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Thread: How do you win at Baccarat?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Default How do you win at Baccarat?

    Most people look at the game like a random coin toss with a house edge. Such people could never win a nickel at Baccarat.

    If Baccarat were truly random, with each hand completely independent from the prior one, there would be, in theory no way to win at the game. Looking from the outside, this appears to be what the game is - with prior hands offering no predictive value to guessing subsequent, future hands.

    But any Baccarat player worth his weight in black chips knows that there are some shoes where patterns do repeat, versus other shoes that are completely random. But how to know if you're in the midst of a good shoe or bad shoe. Ay, there's the rub.

    Let's start with an example of a good shoe, one with predictive value:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    In this shoe, the pattern very early on was to bet the bank whenever player came up. Even if you lost such a bet, doubling up on the bank for the next bet was a sure thing, because player never ran more than twice. This shoe was not just a banker's shoe, with far more bankers than players (3 bankers for every 1 player), but presented a simple, easy to follow pattern of "put everything on the bank after each player." You'd lose only two bets out of sixteen doing that.

    If you think that people don't notice or act on such patterns in Baccarat, think again. I cut a shoe where neither the banker nor the player EVER went past two. On its surface, a lousy shoe - no runs, no streaks. But a Chinese guy came along, watched for a few minutes, and started putting anywhere from 5000 - 15000 on the opposite side every time a run of two had passed. He cleaned up! He prompted the rest of us to realize that there WAS in fact a winning pattern presented, and to take advantage of it.

    There are many different types of shoes that present winning opportunities. Another is a shoe with long streaks of banker or player. My personal best and favorite was a shoe where the player ran 22 times in a row, followed by one bank, followed by 26 players in a row. I was betting 15,000 per hand on the third player, and it all the way through until I was ahead a quarter million over all, and then, unfortunately, cut back to just 800 per hand. Still, that run was the tail end of an over 400K win at two casinos, and I stopped after the run, and went home with all of it.

    The first question would be, WHY would you have thought that the player was going to run after just two players. What made you decide to plop 15000 (the limit at that time) on player just because it had run twice? It was early in the shoe, why risk so much so quickly? Well, part of the reason was that I was already ahead quite a lot, and had been winning consistently, day in day out for about ten days straight, so I was chip heavy, and fearless. But also, I saw a natural nine followed by a natural eight in player, and something prompted me to feel that the player was due for a run. I even said the words out loud.

    "Natural nine. Natural eight? Hmm."

    As the run progressed the look on the pit boss' face! He actually slapped his forehead and stepped away from the table, reeling.

    "Is anything going to stop this guy?" was what his look conveyed. I had been winning ten days straight, and was now in the home stretch, with the run of a lifetime.

    I will admit that this experience has made me feel as though a player run is imminent, not every time, but sometimes, after the first two hands for player come in at natural nine, followed by natural eight. Has the player then run 22 times? No. It hasn't happened for me again. But, the player has run more often than not when I have felt that it will, and the proof in the pudding are my consistent Baccarat wins over time.

    Now what about bad shoes? shoes where there is no discernible pattern and no runs? What to do there? Well, ideally, LEAVE, but at worst, cut back your bet. How do you know though that you're in the midst of a bad shoe? Well, the easiest way to know is that you are LOSING over fifty percent of your bets. If all your attempts to "follow the shoe" are resulting in multiple losing hands in a row, it's time to get up and find another shoe, cut back your bet, or free hand (ask for free hands to view results without betting) until a recurring pattern emerges. Of course this is easier said than done. Many Baccarat players upon losing some hands will start playing with emotion, betting bigger to try to catch up, versus simply getting up and leaving. Over time, the Baccarat winners learn not to "chase" losses, and Stay on Target with the search for good shoes only.

    Which brings me to...hit and run. Some gamblers think that hit and run is meaningless, that over time a lifetime of sessions will even out wins and losses such that leaving ahead at given sessions will make no over all difference. Point made, but...not so much in Baccarat. The objective in Baccarat is to find a good shoe, hit the run, streak or pattern, and then...leave. Good shoes do not present themselves all the time (although, the past couple years I have been very lucky, where the majority of my shoes have been good, predictable and purple and yellow chip fruitful ones), and once presented with a good one, it is important to get up and leave.

    Many times after a good Baccarat shoe I have declared, "It's not going to get any better than that," colored up, and left. This is discipline This comes after years of play. Hunting for good shoes, and LEAVING after playing into them and winning, is another key to success at Baccarat.

    Some will read the above, be unable to grasp it, and declare that at the end of the day Baccarat is just like roulette, or like a coin toss, where each event is independent and what happens before has nothing to do with what happens after. Not quite. A coin toss, is truly an independent event as it gears up for a new event each time the coin is picked up to be tossed again. If I walk up to a coin lying on the ground, whether there will be twenty heads in a row or not, is undetermined in advance. It is not fixed. It all depends on the random probability of what ensues.

    But if I walk up to a Baccarat shoe that has 22 players in a row followed by one bank followed by 26 players in a row ready to be dealt out from it, I WILL get every one of the players. There is zero chance that this will not happen. The cards are set in the deck. And this is the subtle but important distinction between a set deck of cards and a coin toss. It has nothing to do with superstition or gambler's fallacy that some shoes will have massive streaks or recurring patterns in them, and others will not. Once the shoe is shuffled, cut and the burn cards removed, whatever will be, will be, and it is up to you to take advantage of that shoe, or not. If you're lucky enough to walk up to a shoe with long streaks, and you are a good player, you will win a lot.

    That there are, in fact, good or bad shoes is additionally demonstrated by the fact that high rollers routinely clock the casino for millions when presented with series of good, streaking, predictable shoes. The luck is not in picking the right hand per se, the luck is in arriving to play at a good shoe. Where the skill comes, is in knowing whether one is playing into a good or bad shoe. This is not something that may be taught. It comes with years of experience.

    All great gamblers know when he clutch has arrived: the time to press the bet. Poor gamblers will chicken out when presented with these opportunities, and will instead press the bet at the wrong time, and lose it all.
    Last edited by mdawg; 01-19-2020 at 08:45 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    As mentioned here
    Vernon, author of "Baccarat Made Simple" (self-published, $9.95 paperback), says that, like many folks, he had trouble making a living at other games and found baccarat to be quite beatable.

    "I live baccarat," he said. "With blackjack, you need help (the player sitting next to you not foolishly splitting 10s, for example) and with craps you have no control.

    "As for the odds, they are based on the assumption that everyone else in the game does everything right. But that does not always happen."

    Vernon, 54, says he came to Las Vegas with $75 in his pocket in 1989 and learned to play baccarat a year later. He tried blackjack and craps, but experienced his greatest bankroll increases playing baccarat and mini-baccarat.

    Vernon says he has been successful at baccarat by judging runs of the cards in favor of either of the two hands that are dealt during a single game. (For the rules of baccarat, see the information box accompanying this story.)

    Knowing probabilities

    "I know the extremes -- the probabilities of the changes," said Vernon, who recently started a baccarat newsletter. "I also practice money management, knowing before I start a session that I will play no more than four shoes (it takes about an hour to play a shoe), as well as set the amount I will risk."

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