How the Number of Decks Changes the Odds
For the most part, Baccarat is a game of chance, not strategy. It offers one of the lowest house advantages of any casino game, which makes it a good bet for players. But in addition to the house advantage, there are other factors that affect the odds, including how many decks of cards are used in play, and which bet you make – banker, player or tie.
The standard set up in Baccarat is to see 8 decks of cards in the shoe at one time, but there are sometimes games played with 6 decks. The house edge will change depending on the number of decks used. In general, you want to remember two things: the fewer decks that are in play, the better the odds are for you, and you always want to bet on the Banker because that bet has the lowest house edge.
Calculation of Odds
The following numbers are examples of odds based on a standard 5% commission for the Banker and 8:1 payoff for a Tie. Please note that the first two examples given are for illustrative purposes, as it is highly unlikely that you will find a game with one or four deck shoes in actual practice.
A one deck shoe will have 45.96% odds for the banker, the player at 44.68% odds, and 9.36% odds for a tie.
A four deck shoe will have the following baccarat odds: 45.88% for banker, 44.63% for player, and 9.49% for a tie.
A six deck shoe will have the following baccarat odds: 45.87% for the banker, 44.63% for player, and 9.51% for a tie.
A standard eight deck shoe, which is the most decks you’ll use in baccarat, will have the following odds: 45.86% for banker, 44.62% for player, and 9.52% for a tie.
As you can see from the examples above, as the number of decks increases, the percentage of odds decreases for the banker and player bets, and increases for the tie bet.
Remember that the house edge and how it is affected by the number of decks in the shoe is only one part of the equation. There is also the banker’s commission to consider – the standard is 5%, but some places it is slightly higher or lower.
Another variable to keep in mind is that when you’re play online. If you’re playing with a computer “dealer” the number of decks in the shoe is a moot point. The computer reshuffles and deals automatically. Of course, if you’re playing with a live dealer, then the above information still applies.
Remember that your chances of winning are always going to be slightly higher if you bet on the banker, and if you can find a game that uses fewer decks, you’ll have slightly better odds. Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is that the house will always win over the long term regardless of how many decks are used, or any other factor.