advantage will be few and far between, though.

The first shoe that I played resulted in the following reduced House Edges for Banker:

X < .8% = Many Hands

X < .75% = Eight Hands

X < .7% = Four Hands

X < .6% = Two Hands

Banker never fell below 0.6% House Edge at any point, Player never fell below 1%, and Tie was not meaningfully reduced at any point. However, on the last hand of that shoe, Tie had a House Edge of OVER 45%!!!

On the second shoe, Banker never fell below 0.75% at any point, though it did stay under 1% for the majority of the shoe. On the final hand, Player came in at 0.2399% and was under 1% for one other hand prior to that. Also on the final hand, Tie had a PLAYER ADVANTAGE of 1.0635%, which is quite rare.

Again, the effect of removal is greater the closer that an individual gets to the end of a shoe, but it is extremely difficult to count Baccarat and adjust for House Edge without computer aid, if not impossible.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the third shoe was that both Player and Banker had a House Edge greater than the base House Edge for Banker for well over half of the shoe due to the effect-of-removal. In the meantime, Banker never fell below 0.8% House Edge, though Player was under 1% House Edge for six hands falling as low as 0.3558% on the second-to-last hand, though it went back up to 0.94% for the final hand. Tie was greater than 36% House Edge on the final hand.

For the final shoe, I decided to track the House Edges specifically for Banker and Player as of 109 cards away from the cut card just so that everyone can get an idea of how wildly the House Edge can fluctuate towards the end of a shoe. In this shoe, Banker was at less than 0.8% House Edge for nine hands and below 0.7% once. Player was below 1% for seven hands (including one at an advantage), below .75% for two hands (including one at an advantage) and was at an advantage for the final hand.

Please enjoy the table of the last several hands below:

Distance from Cut Card Banker House Edge Player House Edge
109 0.7185% 1.5797%
104 0.7643% 1.5357%
98 0.7463% 1.5556%
93 0.7082% 1.5942%
87 0.7947% 1.5057%
81 0.7807% 1.5202%
77 0.7870% 1.5137%
72 0.7359% 1.5680%
68 0.6910% 1.6123%

 

 

 

Distance from Cut Card Banker House Edge Player House Edge
62 0.8273% 1.4739%
56 0.9904% 1.3099%
52 0.9283% 1.3709%
48 1.0412% 1.2576%
42 0.9888% 1.3069%
37 1.1735% 1.1246%
33 1.1624% 1.1328%
28 1.1680% 1.1259%
24 1.3546% 0.9396%

 

Distance from Cut Card Banker House Edge Player House Edge
19 1.5367% 0.7587%
15 1.5789% 0.7052%
11 1.3754% 0.9183%
7 1.4050% 0.8890%
3 1.4886% 0.7954%
LAST HAND 2.8004% -0.5291% Adv.

 

Interestingly, we note that the fluctuations are extreme as we approach the end of a shoe. In this case, we saw Banker almost double in running House Edge between the next to last and last shoe while the House Edge on Player was reduced such that the result was an advantage of over one-half of one percent!

In the case of the last hand, there were four cards that were either sevens or eights removed during that hand, which is really bad for Banker, and obviously, very good for Player. Since the actual specifics of card counting Baccarat are beyond the intended purview of this work, I will instead opt to link you to a page on the Wizard of Odds pertaining to same:

Most notably on that page, we see the probability of a given hand passing the break-even point to a Player Advantage given different levels of deck penetration. Effectively, Banker will be at an advantage on roughly 1 in 7,634 of all hands at 90% penetration. Player will be at an advantage on roughly 1 in 41,667 of all hands and Tie will be at an advantage on roughly 1 in 500,000 of all hands at that same penetration of 90%.

The next interesting chart finds that, even at 98% penetration for an eight deck shoe, a player betting $1,000 every time an advantage is to be had will only expect to win $2.94 per 100 bets made. If that sounds like a lot, remember that the player will only be betting once every 475 hands, or so.

Finally, it is important to note the extreme complexity of not only keeping the count, (or a simplified and less effective version thereof) but also of converting the, “Running count,” to a, “True Count,” which you can also read about on the above-linked page.

