From the Civil Rights Movement to the assassination of President Kennedy, the 60s were certainly one of the most revolutionary decades in history. This gambling scene was not left out and one of the pioneers of this change was Ed Thorp. He developed a simple card-counting system that changed the world forever: Since he was massively successful, every gambler in the world tried to copy his tactics.

Mr. Thorp developed his strategy actually for blackjack, but the basis of it can be applied to baccarat or mini baccarat online too: If you know which cards are left in the deck, you can make a better prediction about your opponent’s hand. But, how useful they really are? Can you really beat the odds by counting cards in baccarat? Is available also in the baccarat squeeze situation? In this article, we will answer all of these questions and more and give you a couple of baccarat card counting tips.

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Baccarat Card Counting Strategy Explained

learn from expertsAmong the baccarat betting systems, card counting may be the only one that gives a real advantage. Some players will say that baccarat is not a countable game but this is not entirely true: Unlike slots and roulette, every card game can be “counted” and this will always give you an advantage. Granted, baccarat card counting is not as effective as in blackjack (where systems like the Zen count blackjack are successful), but still, it will increase your winning chances by giving you an idea about the cards in your opponent’s hand and thus taking your mind off he question “Do you take insurance in blackjack?”

But why? How can a baccarat count improve your chances? Here is a simple example to answer this question: Each deck consists of 52 cards. Let’s say we put out 5 cards – 47 left in the deck. Not an advantage but let’s think we put out 50 cards this time: Only 2 cards are left and we already know which ones they are. In other words, if you can count (and remember) the first 50 cards, you will know what will be the remaining cards are.

This is the basics of Spanish 21 card counting and Mr. Thorp developed his entire system according to this. Unfortunately, casinos are also aware of this system and they use at least eight decks in baccarat in order to prevent card counting. Unless you are a mathematical savant, you can’t remember that many cards. But, you can assign a value to card groups – all you need to know is how many high or low cards are left in the deck. As baccarat rules states, there are three-bet types in the game, and the basic idea here is, if high cards are left in the deck, the player has a better winning chance. But if the deck consists of low cards, the banker has a better chance of winning. So, there is no need to remember all of the dealt cards: You should just try to “calculate” how many high and low cards are left in the deck, and there is an easy way to do this: Take a look at below to see how a simple baccarat card counter works.

How To Beat Baccarat By Card Counting: Practical Examples

Like blackjack, baccarat is dealt from a deck shoe, and when cards are dealt from a shoe, card counting works. Using any of the available card counting strategies, you can beat the house edge while playing baccarat.

In baccarat, three bets are involved; the bankers bet, the players bet, and the tie bet. The banker’s bet has a house edge of 1.06%, the player’s bet has a house edge of 1.24% and the tie bet has a house edge of 14.36%. When counting cards in baccarat, your goal is to figure out which bet has a better chance of winning. Card counting can be applied in different types of baccarat including the martingale baccarat and no commission baccarat online.

Card counting is popularly used by blackjack professionals, but can you beat baccarat with card counting? Let’s answer how to baccarat card counting question with a practical example. Note that this free baccarat strategy system is pretty basic, and does not require to use a baccarat card counting software. You can do all calculations mentally because this card counting system does not ask you to remember the cards themselves. Instead, you make basic subtractions and additions.

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Here You Can See How Card Counting Process Works:

DEALT CARD

WHAT TO DO

A, 2, 3
WHAT TO DO
Add (+) 1
4
WHAT TO DO
Add (+) 2
5, 7, 8
WHAT TO DO
Subtract (-) 1
6
WHAT TO DO
Subtract (-) 2
10, J, Q, K
WHAT TO DO
Neutral – don’t do anything

And so on… As you can see, there is no need to remember the cards. This baccarat strategy only asks you to do basic calculations. Now, if the result is 16 or higher, you should bet on the player. If it is 15 or lower, your bet should be on the banker. Simple, right? This baccarat card counting values system can be used by everyone and you don’t need to be a mathematical savant in order to understand it. The result of these calculations gives you an idea about which side is more likely to win the round and it works, to an extent. Since we did not make a “real” baccarat card counting, this strategy won’t guarantee the results every time but it will still be better than playing by “luck”. This is the most basic baccarat card counting formula that can be used by anyone but it is not the only one: There are other card counting methods too, which we will mention below.

