Baccarat odds explained: Payouts, probabilities & chances of winning
You might have avoided playing baccarat up to now, thinking it must be a complicated game enjoyed only by high rollers. But that’s just a myth. The truth is it’s perhaps one of the simplest casino games of them all, and working out the odds of winning is easy.
The reason why baccarat odds are simplified is that there are only three bets you can make. Compare that to blackjack or the numerous options you have in roulette. In baccarat, you must make your bet before each hand, backing either the Player, the Banker, or a tie.
And that’s all there is to it. The dealer then plays out the Player hand, followed by the Banker hand and keeps the wagers or pays out depending on the result.
If you want to learn how to play baccarat, it’s best to read our basic guide here. But for now, we’ll assume you know the basics and are more interested in the odds.
You might assume that the Banker and Player bets would have an equal chance of winning and, therefore, payout at 1:1. However, in baccarat, the Banker odds of a win is 45.86%, while the Player bet is a 44.62% chance. The unlikely event of a Tie is 9.52%. The slight difference between Banker and Player is that the Banker hand is completed last, a slight advantage just as it is in blackjack.
With that in mind, everyone would always bet on Banker, given a clear difference in the probability. However, to counterbalance the odds, the casino introduces vigorish (or juice). This is a commission charged on the winning Banker bet, and it is usually set at 5%. If you bet $10 on Banker and that hand won, you would make a profit of $9.50 instead of $10.
The margins are wafer-thin, but most baccarat strategies would always suggest you bet on Banker, even though you must pay the commission. It’s just the most logical of bets. But there is not always a logic to casino players, and some folks like to mix it up or follow some strange betting systems.
Baccarat payouts and the house edge
One of the significant attractions of baccarat, aside from not having any serious thinking or hard work, is the payout structure. The game has probably the lowest house edge of any other table game or slot, except for blackjack when being played by an expert player.
The baccarat house edge is quoted at 1.06%, which is tiny. Unskilled or recreational blackjack players face a house edge of around 4%. But this does tumble down to as low as 0.5% for those that follow a solid playing strategy. Following a strategy does require some effort, something baccarat players don’t have to worry about for their handy 1.06% house edge.
What do we mean by house edge? It is the competitive advantage enjoyed by the house, one that guarantees that statistically, at least, it makes a profit so that it can continue serving up entertainment to us, the players. The baccarat casino odds mean that for every $100 you wager, statistically, you will lose $1.06.
In reality, of course, you might win or lose much more over single or several sessions. But over the long term, the baccarat odds of winning don’t lie.
Baccarat side bets
In a live or online casino, you may find side bets offered at the baccarat tables. On the one hand, you might think this is a nice way to spice up the action a little since betting on only three main options might get tiresome. On the other hand, you would be right in assuming this is another way for the casino to make a little extra cash.
Just like in blackjack, you are not recommended to play side bets because they will eat into your profit. But if you wish to give them a go, you will likely see these options when playing with a standard shoe containing eight decks:
- Player Pair 11:1
- Banker Pair 11:1
- Perfect Pair 25:1
- Either Pair 5:1
Some casinos offer side bets in the Player or Banker cards being all red (22:1) or all black (24:1), although there is no logical reason for black's higher odds.
Try baccarat today
The best way to learn more about baccarat odds and baccarat probabilities is to play the game for yourself. Happily, you can do so for free at BetAmerica Casino. Play any slot or table game with play money while you learn the ropes. When you are ready to play for real money, make your first deposit, collect your welcome bonus, and see if you can make a profit.