Other Means:

Card counting is not the only means by which Baccarat is theoretically a beatable game, in fact, it is probably the least effective means by which it can theoretically be beaten. A couple of the most effective known means of beating the game are taking advantage of Loss Rebates, and then Edge Sorting (often legal) and Card Marking (illegal usually, if not always) are also effective means of beating the game.

Those means generally take place in Live Casinos and are not really the purview of this page, so I invite any of you interested to go ahead and search for more information. If you like, I will be happy to write about them at a different time.

Again, card counting could be a viable means if starting with only one deck for the game, but that (and speed of play) is why several decks are dealt from a shoe. Even if you found a single deck electronic game, it is because the deck is shuffled after every hand.

Means of Beating Baccarat Online:

The only reliable means of having a positive expectation of beating Baccarat online, unless a Live Casino cuts deeply enough and is willing to tolerate you NOT BETTING on a substantial majority of hands, has been by way of promotions, cash back, or other niceties.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of online casinos DO NOT permit play on Baccarat due largely to the possibility of, “Opposite betting,” which is when the individual bets BOTH Player and Banker knowing that he/she will eat the commission on Banker, but the bonus is such that the individual still expects to come out ahead. The majority of online casinos that do allow Baccarat play on a bonus (and many don’t) will either have a Term/Condition that prevents an individual from opposite betting, stated either directly or indirectly, or will outright prevent the player from making such a bet via the software.

As most of you will know, Baccarat is not the only game through which opposite betting was regularly employed at one time, with other examples being Roulette and Craps, but there was very little Variance with Baccarat which allowed playthrough to be completed quickly.

For example, let’s say you wanted to do a $100 Doey-Don’t on Craps on each side. This would mean that you would be betting $100 on the Pass Line and $100 on the Don’t Pass side. If your bankroll (including Bonus Funds) is only $800, then a roll of 12 on the Come Out would result in a loss of $100 for you. You might complete the playthrough requirements quickly, but even if the bonus put you at a substantial advantage, (and most don’t do that anymore) then an inordinate number of 12’s on the Come Out roll could end you.

There is no such risk with Baccarat as a Push results in no money changing hands at all. Furthermore, if the individual bets $100 on Banker and $100 on Player, then the most that individual can lose is $5 (the commission on the win) if the result is Banker. In other words, this gives an individual the ability (if allowed) to blow through playthrough requirements ridiculously fast and with little possibility of incurring an actual loss.

The probability of Banker winning is 45.8597% on an eight-deck shoe. That’s going to be an important number for what we are about to do.

Let’s say that a casino offered a 100% deposit match bonus with an effective 200x playthrough requirement: The player can deposit $500 and get a $500 bonus all cashable upon completion of playthrough.

In this case, the player would have a total bankroll of $1,000 and would have to complete $200,000 in playthrough requirements. Simply put, if the player could bet $500 ($250 Banker, $250 Player) every hand, only 45.8597% of hands would even matter to the player in terms of a result because everything else would be break even by design.

The player would lose $12.50 (5% commission on win) every time Banker game up, and in 200,000/500 = 400 total hands Banker would be expected to come up 400 * .458597 = 183.44, so call it 184 times. In this case, the player would expect to lose a total of about $2,300, which is clearly more than the Deposit + Bonus amount and yields an expected loss of everything.

The only variable here is the playthrough requirement expressed as a percentage of bankroll. The player could make the starting bet larger or smaller and the result will be exactly the same. For instance:

Bet: $10 each side

Commission: 5% on Banker Wins

Total Bet: $20

Hands Played: 200000/20 = 10,000

Number Banker: 10000 * .458597 = 4,585.97 (call it 4,586)

Commission Amount: $0.50/Banker Win

Total Commissions: 4,586 * .5 = $2,293

As you can see, the difference is a simple rounding error due to the bet amounts used and there is no meaningful difference when it comes to the expected loss on the total playthrough.

What we can ask ourselves is this: What would the break even playthrough amount be based on a bankroll of $1,000? That is actually pretty easy to figure out, we just have to do everything in reverse.

