Is The House Edge Lower In Baccarat?

 Is The House Edge Lower In Baccarat?

On most casino games, the house wins more often than the player, and it’s easy for the casino to get an edge on the game. All it has to do is pay players less than the true odds of winning the bet, and random results will lead to profit for the house.

Baccarat is different, in that the banker bet wins more often than the player bet. Bet on banker, and you’ll win more often than you lose. So to get an edge on the game, the house has to charge a commission. Usually, the house keeps 5 percent of any winning bet on banker.

What if the commission was lower? A player emailed to ask, “The banker hand in baccarat wins more often than the player hand, right? So if there was no commission on winning banker bets, the player would have an edge. I remember being in a casino once that advertised 4 percent baccarat. What does that do to the house edge? It would make the banker bet really good, wouldn’t it?”

Because banker wins more often than player, if no commission was charged, players would have a 1.24 percent edge if they bet on banker – exactly offsetting the 1.24 percent edge the house has on player.

However, the 5 percent commission on winning bets on banker is enough to give the house a 1.06 percent edge. That’s still one of the best bets in the house.

If the commission is reduced to 4 percent, the house edge drops to 0.6 percent on winning banker bets – about the same as pass or come with double odds or basic strategy blackjack in a six-deck game.

At wizardofodds.com, Michael Shackleford tells of spotting a game online with a 2.75 percent commission. That drops the house edge all the way to 0.026 percent.

I’ve never seen anything lower than 4 percent, and nearly all casinos charge the 5 percent commission. It’s the nature of the game – if a bet is going to win more often than it loses, the house edge has to come from somewhere.

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