Tips for Baccarat Game
Playing Baccarat can be done alone, facing the dealer at the table. However, if you want to take breaks, strategize, or relax, it is better to socialize with other people. Typically, Baccarat is played together with others. In such cases, it is advisable to enjoy the game with the fellow players you meet for the first time at the table and to behave courteously.
For the sake of Korean pride, but also to avoid becoming sensitive or experiencing unpleasant situations where only you would suffer losses in the game, it is not necessary to become acquainted with other people. I believe that playing Baccarat with a spouse, friend, or engaging in collusion is disadvantageous. It is not desirable to have other things to worry about besides the game. It is similar to feeling burdened when playing a simple game of Go with family members watching beside you.
Among the casino games worldwide, Baccarat is gradually gaining prominence, and its rules and methods are similar wherever you go.
There is little difference between the methods used at the Monte Carlo Casino (Monaco) and the Kangwon Land Casino in Korea. Whether the dealer opens the cards or the player places the bets, the slight difference in minimum and maximum betting amounts, whether the card dealing is done by a machine or by the dealer’s hand, and the method of commission (house edge) collected by the casino, as well as the way the progress is displayed on monitors, may vary depending on the country and the specific casino.
Even within the same casino, there are differentiated areas such as VIP rooms, high limit rooms, and exclusive rooms for members. However, the fundamental aspects are similar across different places. Additionally, the strategy for playing Baccarat is very simple. The game is divided between the banker and the player, and we can choose either side to place our bets (by placing chips). The side with the higher value wins, determined by the sum of two cards. Similar to traditional Korean card games like “Go-Stop,” the highest value is 9.
However, there are rules that determine whether a third card is drawn depending on the initial two cards’ total. It is important to fully understand these rules and the manner of receiving cards. You should be aware of whether the outcome is determined after the initial cards or if an additional card is drawn before placing your bets.
Occasionally, the dealer may make a mistake (although it cannot be said to be intentional) that could deceive the player.
For the player, if the sum of the initial two cards is 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, a third card is drawn. If the sum is 6 or 7, the player stands, and if it is 8 or 9, the player wins directly. For the banker, the rules are somewhat more complex based on the value of the initial two cards. If the sum of the banker’s initial two cards is 3 and the player’s third card is 8, the banker stands without drawing a third card. However, if the player’s third card is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, or 10, the banker draws a third card.
If the banker’s initial two cards sum up to 4, and the player’s third card is 1, 8, 9, or 10, the banker stands without drawing a third card.
If the banker’s initial two cards sum up to 5, and the player’s third card is 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, or 10, the banker stands without drawing a third card.
If the banker’s initial two cards sum up to 6, the banker does not draw a third card if the player’s third card is 6 or 7, but if it is any other value (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, or 10), the banker draws a third card.
If the banker’s initial two cards sum up to 7, the banker stands without drawing a third card. If it is 8 or 9, just like the player, the banker wins directly (natural).
According to the drawing rules mentioned above, the banker has a higher probability of winning compared to the player. Therefore, in casinos, if the banker wins, a commission is deducted, or when betting on the banker’s side and winning with a sum of 6, only half of the wagered amount is paid out. As a result, some people think it is advantageous to bet on the banker when unsure, while others adopt a strategy of waiting and only betting on the player (to forego the commission paid to the casino).
If there were tips for playing baccarat, it might sound somewhat arrogant. Is there really a true strategy? Sir Churchill once joked that if he were reborn, he would go to Monte Carlo and bet on black instead of red (probably referring to roulette). Even the heroes who saved Britain and the Allied forces during World War II didn’t know what to do in a casino. The genius scientist Einstein said that the only strategy in casino games is to steal chips. Byron Herbert, in his book ‘Power Baccarat,’ presents four strategies:
1. Know the rules.
2. Exercise self-control and observe etiquette.
3. Explore different betting types and find the optimal timing.
4. Utilize strategies to increase probabilities
In a condensed form, the secrets of baccarat in China can be summarized into three strategies:
1. Manage your time, maintain a calm mind, and take breaks from the game.
2. Exercise self-discipline (control greed).
3. Sit and observe before taking action.
At the MGM Smoking Lounge in Macau, there was a phrase that caught my eye on the screen: “Gambling is no business, Stay in control.” The importance and value of self-control and self-regulation cannot be emphasized enough.