We are starting with our final number, expected loss, which needs to be $1,000. We have to pick an arbitrary total amount to bet per hand, so let’s call it $10 on Banker and $10 on Player for a total of $20. We know that Banker will lose $0.50 every time it comes up and it comes up 45.8597% of the time. Therefore, on average, we lose .458597 * .5 = $0.2292985 per hand.

We will now divide the 1000 by the .2292985 to get the total number of hands played that would result in a $1,000 loss:

1000/.2292985 = 4,361.12752591

In this case, it is prudent to always round up, so we are going to call it 4,362 hands. We are betting $20 total per hand, so that means that we will bet a total of 4362 * 20 = $87,240 on all hands.

That 87,240/1000 = 87.24, which means that a playthrough requirement greater than that yields an expected loss of $1,000 and a playthrough amount lesser than that yields an expected loss of less than $1,000. Half of that playthrough requirement would be the break even (finish with $500) point, so call it 43.5x playthrough.

Here is where things get really interesting, let’s look again at the House Edge of each bet:

Banker: 1.0579%

Player: 1.2351%

We are betting $10 each way, so our combined House Edge is:

(1.0579+1.2351)/2 = 1.1465%

Our expected loss, per $20 bet, is 20 * .011465 = 0.2293 or $0.2293

Again, this is a rounding error compared to our banker commission paid on wins from earlier. When we play 4,362 hands, we expect to lose about .2293 * 4362 = $1,000.2066.

If we play half of that, 4362/2 = 2181, then we expect to lose .2293 * 2181 = $500.1033, so that is roughly our break even point. 2,181 hands at $20 per hand is $43620 in total bets for 43.62x playthrough requirement.

The lesson here is that betting both ways only changes a player’s expectation to the extent that it makes a player’s expectation WORSE because Player has a greater House Edge than Banker and the player is betting equally on both. However, what it does accomplish is reducing Variance to almost nothing (especially on many very small bets) because a player can only lose 2.5% of the total amount bet at any given time, by having a winning Banker and paying commission on win. Everything else is effectively a Push.

One would think that a casino would encourage this sort of behavior and just make the playthrough amounts insanely high, but there are a few reasons why they don’t:

1.) It does give the player the ability to try to, “Lock up,” a result after using short-term Variance. For example, a player could make a large bet with the entire bankroll on Tie, (or on Roulette) in some cases, and the overall result is that the player will enjoy an advantage because he was able to multiply the free money.

Now, you might want to know how that works, and I will explain it for you:

The first thing that happens is that a Tie pays 8-TO-1, and has a 9.5156% probability. Let’s go with our formerly break even 87.24x playthrough requirement and see what happens. Remember, the player ONLY loses $500 in actual money by not hitting the Tie Bet.

The first thing we need to do is understand that a player’s total bankroll, if the Tie Bet hits, will be $9,000 as the Tie Bet pays 8-TO-1 or 9-FOR-1. From that bankroll, we know that the player will need to playthrough $86,240 (already played $1,000) to complete the playthrough requirements. We also know that the player loses $0.2293 of every $20 bet, so:

86240/20 = 4,312 * .2293 = $988.7416, call it $988.75.

What that means is that the player who wins on the initial Tie bet will expect to finish with 9000-988.75 = $8,011.25 for an expected actual profit of $7,511.25. The player will incur an actual loss of $500 if the initial Tie Bet loses. Now, using the probabilities of winning or losing that initial Tie Bet, let’s see what happens:

(.095156 * 7511.25) - (500 * .904844) = $262.318505, call it $262.32

In other words, a player playing this way takes what would have been a losing proposition of -$1,000 (bankroll) and -$500 actual money (based on playthrough) right off the top playing both ways, but found a way to turn it into an advantage using the short-term Variance of the Tie Bet.

It is also a simple matter to determine what amount the player could be expected to profit using the Tie Bet in such a manner (once) that would result in a break even.

(.095156 * x) - (500 * .904844) = 0

X = 4754.529404

In other words, the player could only expect to profit $4,754.53 on a successful attempt for the overall proposition to be break even, so what sort of playthrough is that?

