Baccarat is a traditional casino game enjoyed by high rollers worldwide because it offers an elaborate even-money game of chance with a low house edge that’s played with an actual deck of cards.
This is one of the lowest house edge casino games, with only Blackjack having a better RTP, but only if you use a perfect strategy.
You don’t need a strategy with baccarat – bet on Banker Player or Tie.
You have probably wondered if Banker or Player is the better bet in Baccarat. In this article, I’ll give you the definitive answer.
While everyone “knows” Banker is the better bet and Tie is best avoided, the answer can be a bit more detailed regarding specific scenarios available to you as a live baccarat player.
Baccarat odds may seem like they’re always the same, but they are certainly not in live baccarat.
This is because there are innovative versions of baccarat with multipliers, no commission wins, envelopes that boost wins doubled or tripled bets after a peek, and probably more things to come.
On this page, I’ll cover the regular baccarat odds and the odds for each variant of live baccarat.
|Chance Of Winning
The table above is accurate for an eight-deck game of Baccarat but can be used as a guideline for any number of decks, as the differences are minuscule.
The Player bet wins even money, so if you bet 1 unit, you get back two units.
Banker bet wins even money minus a 5% commission. If you bet 1 unit, you get back 1.9 units.
Tie bet pays 8 to 1, so if you bet 1 unit, you get back nine units.
Crucially, if the hand ends in a Tie and you had a Player or Banker bet, your bet is entirely returned.
The Tie also has an incredible house edge of over 14.36%. The Tie bet is best ignored, except in one specific case described in the Lightning Baccarat section.
The Banker goes last and has the advantage in baccarat, so it wins just a bit more often than the Player: 45.86% of the time compared to 44.62%.
If we take the Tie out of the equation as a Tie is a push, the Banker wins 50.69% of non-tied hands while the Player wins 49.31%.
Even with the usual 5% commission you pay on Banker wins, Banker is still the better bet to make.
It gets even better if you are playing a game with fewer than eight decks, playing no commission baccarat where the Banker pays 1:1, or playing a game of baccarat with win multipliers.
In each of those cases, Banker is the better bet.
It’s just that the Banker bet has even more value in those three scenarios.
If you read further, you’ll learn that the Tie bet has life in it, as it can generate considerable wins in multiplier baccarat games in exchange for a reasonable house edge.
While most baccarat games follow the usual standard of paying 0.95:1 when the Banker wins, there are two that take it a step further. No Commission Baccarat delivers 1:1, while Lightning Baccarat allows you to get huge wins with its multipliers.
|Reason To Play
|No Commission Baccarat
|Banker Pays 1:1
|No Commission mode where Banker Pays 1:1
|Multiplier Wins up to 310,720x
|XXXtreme Lightning Baccarat
|Multiplier Wins up to 2,850,000x
|Golden Wealth Baccarat
|Multipliers wins up to 262,144x
|Red Envelope Baccarat
|Multipliers up to 88x
|Prosperity Tree Baccarat
|Multipliers up to 3,645x
|Multipliers up to 800x
|Get to look at the cards before betting
Occasionally, you’ll stumble upon a Baccarat table with payouts different from those explained above, which are 0.95:1 for Banker, 1:1 for Player, and 8:1 for Tie.
There was one notable example in the once famous but now nearly defunct American online casino 5Dimes that had a No Commission Baccarat game on Thursdays, where Banker bet paid 1:1. At the time, this was by far the best baccarat game you could play.
Today, you can play No Commission Baccarat by Evolution, where both Player and Banker bets pay even money, with a caveat that you only get 0.5:1 (you get 1.5 units back on a 1 unit bet) if Banker scores a 6. That’s where the house edge comes from.
Authentic Gaming has its version, Multibet Baccarat, that lets you switch back and forth from normal mode to no commission mode, where the Banker pays 1:1 and the payout is 0.5:1 if the Banker scores a 6, same as in Evolution’s game.
