Bet Aggressively At The Baccarat Table

Dec 7, 2004 12:00 AM

By Byron F. Hebert

I often speak about the idea of progressive wagering during winning streaks. In baccarat, that means exploiting the frequent opportunities presented during a typical game (remember, there are four opportunity categories — winning streaks for the Player and Bank, repetitive patterns, tie patterns and consecutive ties). One’s degree of success depends upon a player’s skill and experience, mental toughness, and the frequency and extent of these favorable opportunities.

The good news is that the game of baccarat has by far the greatest number and frequency of favorable opportunities. The bad news is that many of the baccarat players I see lack the skill and experience needed to recognize a good opportunity — and when they do, often lack the necessary mental toughness to pull-off a decent win.

Conservative play is good, and there is a proper place and time for its use. But when a real opportunity presents itself, aggressive play is essential.

However, most players work hard at a regular job and see a car payment instead of a good bet made at the proper time. Even highly skilled players may only be average players because of their fear; either they cannot afford to lose the money or they have not developed the required mental toughness (even if they can afford to lose the money). Fear will make you a loser every time.

So before any player can adopt the "new" progressive wagering methodology, they must first develop a reasonable degree of skill, and obtain the experience and mental toughness required to overcome the fear of losing. Show me a winning baccarat player and I’ll show you a player who is well prepared and mentally tough; you need them both to win!

My overall methodology is to Hit’em and Run. That is, when the opportunities are there, exploit them. When the opportunities are few and far between, stop betting, or walk away and try again later. It is never very smart to fight a battle when one is at a disadvantage. I call that suicide.

In the game of Baccarat there will be many good opportunities that the skilled player can exploit. Opportunities in Baccarat are frequent, and very often there are many in succession. But, if there are not enough at that particular moment, for that particular shoe, walk away! Save your resources and energy for another battle when you have the edge.

I believe tie-bets can be some of the most profitable opportunities in the game. However, the onslaught of negative articles about tie-bets continues, and as such, I find it necessary to repeatedly defend my position.

A recent article in another gaming magazine plays the same old tune. Here they go again! In this case the article is hyped by the headline on the cover: "The 10 Best and Worst Casino Bets." Of course one of the ten worst bets, according to the article, is the tie-bet in Baccarat. The argument against it says, and I quote: "Another bad bet in the tie department. This one pays 8 to 1 and has a house edge of 14.12 percent." This is the entire description of why the tie-bet in Baccarat is one of the ten worst casino bets. That’s it, my what a learned discourse! The so-called gaming experts apparently expect its readers to take their word for it. In fact the author of this article seems to know little about what he is talking about!

The tie-bet detractors’ only case against making tie-bets is the high casino edge of some 14%. But this advantage is simply mathematical using an infinite number of trials. The fact is we take our shot at the casino over very short periods of time, and anything can happen. There can be many occasions when a tie-bet is actually a very good bet; with an 8 to 1 payoff, a huge advantage for the skilled player.

The average Baccarat shoe contains 80 hands, including seven (7) ties. Players do not have to make a bet on every hand. Using my Hit’em and Run methods, one can wait-out any difficult sequences. Of the 80 hands, there will be 20 to 30 very good opportunities, and several will be associated with tie patterns, particularly for Shoes that contain more than the average number of ties (TIE-RICH Shoes contain an average of 11 ties). Tie decisions repeat and often with only a few non-tie decisions between them. These repetitive tie outcomes offer excellent profit opportunities. Would you make a few tie bets when there is a better than a 50/50 chance for a repeat within the next five decisions? The statistics in the accompanying table speak for themselves.

Nine ties, only two more ties than the average number of seven, would produce a small win even when making the same tie-bet on every hand of the Shoe. I have played many Shoes that have as many as 12 or even 15 ties; they are always huge winners. However, skilled players play the game by making selective tie-bets. They bet tie only when the conditions are right for tie repeats.

How does one know if a given shoe will contain these repetitive tie opportunities? Answer: you won’t. But, potential opportunities always get played by following the rules. Knowledgeable and skilled Baccarat players bet tie and they win them often, despite what the so-called experts say!

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