Again, this is relatively simple to figure out. The result of a total bankroll of $9,000 is going to be the same for a successful tie bet no matter what and an unsuccessful one ALWAYS loses $500 in actual cash. For that reason, we just need to know what sort of playthrough will result in a total bankroll of $5,254.53 (the player’s initial $500 is NOT profit) after the playthrough is completed.

That means that the player will have to lose an expected 9,000-5254.53 = $3,745.47 on the remaining playthrough given that $1,000 has already been played through on the initial tie bet.

Again, for every $20 bet, we know that about $0.2293 is lost, so the total number of $20 bets that would need to be made to result in $3,745.47 in losses is:

3745.47/.2293 = 16,334.3654601

The result is a total of (16334.3654601 * 20) + 1000 = $327,687.309202 in total bets.

That factors in that 1,000 has already been played through via the Tie Bet, so the result is playthrough requirements of 327.687309202 being the break even point using the tie bet in this way.

That means that any Baccarat Bonus played this way assuming a 100% Bonus on deposit (where all winnings pay and nothing is deducted prior to withdrawal) with total playthrough requirements of 327.687309202x, or less, will either be break even or at an advantage. Any requirements greater than that shall result in a disadvantage under these same parameters. For proof, let’s use 328x playthrough:

Amount to Playthrough after Tie Bet: $327,000

Loss per $20 bet: $0.2293

Number of Hands: 327000/20 = 16350

Total Loss: 16350 * .2293 = $3,749.055 (Call it $3,749.06)

Remaining Bankroll: 9000 - 3749.06 = $5,250.94

Profit: $4,750.94

(4750.94 * .095156) - (500 * .904844) = -0.34155336

As you can see, the expected loss is less than one dollar, but as the playthrough increases, so will the expected loss.

If you were able to follow all of that, it is essentially a lesson not just on how you can use the short-term Variance of a large Tie Bet on Baccarat to your advantage, but it also teaches you the concept of how you could use this to your advantage when using, “Free Money,” on other similar bets.

Why It Doesn’t Always Work:

There are a number of reasons that this Tie Bet and then grinding playthrough method will not work, and the majority of them are related to the Terms & Conditions at various online casinos. Most of these have already been explained throughout this page in some amount of detail, so this will be a simple list:

1.) Some casinos do not allow Baccarat on a bonus.

2.) The actual amount of the bonus is sometimes deducted from a player’s winnings prior to cash out. Granted, this does not make an expected profit via this method impossible, but it does change the calculations. It is necessary for a player to understand the expected loss on the total playthrough and to realize the difference between bankroll and actual profit.

3.) The playthrough requirements may simply be too high.

4.) Some casinos do not allow bets over a certain amount (often very low) when playing on Bonus funds. Additionally, different casinos have different Max bets depending on the game in question. Taking advantage of the variance of being able to bet $1,000 is obviously impossible if you can only bet $100 per hand.

5.) Almost all casinos will not let you do a Player/Banker offset, but that’s fine. In terms of expected results, you’re better off just to bet Banker, anyway, though the variance is greater.*

*Actually, if the amount of playthrough is the same and Odds bets count towards playthrough, then the player is better off to switch to Craps. The effective House Edge is lower on the total amount bet. (i.e. played through)

6.) Some casinos will not allow a player to bet in an extreme range. For instance, they might say that a player may not have a maximum bet while on a bonus that exceeds 5x what that player’s minimum bet was. Technically, that does not change the overall expectation, but a player’s variance will be much greater if he/she must bet $200 per hand (having bet $1,000 on the tie) rather than $20.

7.) Some casinos have general provisions against advantage play or, “Structured betting,” and this may fall in that general purview. The casino essentially reserves the right to define those terms on a case-by-case basis.

There are other possible Terms & Conditions that would prevent this from working, but the major ones are above.

Current Bonuses:

Here are a few of the current bonuses available at Wizard of Odds:

Liberty Slots Casino:

Liberty Slots Casino is a Wizard of Odds APPROVED casino, which means that if you sign up through the WoO link and make a deposit, you will be protected by Wizard’s advertising guarantee. What that means is, if you have a dispute with the casino that you cannot resolve, the Wizard himself will act as an intermediary between yourself and the casino in an effort to come up with a solution agreeable to both parties.