While you might think Banker and Player bets are equally good in No Commission Baccarat, the opposite is true: Banker is an even better bet.
This is because Banker will win roughly 2.8% more hands than Player in general, so if both bets now pay even money, the case for always betting on Banker is even stronger.
No Commission Baccarat has an overall RTP of 98.94% for a 1.06% house edge, but I’d say the house edge is even smaller if you bet on Banker more often or consistently.
If you want to play baccarat seriously or professionally, look for one of the no-commission baccarat tables.
Lightning Baccarat is a game by Evolution that adds win multipliers of up to 8x to individual cards.
In this game, you can win more than the usual 1:1 (or 0.95:1) payout as the multipliers kick in. The multipliers multiply themselves, and the maximum multiplier is 310,720 – on a tied hand – with a top payout cap of €500,000.
The question here is how much do we pay for the opportunity to strike gold with those multipliers.
It turns out not much.
As you can see, the house edge increase from 1.06% to 1.24% and from 1.24% to 1.41% for Banker and Player bets, respectively, isn’t very significant.
The Tie bet becomes viable in Lightning Baccarat as the house edge is significantly reduced despite the lower standard payout. This is because the tie bet benefits more from the multipliers as cards in both hands are included instead of only the winning hand.
If you want to play a high-variance game that can offer huge wins, the Tie bet in Lightning Baccarat is it.
The entire multiplier scheme is funded by a 20% fee that applies to every bet you make and the reduced payout on Tie and Pair bets.
You can’t opt out, either. You must play this game with a 20% fee and with win multipliers.
If you placed a bet on the winning hand and have at least one and up to five multipliers in the hand – they can be 2x, 3x, 4x, 5x and 8x – they will multiply your total win. Commission on banker bets applies, as usual, and it’s 5%.
Since the house edge isn’t too affected, and in this game, you can win huge amounts, I’d say that Lightning Baccarat offers the best odds. The difference in RTP is minuscule, and you won’t notice it, but you certainly will notice a big win!
Evolution released a second multiplier game, XXXtreme Lightning Baccarat, that is highly volatile with more and larger multipliers, bigger wins, and a more expensive fee – 50%!
Between 4 and 8 multiplier cards are chosen for each game, with multiplier values of 2x, 3x, 5x, 8x or 10x, so a maximum multiplier for a Banker or Player hand is 1,000x, while the maximum Tie payout is 2,850,000x. A commission of 3%, not 5%, is taken from Banker wins.
The house edge is from 1.32% to 1.47% on Banker and Player bets, and again, the Tie becomes a viable option as the house edge is 7.33% compared to 14.36% in standard baccarat but lower than the 5.49% in regular Lightning Baccarat.
Here are the payout ranges and RTP values for each bet.
|1 – 1000:1
|1 – 1000:1
|2.85 – 2,850,000:1
|8 – 800:1
|8 – 800:1
If XXXtreme game is a boost in volatility compared to the usual Lightning Baccarat, then Golden Wealth is a less volatile, softer version.
It also has a 20% fee, and five Golden Cards are chosen to have the multipliers of 2x, 3x, 5x or 8x.
|1 – 512:1
|1 – 512:1
|95% of Your Banker bet is returned if Banker Wins
|2.85:1(3:1 less 5%)
|5.1 – 1,310,720:1
|9 – 576:1
|9 – 576:1
In case you haven’t heard, Evolution recently added a Red Envelope 88x boost to most of its baccarat games: Regular Baccarat, No Commission Baccarat, Baccarat Squeeze and Speed Baccarat.
The tie bet can get an increased payout between 11x and 88x, and the banker pair or player pair bet spot can receive an increased payout between 15x and 88x.
Mega Baccarat is a Pragmatic Play game that offers multipliers of between 2x and 100x that are randomly applied to each betting position. The multipliers only become active when the result of two rolled dice is 8 or 9. There is a mandatory 20% fee applied to all bets.
