The allure of baccarat

Mar 22, 2004 11:41 PM

Sports? Poker? 21? Horses? Craps? Ever hear of bettors of the above come to town and blow $8 million in 20 minutes? No way! The preferred game of the ultra-rich is baccarat!

For years baccarat had limited acceptance. The audience was limited. This was due to the intimidating nature, the higher stakes, and availability of the game in casinos. Chronically, the house percentage under random circumstances is only 1.17 percent on the Banker side, and 1.36 percent for the Player side. With the exception of blackjack (at times), and the illusive "Free Odds" feature on the Do and Don’t lines of craps, the baccarat game has the lowest house percentage.

A "mini"-baccarat game developed for the little guy in a seven-seat, blackjack type layout. Many casinos offer this game, but its popularity is limited, probably because the average player doesn’t understand the game.

The game itself is one of the simplest games played in the casino. The player can be one of two sides: Banker or Player. His only concern is selecting a side and money management. Most apply some type of a system here, and keep track of the action from an eight-deck shoe. If anyone has found some type of card-counting technique it must be a well kept secret.

Years ago, I got wind of a method that tracked 5’s and 6’s, but after a few million computer simulations, it proved non-effective in the long run, using several manipulation schemes. So, it’s back to the drawing board!

Nevertheless, it’s the big, 12-seat table ensconced in luxurious surroundings that attract the super high rollers.