How Do You Count Cards in Baccarat?

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Updated on: April 29th, 2024

Counting cards is a strategy that is largely associated with blackjack. After all, the strategy is famed for its success record at Vegas tables. So much so, in fact, that a casino will probably kick you out if they see that you are using the strategy.

However, counting cards isn’t really a strategy that many associate with baccarat. But, theoretically, the strategy should work with baccarat too. After all, the game is dealt from a shoe and you can still track which values are being dealt and when.

Despite this baccarat card counting works in a different manner to when using the strategy in blackjack. Below we have a look at how you can effectively count cards in baccarat online.

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How to Count Cards in Baccarat

Basic Principles of Baccarat

Before we get into how counting cards, let us have a very quick look at the basic principles of the game. In baccarat, there are three possible outcomes:

  1. Banker win
  2. Player win
  3. Tie

You can bet on any of these outcomes, but statistically, it has been shown that banker hands are more likely to win. This is due to house edge, and as such, casinos take 5% commission for all winning bets made on the banker’s hand.

card counting in baccarat

Counting Cards in Baccarat

Counting cards in baccarat would make it easier to deduce whether a player is more likely to win he next hand. There are a few steps that you need to follow this strategy effectively, which we have listed below:

  1. Find a table that has just started with a brand-new shoe. Starting with a new shoe allows you to count cards and make decisions more effectively.
  2. Add a value of 1 to your tally when an ace, 2 or 3 appear on the table.
  3. Add a value of 2 to your tally when a 4 appears on the table.
  4. Conversely, subtract a value of 1 from your tally when an a 5, 7 or 8 appear on the table.
  5. When a 6 appears, you need to subtract a value of 2.
  6. Cards with a value of 10 do not affect your tally.

When the count reaches a score of 16 or more, the strategy dictates that you bet on the player. Otherwise, you should always bet on the banker.

baccarat card counting

Counting Cards is a Useless Strategy in Baccarat

A lot of players expect to see the same returns they would in blackjack when they count cards in baccarat. But the mechanics of baccarat prevent card counting from being an effective strategy in the game.

Firstly, blackjack has boundaries that force you to really look at the value of each card. If many low value cards are dealt, inferences can be made on the high value cards that remain on the shoe. In addition, you can’t go over a score of 21, whereas in baccarat, your hand will never bust with a value that is too high.

Secondly, blackjack offers higher payouts when you win by a natural blackjack. Baccarat does not do the same when you win by a natural nine. So, the advantages of having a good guesstimate of when this hand is going to appear are lesser.

Finally, the advantage gained from knowing that a hand with a score of 2-4 is better for the player and 5-9 is better for the banker is very small. So, small in fact that many people argue that it only marginally improvers your game.

Should I Count Cards in Baccarat?

This is entirely up to you. However, it has been suggested that the profits of successful baccarat card counters has a standard rate of $0.70 per hour, which isn’t all that much at all. We think using this strategy in baccarat is a little too taxing for very little return.

Thus, we recommend that you stick to using it in blackjack. If you’re playing baccarat, you may just want to keep it basic.

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