If you play blackjack, you probably know that there are professionals who can count cards and gain the edge over casinos. Is such a method possible in baccarat?
Baccarat card counting is theoretically possible, and professional counters often regard it the next best thing after blackjack. In fact, once they combine it with the baccarat pattern strategy, they could do quite well – yet, not nearly half as well as they could do in blackjack.
Always bear in mind that there are many strategies that apply to baccarat beside card counting. So, you might want to check out websites like CasinoRange that give useful tips on how to play and win at baccarat.
But now, let’s take a closer look at how card counting works in baccarat and whether it is possible in live casinos.
How Is Card Counting Possible in Baccarat?
Every card deck consists of the exact same number of cards. These 52 cards are quite familiar to all of us, so there’s no need to explain them. Let’s say that we take one card out of the deck – say an ace of spades – we know exactly which cards are left in the shoe.
In fact, if we take out fifty cards and we look at all of them, we will know exactly which two cards remain. Basically, it all comes down to figuring out which cards are left in the shoe. Given that cards that are used for playing both blackjack and baccarat are the same, there is a chance that card counting might work in both games.
As previously stated, theoretically, it is possible to apply it to baccarat as well. We have a shoe, and the dealer (the banker) takes cards from it, leaving some space for the player to do the math. However, there are a couple of problems that we have to consider when it comes to baccarat.
High and Low Cards Problem
One of the reasons why card counting is so popular among blackjack players is because it works. The game of blackjack is structured in such a way that we can make a clear division of the deck.
Card Counting in Blackjack
All high cards (face cards and aces) favor the player. Therefore, if there are more faces and aces left in the deck, the probability of the player winning the hand is higher.
On the other hand, low cards favor the dealer in blackjack. Players who count cards make their moves accordingly. In other words, card counters know that the chances of them winning in blackjack are getting lower as the high-value cards are being taken out of the deck.
Basically, players insert tags (or points) to every card that leaves the deck. The ones that they like get a +1 point, and the ones that they don’t get a -1 point. Whenever the total number of points is higher than +1, card counters know that they have an edge.
Is This Principle Applicable to Baccarat?
Now that we know the basics of card counting works, we can try and apply it to baccarat. However, there is a huge problem with that. Baccarat doesn’t actually have cards that favour either the player or the banker. How can we apply the same card counting principle to baccarat then?
Many professional gamblers and baccarat lovers tried to come up with solutions to this problem. Edward O. Thorp, the legendary mathematician and blackjack enthusiast, stated that baccarat did not offer so many opportunities in regard to card counting. He added that there was no perfect card counting method that people could rely on in the game of baccarat.
In fact, many other professionals agreed with Dr. Thorp, believing that blackjack card counting doesn’t work in baccarat.
A Different Card Counting Solution?
Many baccarat enthusiasts and professionals, including Thorp, Peter A. Griffin, and Michael Shackleford tried to come up with an alternative. Although their suggestions were pretty good, none of them managed to match the effectiveness that the blackjack card counting has.
For example, Thorp made a card counting system that works for those who bet on the player. The method doesn’t actually give players an edge over casinos but just reduces the natural disadvantage that the player bets bring.
Is Card Counting Possible in Live Baccarat?
Playing live baccarat is pretty much the same as playing the land-based variant. Therefore, applying the card counting system will not be very effective in this case, just like it is not effective in land-based casinos.
Instead of trying out untested card counting methods, try just following the basic baccarat strategy and let the element of luck do the rest!