Reba sits quietly at the baccarat table, fingering an old, worn silver coin her father had given her many years ago. Though she loses more often than she wins, she still considers the coin her lucky charm in terms of betting. Tonight, it is working. She has won five consecutive bets.
The shoe containing the cards is offered to her. She pulls the shoe close to the rail and suddenly flips the silver dollar. She watches intently as it lands, heads up, on the green felt layout in front of her. Sliding several chips up to the area designated “BANKER”, she proceeds to deal herself another winner. This is a rather unorthodox and less than scientific system, but it serves her well.
Baccarat is a game of streaks. Whether it is several Bank hands in a row or many Player hands, money is made by pressing the advantage at this time. The best and simplest method to take advantage of these streaks is called “following the shoe”. This simply means that you bet on the side that won the previous hand. If the Bank won the last time, you bet the Bank. Using this system, you will never miss a streak.
But baccarat is not for the faint-hearted. The following systems are not recommended for those with limited funds, because they force a player to “chase his money” – that is, to double up after a losing bet to re-capture his losses. But these are some of the reasons big gamblers like baccarat.
A MARTYR TO MARTINGALE
He looks a little bit like W C Fields, with a bulbous nose and bulging stomach. George seems more interested in entertaining the supervisors, dealers and players than in playing the game. But everyone knows that he is deadly serious about baccarat. His system has won him money almost daily, though sometimes it is an uphill battle.
It is a simple system, based on the theory that the Bank hand will not go for very long untill it wins two in a row. George will bet his minimum unit – in his case, £50 after a Bank win. He is hoping for a repeat. If he wins, he will pull all his money off and wait until a Player win interrupts the Bank cycle: He will then make another £50 bet after the next Bank win. If he loses that bet, he will again wait for the Player interuption and double his bet after the next Bank win. He will continue to double his bet until the Bank does repeat.
The casinos have table maximums to prevent this type of system, but George rarely has to go that far. This time, however, George is in trouble. He has reached the point where he cannot double his bet because of the table maximum. He is forced to bet in reduced units that will require two or three separate wins, before he gets even. His friendly and casual conversation disappears until he finally wins the last bet, when he decides to take a break, obviously relieved.
Mickey is a bit more analytical than George, though his personality is even larger. Each time he plays, he is accompanied by different young ladies who appear to be a third of his age. His outlandish style of play makes him the centre of attention.
He has kept all of his baccarat scorecards since he began playing, years ago. Using a computer to help him diagnose trends, he has determined the odds on lengthy streaks, discovering that long streaks mean equally long odds. To get the jump on the shoe, Mickey will make large bets – £300 to £1,000 – on runs of two and three hands in a row. He will then begin to decrease his bets, knowing that the longer the streak lasts, the less chance it has of continuing.
Unfortunately, Mickey did not have the discipline needed to stick to his system. He was more interested in impressing his lady friends than turning a profit. Today, Mickey has depleted his once-impressive funds and is but a shell of his former self.
The systems mentioned above are but a few of many methods developed for baccarat. Since baccarat is one of the oldest, most established of the casino games, it has been thoroughly analyzed and dissected. If a foolproof system had ever been developed, outside of cheating, the casinos would have figured out a way to stop it.
Systems are methods designed to improve your chances of winning. Most systems require an established fund that depends upon table minimums and the player’s wallet. Discipline is as imprtant as money, however. But the key ingredient in any casino decision is the enjoyment of the player. The best system for one player may not work for another. If you’re comfortable with the system, it works for you!
Lucky coin, anyone?