Baccarat Gaming

It’s tie time!

Written by Pai Yao

This article first appeared in the Jul/Aug 2010 issue of World Gaming magazine.

The tie bet in baccarat is something that has always been a bone of contention. Is it a good bet or is it a bad bet?

Some would argue that any winning bet is a good one. You could go further and say that any winning bet that you pick up at 8 to 1 is particularly good. This is not a silly thing to say. If you get that feeling that the next hand is going to be a tie and you get lucky then you certainly get well rewarded for following your instincts. The fact that winning tie bets are paid at 8 to 1 is a big part of its attraction.

Another way to look at the tie bet is with a more mathematical approach. Every experienced gambler knows that baccarat’s banker and player bets are two of the best bets in any casino. This means the odds are stacked in your favour compared to some other table games. So what about the tie bet when we talk about value? The tie is certainly not as good a bet as the banker or the player. In fact even if you were to get odds of 9 to 1 you still would be better off mathematically with your money on the banker or the player.

So what does this all mean to baccarat players? First of all let’s consider experienced high rolling baccarat experts. These players tend to have more money at their disposal and play huge amounts of hours at the table. They tend to bet mainly on the banker and player and less on the tie.

When it comes to the more recreational player then the tie is a far more attractive option. You could have 30 hands in a row without a tie but then you could have a crazy sequence of three or four tie bets in a row. If you are lucky enough to hit those three or four ties in a row and you press your bet every time, then you could turn a small investment into a small fortune. This kind of hit and run strategy is more likely to be successful for a recreational player who is at the table for a relatively short period of time.

Remember that you are there to enjoy yourself and have a good time. If you enjoy the art of predicting when the tie is going to fall then there is nothing stopping you. Just be aware that if you get in the habit of betting on the tie consistently over a long period of time it is going to get expensive.

There is another situation where the tie bet becomes exceedingly important, at that is at the very end of baccarat tournaments. In baccarat tournaments, the very last hand of the shoe is both dramatic and crucial. It is probably more important than all the preceding hands put together! The correct last-hand strategy for almost every possible set of circumstances involves a tie bet. In the dramatic situation of playing a one-hand tiebreak playoff (the equivalent of sudden death in a football penalty shootout), a tie bet with no bet on the banker or player can be a sneaky and effective way to get a big edge over your opponent.

However, we will speak to you about that in a later issue of World Gaming when we give you the pro’s secrets to winning baccarat tournaments.