John May’s Card Counting System for the Tie Bet

Card counting works in almost all deck-based games, and whenever somebody mentions baccarat strategy, card counting in baccarat comes up. Well, there are card counting systems that can work and some of them can be used even by beginners – in other words, there are simple methods that can work to “beat” baccarat. One of such methods was been crafted by John May, a reputable authority figure in all things baccarat.

According to him, tie bets are the only bets worthy of baccarat counting. This is because they are the most profitable and being very profitable makes them very rare.
John May’s baccarat counting system gives you a 62% chance of landing a tie. In this card counting strategy, when all the odd cards have been removed from the deck, the only available cards are 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8. With these cards remaining, the possibility of getting a tie bet is doubled. To spot this opportunity, start counting cards from 0 and + 1 for every odd card dealt. When the count is up to 160, the possibility of getting a tie is 62%, so you can place your tie bet.

 

Other Card Counting Systems For Baccarat

baccarat cardsSome baccarat games, especially the ones of Asian origin, offer a fourth betting option: Insurance bet. This is a way of ensuring natural 8s and 9s, which means the player can insurance a round if the first two cards of the banker are 8s or 9s (or vice versa). Doing this will allow you to see the first two cards dealt, so the counting will change too.

This is called card counting baccarat side bets or baccarat insurance card counting. In the card counting baccarat tie bet, all cards except 9 have negative (-1) values. Only the 9s are worth 12 points.

Here is a simple rotation:

  • In the first hand, we get 3, 4 (-1 + – 1 = -2)
  • In the second hand, we get Q, 5 (-1 + – 1 = -2 / -2 + -2 = -4)
  • In the third hand, we get 9, 2 (12 + -1 = 11 / 11 + -4 = 7)
  • In the fourth hand, we get 8, 10 (-1 + – 1 = -2 / -2 + 7 = 5)

And so on… The overall values are the same, if the total is under 15, bet on the banker. If it is over, bet on the player. The famous Mr. Thorp also developed a specific card counting tactic for baccarat: This system uses different values for player and banker bets, and you need to choose accordingly. The values you need to know are shown in the table below:

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The Effect of Removing a Card

When formulating the best card counting strategy, you need to know the effect of removing any of the cards on the house edge. When there is a negative value, the player will be at a loss, and a positive value is good for the player. Use this card counting guide to know the effects of removing a card.

Card Removed

Banker

Player

Tie

0
Banker
188
Player
-178
Tie
5129
1
Banker
440
Player
-448
Tie
1293
2
Banker
522
Player
-543
Tie
-2392
3
Banker
649
Player
-672
Tie
-2141
4
Banker
1157
Player
-1195
Tie
-2924
5
Banker
-827
Player
841
Tie
-2644
6
Banker
-1132
Player
1128
Tie
-11595
7
Banker
-827
Player
817
Tie
-10914
8
Banker
-502
Player
533
Tie
6543
9
Banker
-231
Player
249
Tie
4260

NB: These values are multiplied by ten million as the real values are too small to deal with.

To know if a bet will be profitable, divide the count by the ratio of cards left to get the true count. This is best done using a baccarat card counting calculator

Edge sorting and cheating are some ways to beat Baccarat

When you think of how to beat baccarat, knowing how to count cards in baccarat and using a baccarat odds calculator is not sufficient. Because baccarat does not give high payouts, the profit made from counting cards is very little compared to that of other card games or using other methods to win.

A very easy way to win the baccarat system and get a lot of money from it is by cheating. Different ways people cheat in baccarat include marking baccarat cards, past posting, and false shuffling. These three methods are considered illegal and should not be used.

Edge sorting on the other hand tows the thin line between legal and illegal. With edge sorting, you take note of decks with imperfect card backs and study them. Doing this allows you to guess the card values before they are revealed. This method is quite difficult and you need to have good eyesight.