The only thing that the Wizard asks is that you attempt to resolve things with the casino yourself first, and only invoke the guarantee if nothing else has worked.

Liberty Slots also scores an impressive 4.2/5 across our family of websites including a 4.7 on WoO and a 4.4 on this site, as of the time of this writing. Players like the daily freeroll tournaments, but sometimes feel as though the Wagering Requirements on bonuses can sometimes be too high. Other than that, just about everything else said has been favorable.

Liberty Slots is currently offering a 100% Match Bonus, up to $777 (total value) by way of 100% bonuses up to $259 each on the first three deposits.

The Liberty Slots bonus is subject to wagering requirements of 20x the Deposit + Bonus with Baccarat counting as 10%, which effectively means that the wagering requirements are 200x Deposit + Bonus. $518 * 200 = $103,600, so that is the total that needs to be bet to complete the wagering requirements.

The first thing that we know from the Bonus Terms is that we are not going to be able to use a high variance attack on the Tie Bet and then grind out the playthrough requirements because the maximum bet on the bonus is $10:

The maximum individual wager permitted using any portion of bonus funds is $10. Players placing wagers using any portion of bonus funds in excess of this maximum will forfeit any winnings earned from said wagers.

That being the case, we would have to be able to beat the game straight up for this bonus to be profitable. Banker has a House Edge of 1.0579%, thus we expect to lose .010579 * 103600 = $1,095.9844, which is well over the Bonus + Deposit. The promotion cannot be beaten this way.

Interestingly enough, the promotion is technically beatable, though.

Liberty Slots will give you the Bonus on a deposit as little as $5, which would make your total bankroll $10. The total playthrough requirement on that would be $2,000. If you were to bet all $10 on the Tie Bet and it won, your new bankroll would be $90 and you will have already completed $10 of playthrough.

The remaining $1,990 has an expected loss of 1990 * .01579 = $31.4221, which means that the player would finish with a bankroll of $58.5779 and a profit of $53.5779. If we look at the probability of winning the Tie Bet (and expected profit) against losing, then here is what we get:

(53.5779 * .095156) - (5 * .904844) = $0.5740386524

The expected profit is about $0.57 and the advantage, given an initial deposit of $5, is about 11.480773%.

Again, this is not any real sum of money to speak of, but since there is technically an advantage to be had, it must be mentioned. Other deposit amounts (very low) may also have an advantage, but this method is the only one enabling the player to bet the entire initial bankroll at once, and therefore, is the maximum possible advantage available.

Unfortunately, there is a problem with even this method. The problem is that while they will accept deposits of as little as $5, they have minimum withdrawal terms of $150. Therefore, even if you win the initial Tie Bet and run at expectation the rest of the way, you will have insufficient funds to cash out and will have to play them on something else to try to get to $150.

The only good news is that this Bonus may be claimed multiple times and it appears that they will grant the bonus on a new deposit even if the player has a cash balance as long as the player has completed the playthrough from the previous bonus. The bad news is that the player is expected to need to win on this Tie Bet all three times before being able to cash out.

Ultimately, the Bonus is not really worth anything, but it gives you more to play with if you are looking to play for fun. It is important to keep in mind that on sizable deposits you are almost guaranteed to lose on Baccarat (betting Player or Banker) because of the tremendous Wagering Requirements and the ability to only bet $10 at a time while on bonus playthrough.

Ignition Casino:

Currently, Ignition Casino is offering a bonus of 100% up to $1,000 on a player’s first deposit. Before we get into a full breakdown, let’s look at some Terms & Conditions to see if this can be played profitably:

-The deposit plus bonus amount is subject to a 25X playthrough requirement before the deposit, bonus amount and any winnings can be withdrawn.

The Baccarat contributes 5% to the playthrough, whereas Video Poker contributes 10% and some other Tables Games contribute 20%, so right off the bat, I can tell you that Baccarat is not the best choice for this promotion. Video Poker would 100% be better for playing this promotion straight up.