However, it is a challenging task. Just like when I was a boy, busy playing instead of studying for tomorrow’s exam. It was also difficult to follow my parents’ advice. Memories of regrets that come vividly during moments of reflection. It has been said that controlling one’s own mind is more important than conquering a great fortress.
Here, I will list some miscellaneous tips and tricks for baccarat that I have gathered through experience or heard. Whether you believe them or not, they are subjective and may be contradictory.
1. Always remain humble.
2. Only bet on the middle part of a shoe. Observe patterns in the early stages and avoid sudden pattern changes in the later stages.
3. Reduce bets and aim to lose continuously (take breaks). If you don’t lose often, you will eventually lose completely. Being a skilled player is not about consistently getting good hands. It is about having the ability to discard good hands without hesitation when judging a difficult game, even if the temptation of getting a good hand arises.
4. Know when to leave for important decisions. Stand up when you win 30%. If you win, leave. If you lose, leave. When you leave, walk out confidently. Cultivate a habit of averaging less than 20 bets per shoe.
5. Aim for “lose a little, win a lot” but avoid impatience. Think that after winning, the probability of winning again is high, and after losing, the probability of losing again is high.
6. Don’t focus only on the results (wins or losses) but also ride the waves. Don’t wait only for streaks or patterns. If the game is condensed to 3, 6, or 8 decisions, pay attention. If there are streaks on the sides, pay attention on the 4th or 8th decision. If there are 2-3 ties, there may be a longer streak (a column of more than one).
7. There are different types of ties, such as warning ties, referee ties, or return ties. Sometimes it’s good to take a break when there is a tie. English books often advise against tie betting because of the high house edge. It’s a matter of personal preference, similar to the advice to bet on the banker when unsure. Some people prefer not to bet on ties and even avoid banker side swings.
8. Take a break when the dealer changes.
9. Avoid engaging in conversations with people around you, but if there is someone who seems unpleasant or if the game flow is unfavorable, leave the table without hesitation.
10. Absolutely avoid feelings of hatred or anger.
11. Don’t be too focused. Don’t bet big just to receive good hands, and be willing to give in to others.
12. Avoid sitting where the lights are dazzling (especially facing the lights). Sitting on the edge can be preferable.
13. It’s better to sit next to someone who appears to be winning rather than someone who is losing. Ideally, avoid playing alone.
14. Avoid following the crowd in placing bets or going against others’ misfortune.
15. Some say to bet against people who are on a losing streak, but it’s better to take a break rather than taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune.
16. Maintain an optimistic mindset and don’t worry about superstitions, but be cautious if the value of the dollar is strong or weak.
17. If you lose twice in a row, take a short break. If you lose three or four times in a row or if you feel a downward trend, take a break for a few hours.
18. Maintain your momentum. Stay cheerful even when facing adversity.
These are just some of the tips and lessons learned through personal experiences and failures. Consider them in the context of your own unique circumstances.
Even in a football match, there is a flow. And in maintaining momentum, the technique of card squeezing is also important. Squeezing cards, known as “squeeze” in English or “shibori” in Japanese, is like squeezing out information. If there is no opposing bettor on the other side when you receive your cards, you can choose to request the dealer to open the opposite side’s cards first or open your own cards first before squeezing.
Some people like to request cards one by one and take their time. It can be entertaining to spread out the 9s and expect a picture card (in the US, they shout “monkey,” while Chinese players shout “kong”). There’s no need to forcefully bend or chew the cards, but rather approach the game with enthusiasm and respect, rather than making lackluster requests or throwing cards carelessly. Taking care and showing courtesy not only improves the game atmosphere but also helps maintain a good winning rate (maintaining a positive mood). Just like in tennis or golf, having good form leads to better performance, so let’s strive to become stylish players.