Mr. Thorp Specific Card Counting Tactic for Baccarat

CARD

PLAYER BET VALUE

BANKER BET VALUE

A
PLAYER BET VALUE
''0''
BANKER BET VALUE
''0''
2
PLAYER BET VALUE
-1
BANKER BET VALUE
+1
3
PLAYER BET VALUE
-1
BANKER BET VALUE
+1
4
PLAYER BET VALUE
-2
BANKER BET VALUE
+1
5
PLAYER BET VALUE
-2
BANKER BET VALUE
+2
6
PLAYER BET VALUE
+1
BANKER BET VALUE
-1
7
PLAYER BET VALUE
+2
BANKER BET VALUE
-2
8
PLAYER BET VALUE
+2
BANKER BET VALUE
-1
9
PLAYER BET VALUE
+1
BANKER BET VALUE
-1
10, Q, K, J
PLAYER BET VALUE
''0''
BANKER BET VALUE
''0''

So, if you want to bet on the banker, you should do your calculations according to the right side column, for example. Mr. Thorp states that this system gives a slightly better house edge in baccarat, but also mentions a downside: It takes too many rounds for the strategy to become effective.

Does Baccarat Card Counting System Work?

hand shakeSimply put, yes – this is the good news. As mentioned above, all card counting systems work in most casino games,  including baccarat. If Casino games are your weak spot we’ve got just the article for you! Come check out our Online Casino Games Guide. You can try playing a live baccarat game at online casinos with live dealers and see how effective they are. The bad news is, card counting is not as effective as it is in blackjack. There is a very simple reason for this: In blackjack, the cards that favor the player are easily recognizable. In baccarat, however, both sides (player/banker) are the same when it comes to favorable cards.

This does not make card counting ineffective, but it makes the system “longer”. In other words, you can start making a profit after a couple of rounds in blackjack. But card counting baccarat will need much more rounds until you start to make money: In other words, you will need a much bigger budget. And since both sides are equal in this game, counting cards will never be 100% effective. It will increase your chances, sure, but will you able to last until that happens? That’s why most of the casinos allow you to use a baccarat card counting calculator on the table: They know even if you can perfectly count all cards, you will still need a lot of time in order to make a profit. (And yes, you can use baccarat card counting apps and take notes while playing baccarat in casinos, this is perfectly legal.)

Advantages & Disadvantages of Using Card Counting at Baccarat

PROS
  • You can apply with success respecting the tactic
  • It is easy to learn to count card
CONS
  • Sometimes you have to run many rounds to be effectiveness

FAQ about Baccarat Card Counting

Yes, you can.
Baccarat can be beaten, however, it is not an easy task.
Like every other deck-based game, card counting works in baccarat.
You don't necessarily have to, but you should if you know how to.
There are cameras in the casino and also security personnel who can tell when you are counting cards.
Counting cards is legal, it is not considered an offence.
The best card counter doesn’t exist, it depends on your skill as a player, not forgetting luck!

Premium wins with baccarat card counting

With this counting cards explained article, you now know how to get a better chance while playing baccarat whether playing at an online baccarat casino or a physical casino, just make sure to follow our guide ‘to the t’.  To even get a better chance of winning at baccarat, you can combine card counting with the 1324 baccarat strategy.

As long as you can back yourself up until you see the results of card counting. And no matter how successful you are, the profits will never be as high as in blackjack – this is due to the rules of baccarat, and there is nothing you can do. Nevertheless, even the slightest increase in chance can tip the tables in your favor, and card counting does exactly that. As we always say, it is better than trusting only your “luck”. Play a couple of baccarat online games and test all of the card counting methods we mentioned in this article by yourself. Read our casino reviews to find the best places to do this (and don’t forget to take advantage of casino bonuses). We are one of the best online baccarat sites around and we will keep informing you about this game: Visit us often to see the latest tactics, tricks, and strategies. Make sure you also check out our Baccarat Banque and Punto Banco, 20 Card Keno strategies. Good luck out there!

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