Prosperity Tree Baccarat is an Evolution game that gives eight Prosperity cards in each game round, compared to five in Lightning Baccarat, with multipliers of 2x or 3x.
You can have up to three multipliers in one hand, so the maximum multiplier is 27x for the Banker and Player and 3,645x on the Tie bet (27 x 27 x 5:1).
In Peek Baccarat by Evolution, you pay a 20% fee for an opportunity to reveal from 1 to 4 cards, and then you can Double or Triple your initial bet.
Here, a strategy is involved, and you’d have to be as good as the dealer in knowing the rules (including the third card rule) to determine which hand, if any, is worth doubling or tripling on.
The house edge is about 1.20%, but your decisions can affect it positively or negatively.
The third card rule is the only complex thing about Baccarat; it determines when the third card is drawn and when it’s not.
You only need to know this if you want to become a live baccarat dealer, if you’re interested in the game’s mechanics, or if you’re playing Peek Baccarat.
Baccarat has nearly the lowest house edge of any card game compared to other casino games. One game beats it, and that’s Blackjack.
Blackjack can have a house edge as low as 0.50%, or perhaps even less, if you can find a table with favourable rules and know the perfect blackjack strategy specific to those rules.
Conversely, Baccarat doesn’t take any learning whatsoever, as you have zero control over the outcome. This is why many players looking for a coin flip-style game choose Baccarat over Blackjack.
The third option, roulette, has too high of a house edge, though you can get 1.35% on even-money bets if you play French Roulette.
Players play Baccarat in the first place because it offers simplicity; it attracts high rollers because to win big, you need to bet big, and there’s a traditional way of playing if you’re into that sort of thing.
The multiplier baccarat games have given a new life to the Tie bet as the house edge is significantly reduced. You can also get humongous wins in an otherwise reasonably dull even-money game.
Here is a breakdown of maximum wins and the house edge of various multiplier baccarat games.
|Tie House Edge
|Golden Wealth Baccarat
|Prosperity Tree Baccarat
|XXXtreme Lightning Baccarat
While you will almost always be playing a game of baccarat that uses eight decks of 52 cards that get shuffled when half of the shoe is used, it’s still important to note that your chances to win get better when fewer decks are used.
The usual house edge for a Banker bet in 8-deck baccarat is 1.058%, and it is reduced slightly if you’re playing a game that uses six decks: 1.056%.
It doesn’t matter. But if you can find a game that uses a single deck, know that the house edge on the Banker bet is 1.01% – at the expense of the Player house edge being increased from 1.235% to 1.286%.
The fewer decks are used, the better bet Banker becomes.
Baccarat is a game that has plenty of side bets available, depending on which table you play at.
These have a significant house edge, and they don’t benefit from the win multipliers in the multiplier baccarat games, so they are the worst bets to make.
If you want to play side bets, I recommend Authentic Multibet Baccarat, as this game has a whopping 14 side bets available, which is pretty much all you can get.
Here are the house edge ranges for some of the most popular baccarat side bets. While you can still be below 3%, for example, with a Banker bet with a Dragon Bonus, the house edges are still significant.
|3.34% to 14.2%
|Small / Big
|4.35% to 5.27%
|2.65% to 9.37%
Banker is the most likely outcome in any baccarat game regardless of rule variations, and it is also always the bet with the lowest house edge.
Like in many other casino games, the trick to Baccarat is to learn the game and the various betting options.
Many versions of live Baccarat are available, so the trick here is to find a good bet with a low house edge and a high potential payout.
The usual payout for Baccarat is 0.95:1 for the Banker bet, 1:1 for the Player bet, and 8:1 for the Tie.
These payouts can and do vary across different live baccarat games, as explained on this page.
We could say that Baccarat is an elaborate coin flip. Because the Banker acts last, it has a slight advantage over the Player.