Five Common Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Online Baccarat

Updated Updated: August 2, 2023

Baccarat is one of the most stylish table games around, and it’s the game that James Bond himself used to enjoy playing in the famous novels penned by Ian Fleming. Had online casinos been around back then, we have no doubt that 007 would have enjoyed playing online baccarat as well. But we also think that Her Majesty’s favourite secret agent would have been careful to avoid five common mistakes that can cost baccarat players dearly. Read on and we’ll tell you what those are so that you can avoid them, too.

Betting on the Tie

When you play baccarat you can bet on the Player, the Banker or the Tie. Of those three options, the Tie is the worst bet by far because of its laughably high house edge. While the Player bet has a house edge of 1.24%, and the Banker bet has a house edge of 1.06% (when the 5% commission has been accounted for), the Tie bet has a terrifying house edge of 9.5%.

The only people who ever benefit from the Tie bet over the long term are casino operators, and they love it just as much as they love the Insurance option in blackjack. Think of the Tie bet as being little more than a piggy bank for the casino owners and avoid making any contributions from your bankroll.

Opposing the Banker

As we mentioned a few moments ago, the two hands that you can bet on in a game of online baccarat are referred to as the Player and the Banker. That’s rather unfortunate because those of us who play online casino games tend to view ourselves as being in opposition to the banker, and so it feels more natural to side with the Player hand.

We’ve already established that the Player hand has a house edge of 1.24%, and while that’s very good when compared with most other bets in a casino, the Banker house edge of 1.06% is significantly better. For that reason, if you want to maximise your chances of winning, you’d be wise to bet on the Banker every time.

baccarat tips
Avoid these top 5 Baccarat mistakes!

Placing Side Bets

Online casinos often like to supposedly “spice up” traditional table games by introducing novel variations that give you the chance to place side bets. For example, some games will let you place a side bet on either the Player or Banker being dealt three cards of the same value. Although the payouts offered for such outcomes can look seductive, placing side bets is a big mistake.

Again, we say this because of the house edge that’s involved. While casinos might genuinely want to spice things up and make things more exciting for players, they also want to extract as much money from you as they can. Offering side bets allows them to kill two birds with one stone, so stick to traditional versions of the game and give novelty variations a wide berth.

Betting Aggressively

Because the house edge in baccarat (at least for the Player and Banker bets) is very small in comparison with the majority of other casino games, many players tend to bet more aggressively at the baccarat table to try and make the most of the situation. Unfortunately, a low house edge is no guarantee that you will win, and it’s still perfectly possible for you to lose not just one or two but a whole series of bets. If you’re using higher stakes at the time, those losses will hurt.

Our advice here is for you to set yourself a budget, just as you would for any other game, and to bet at a staking level that won’t feel like a punch in the guts when you lose.

Chasing Losses

The fifth mistake that players commonly make when playing baccarat is chasing losses. We’ve just said that losing is perfectly possible, but attempting to win losses back by staking even higher sums (such as by doubling up after every losing bet) is a sure way to misery. And if you’re suffering from a noticeable spell of bad luck, that’s the worst possible time to continue betting, let alone raise the stakes.

Instead, expect losses to occur, as that is quite normal when playing casino games, and take them on the chin. Leave the table, take a break from gaming for a while and the next time you play you might fare better.

Play Baccarat Like a Pro

The five mistakes outlined above are all very common, but they’re also very easy to avoid. Keep our advice in mind the next time you’re at the table and you’ll find yourself playing baccarat like a pro.


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