If you deposit $1,000, then you will have a total bankroll of $2,000, which multiplied by 25x is $50,000. Because Baccarat only contributes 5% to the WR’s, the total amount that would have to be played through on Baccarat is $1,000,000. Yes, ONE MILLION DOLLARS in wagers.

Here’s another fun Bonus Term:

-Bonus programs are intended for recreational players only. Professional players or players considered, in our sole discretion, to be abusing the bonus system by any means may have bonuses revoked and be subject to further sanctions. Bonus abuse may be defined as (but not restricted to) clients cashing out for the purpose of re-depositing, depositing on top of an existing balance, clients making use of promotional offers without ever using their own funds, clients increasing their balance and then changing their gaming pattern significantly (bet, game type, bet structure or other pattern of betting) to complete any wagering requirements of any Bonus, or creating new Accounts that they are using themselves.

What this means is that if they deem you a, “Professional player,” they can take any number of actions against you. You will also notice the provision against increasing or decreasing your bets and then changing your, “Gambling pattern.” In other words, the entire method I would use to try to achieve a huge balance and then grind out playthrough doesn’t work.

The bottom line is that we cannot vary our betting amounts vary significantly, and to play it REALLY safe, I would suggest not doing it at all.

While Ignition does have a minimum deposit of $20, they have a minimum withdrawal amount of $100, so I am going to base this on taking a $20 bonus because, if they can’t handle a maximum wager (Tie) that is 8x the minimum bet that we would make ($5) then, they really just shouldn’t offer bonuses anymore.

If we deposit $20 and get a $20 bonus, our total bankroll increases to $40 which would have a WR of $20,000. Once again, this is only something to be considered if you enjoy Baccarat anyway, because the best way to do it would be to maybe make a Tie bet on Baccarat, or a single number on Roulette, and switch to Video Poker if that is successful.

If you make the $40 bet on Tie and it wins, you’re effectively going to be paid 9-FOR-1, which will improve your bankroll to $360. You will have also completed $40 in WR and will have $19,960 remaining.

At a house edge of 1.0579%, you would have an expected loss of 19960 * .010579 = $211.16 by way of completing the WR, which would leave a total bankroll of $148.84. That would be a total profit of $128.84.

(128.84 * .095156) - (20 * .904844) = -5.83698096

As you can see, we still arrive at an expected loss mainly owing to the effective playthrough requirements of 500x. Even if we would be able to do this on the maximum bonus with a single $2,000 bet on Tie, and it won, the player would still not be expected to profit due to the high playthrough requirements.

Vegas Crest Casino:

Once again, before we get into all of the particulars of this casino, the first question that we want to answer is whether or not the Terms themselves prevent us from having a profitable expectation.

The first Bonus is a 200% bonus on a deposit of up to $1,000, which would yield a total bankroll of $3,000. The WR is 30x on any slot games, with Baccarat contributing 10%, meaning that Baccarat effectively has a playthrough requirement of 300x. That would be $900,000 based on the total maximum amount of the deposit + bonus.

Again, here is a blanket provision that somewhat concerns me:

-All Bonuses and Free Spin Offers are awarded for entertainment only and are intended for recreational players. Vegas Crest Casino reserves the right to revoke bonuses and Free Spins, withhold any withdrawals and/or void any unfair winnings of players deemed in our sole discretion to be abusing or exploiting our bonus and Free Spin offers or who take part in any fraudulent behaviour.

If they decide who is or is not playing recreationally, then it concerns me that they could theoretically void the winnings from anyone who figures out how to beat the promotion on the basis of them winning in an, “Unfair,” way. If they can do that, then essentially everything you deposit gives them a chance to free roll you on the deposit amounts.

The real problem is that a player is limited to a maximum wager of $5 while on a bonus:

-A maximum of $5.00 or 10% (whichever is lower) of any bonus type or any winnings derived from bonuses or free spins may be wagered at a time, per game round, spin or hand. Any breach of this or any other Bonus Terms may lead to bonus and winnings being voided, bonus privileges revoked and/or account closure.

900000 * .010579 = $9,521.10

This bonus is not even remotely close to beatable straight up, not on Baccarat, anyway.

