Baccarat Betting Systems

The low House advantage and close-to-even-money odds of Baccarat make it an excellent candidate for the application of various betting systems. Perhaps the very easiest one to use is called “flat betting,” which means always wagering the same amount, while attempting to earn a profit by correctly predicting which hand, Player or Banker, will come up each time. This method does not win or lose much money, so it can be an excellent way to limit risk while learning the game.

For those who seek a more systematic approach to winning, a progressive betting system can be applied. These include all of the progressions developed originally for playing Roulette. In fact, because the House edge is so low, they actually work better for Baccarat than for Roulette or Craps.

Doubling Up on a Loss

One of the oldest progressive betting systems, Martingale or doubling up after a loss, can be used for Baccarat. It starts with one unit wagered on the Player. If it wins, one unit of profit is set aside and the progression begins again. If it loses, the wager is doubled (two units) and bet again. This doubling up continues until a Player win occurs. Then, one unit of profit is set aside and a new series of bets begins.

Martingale can also be used to wager on the Banker hand, which has a slight edge over the Player hand. In fact, it would be preferable if not for the 5% commission that has to be paid on wins. Betting on the Player hand is the only way to receive a full payout at 1-to-1 odds.

The danger of playing Martingale is that winning streaks for the Bank can quickly cause the wagered amount to grow. Seven times consecutive losses would generate a cumulative deficit of 127 units. The next bet in the progression would be 128 to win just a single unit, with slightly less than a 50% probability of success.

Other Progressions

Fortunately, less risky progressive betting methods can also be applied. The d’Alembert system calls for increasing the wager by just one unit following a loss and decreasing it by one unit following a win. The progression ends whenever the next required bet would be zero. In this way, the potentially huge wagers required by Martingale can be avoided. The d’Alembert system works well if the number of Player and Banker wins are rougly equal.

Using the Fibonacci progression, the amount wagered is always the sum of the preceding two losses. It begins by betting one unit on the Player. If it loses, one unit is bet again. If it loses a second time, two units (1+1) are bet. If it loses a third time, three units (1+2) are bet, etc.

Whenever a win occurs, the last two numbers in the sequence are crossed off, and the progression continues by betting the sum of the preceding two losses. Only after all numbers in the progression have been crossed off does the progression end with a win of one unit.

A similar progressive betting strategy is called Labouchere or the “cancellation system,” but instead of crossing off the most recent two losses, the oldest and most recent losses are crossed off. With both Fibonacci and Labouchere, the wagering works well if at least 34% of the bets win.

One other popular progression is known as the “1-3-2-6 betting system.” Unlike the others summarized above, it relies on increasing the wager upon a win, rather than a loss. It begins by wagering one unit. If the bet loses, one unit is wagered repeatedly until a win is achieved. Following the winning hand, a bet of three units is made.

Again, if it loses, the player returns to betting one unit. But if it wins, the next wager is two units. A subsequent loss returns the wager to one unit, while a third winner in a row requires the next bet to be six units, which is the final bet in the progression—1, 3, 2, 6.