Baccarat is one of the few games offered by casinos, both live and online, that have a very small edge in the playing odds. To gain a better percentage over the player, the bank hand winner pays a 5% commission. There is no commission charged on a winning player hand. Playing correctly can beat this small percentage favoring the house. Correct play and a little luck will allow a player to win in this game.
One of the widely used Baccarat strategies for playing Baccarat is what is known as following the shoe. This simply means playing the side that won the last hand. If the player hand won, the next wager should be on the player side. If the bank hand won, the next wager should be on the bank side. The idea for this method of play is that Baccarat hands are known to trend. This is the situation that a player is looking for, as this is the easiest way to make money. When one side or the other is winning hand after hand, it is tempting at some point to try and bet against the trend. This is a very dangerous idea, as the shoe has been known to throw out 26 winning hands in a row on one side. The better thought is to stay on the winning side, but cut down the bet until it finally loses. This is a way to stay with an extended trend and only lose one bet. It is a far better strategy than betting against a strong trend. Players try this and their egos will not let them back down and they give away a lot of money trying to prove how smart they are by picking the hand where the trend stops. This is not a very smart way to play baccarat.
Another way to make money is to play a small parlay to a point and then take it down to the starting bet. Again this follows the shoe. The stacks will grow if the trends show up consistently on one side or the other. Those that keep track of hands on a baccarat card easily discern shoe patterns of hands. A shoe can flip flop for a time and then move into a trend on one side and then go back to the flip-flop mode. Some players are versatile enough to play these fleeting patterns by using the cards that show a pattern. Remember this, a shoe cannot be changed once it is started in a live casino until the cut card shows.
Playing the shoe or the card takes a long-term view of the game. Trends do show up and those that have the courage to play for them take away the guessing game way of betting. Guessing is much harder to do than following the shoe or pattern betting. Strong hunches in gambling are okay to be followed, but guessing is too stressful over time.
One other strategy that this author has used very successfully for many years is the way to play for tie hands that pay 8 or 9 to one. Wait for the first tie to show before even making a wager on the tie. When the first tie happens count the hands since the tie and play for a tie after the 3rd hand and after every three hands after the tie. Using a small progressive wager will more than take care of the losing bets, as the 8 or 9 to one payoff will cover the losses. The only other way to play the tie is to guess when it will happen or when the hunch comes upon you so strongly that you cannot resist it to play. If your hunches have a tendency to come true then this a powerful gift that only a few gamblers have.