The minimum deposit is $10, which would make the total bankroll $30 and would yield $9,000 in WR. The expected loss on the Banker playthrough would be $95.21, so even if you could make the $5 Tie Bet with impunity, it wouldn’t matter because it wouldn’t improve your bankroll enough to cover your expected loss on the WR.

This is another example of a bonus in which, if you really want to play Baccarat there, you would be doing much better to do it straight up and refuse a bonus.

WizBet:

WizBet is currently offering a 200% deposit match bonus (up to $400) on a player’s first deposit which would result in a deposit of $200 and a bankroll of $600. Unfortunately, the Terms are going to make this really quick:

-7.9 Any form of cheating, suspicious or pattern behaviour will result in winnings being forfeited and your relevant deposits being refunded back to you.

-Any attempt to circumvent the casino bonus system by benefiting off playing with cash and then trying to attempt to win off a bonus not forming part of deposit balance ( or vice versa) is considered deliberate cheating and winnings will be forfeited as well as any deposit returned to the client regardless of the money being won from the cash or bonus.

Basically, you’re free rolling them on your losses. The second rule, at least the way I read it, essentially makes winning against the rules. I would not advise playing a bonus with any rule like that, because I have no idea what constitutes a violation of the rules. It basically sounds like, if you never fall below the amount that you deposited, you could be accused of having violated that rule.

And, finally:

-8.4.1.1. Table and Video Poker Game Restrictions: New players are restricted from using match offers on their first 3 deposits at any of the casino’s video poker and table games. The casino reserves the right to void any withdrawal made if a new player is found in contravention of this rule. New players are welcome to use their first three deposit match bonuses on Slots, Keno or Scratch Card games.

Despite what the rest of the website says, it’s not even a Table Game Bonus because you cannot play Table Games on one of your first three deposits.

ALWAYS read the Terms and Conditions.

CONCLUSION:

When it comes to playing the primary game of Baccarat online, the advice is simple: Bet Banker. While the House Edge might change on a live game, unless you use some sort of calculator that works instantly, Banker will remain the best bet the majority of the time throughout a shoe.

If playing a Live Dealer Baccarat game online, if you can slap in the deck composition quickly enough, we do offer such a tool:

Remember, if they decide that is what you are doing, then it might violate a certain casino’s Terms & Conditions as you are playing in a computer-aided way. Furthermore, depending on how deeply the game is (or isn’t) dealt, you’re not going to get too many hands where you even enjoy an advantage...so get ready for a lot of waiting.

If you are playing one of the Baccarat games that are not Live, then those decks are going to be reshuffled after every hand, therefore, Banker is the only reasonable bet to make.

In terms of Bonuses, the Terms & Conditions as well as Bonus Terms and Conditions have made it such that Baccarat is essentially unbeatable at most casinos if you are using a Bonus. We did find that Liberty Slots Casino would theoretically (and, technically) offer a profit expectation of $0.57 on a $5 deposit, except you wouldn’t finish with enough money to cash out (expectation) if you only did it once! Again, that Bonus is essentially unbeatable.

If you really enjoy the game of Baccarat or suspect that a Baccarat bonus could be beatable, (in general, look for low playthrough requirements) then hopefully you have learned the mathematical concepts necessary to determine whether a Bonus could be profitable or not.

Unfortunately, many bonuses are not even really bonuses anymore, and in the majority of cases, a player is better off to simply leave the bonuses alone and play just on deposit money. Sometimes, bonuses set the wagering requirements so high and the maximum bet allowed so low (like Vegas Crest) that it is basically impossible to profit if you take the full bonus.

Sadly, casinos have went so far the other way to make sure that the very small minority of players who do play properly do not beat them that they have impacted negative expectation players in an unfair way. For instance, you SHOULD NOT be better off to deposit a smaller amount on a bonus rather than a larger amount, but that is often the case. As we saw with Liberty Slots, the bonus is technically beatable on a $5 deposit, but you would get crushed on a large deposit pretty frequently.

Just make sure to pay attention to those Terms & Conditions, whatever you do.

Latest Casino Bonuses profile image Latest Casino Bonuses LCB Reviewer - last updated 2022-07-19
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