Author: Robert Kazinsky, Last Updated: March 12th, 2023

Baccarat Card Counting – Tips and Strategies for Increasing Your Odds

Baccarat is a popular casino game that has been around for centuries. While card counting is often associated with blackjack, it is also possible to use this strategy in baccarat. Baccarat card counting may not offer the same advantages as blackjack card counting, but it can still provide some benefits, particularly in specific situations. In this article, we will explore baccarat card counting in depth, including the potential advantages, comparison with blackjack card counting, and tips and strategies for implementing it effectively.

How Baccarat Works

The game of baccarat is played with a deck of 52 cards, and the objective is to bet on which hand will have a higher total value: the Banker or the Player. The game is typically played at a large table that can accommodate up to 14 players. However, players do not need to know how to play to enjoy the game, as they can simply place bets on the outcome.

The game begins with the player placing their bet on either the Banker, Player, or Tie. After the bets are placed, two cards are dealt face up to the Player and the Banker positions. The values of the cards are added up, and the hand with a value closest to nine wins. The cards are valued as follows: Aces are worth 1 point, numbered cards are worth their face value, and face cards (King, Queen, and Jack) are worth zero points.

If the total value of the cards exceeds 9, the value is adjusted by subtracting 10 from the total. For example, if the hand has a 7 and an 8, the total value would be 15, but since the maximum value in baccarat is 9, 10 is subtracted, and the hand is valued at 5.

The Banker and Player positions may receive a third card under certain circumstances. If either the Player or Banker has a total of 8 or 9 with the first two cards, it is called a natural, and the game ends. If neither hand has a natural, the player may draw a third card based on specific rules. The Banker’s third card is drawn based on a more complicated set of rules that consider both the Banker’s hand and the Player’s third card.

In terms of betting, the Banker and Player bets have a lower house edge than the Tie bet, which has a much higher payout percentage but a much lower probability of winning. The Banker bet has a house edge of around 1.06%, while the Player bet has a house edge of 1.24%. The Tie bet, on the other hand, has a much higher payout percentage of 8:1 or 9:1, but a much lower probability of winning, with a house edge of around 14.4%.

Baccarat is a straightforward game that is easy to learn, and its simple gameplay and fast pace make it a popular choice among gamblers. In the following sections, we will delve into the world of baccarat card counting, exploring strategies, and tips for improving your chances of winning.

Why Baccarat Card Counting Is Different from Blackjack Card Counting

Baccarat and blackjack are two of the most popular card games in the casino, but their similarities end there. While blackjack is a game that can be easily beaten using card counting techniques, baccarat is a bit different. In fact, baccarat card counting is not nearly as effective as blackjack card counting, and the reasons for this are worth exploring.

One of the primary differences between the two games is the number of decks used. Blackjack is typically played with one or two decks, whereas baccarat uses six to eight decks. Additionally, in blackjack, the player can decide whether to take additional cards, whereas in baccarat, the rules are more rigid and the dealer follows a specific set of rules for drawing additional cards. These differences impact the effectiveness of card counting techniques.

In blackjack, the goal of card counting is to keep track of the cards that have been played and use that information to make more informed decisions about when to hit, stand, double down, or split. The count is based on the high and low cards that have been played and provides the player with an advantage when the remaining deck is rich in high cards.

In baccarat, the strategy is a bit different. Card counting is used to determine which bet is more likely to win: Banker, Player, or Tie. The count is based on the cards that have been dealt and how they impact the probability of each bet winning. However, the advantage gained through baccarat card counting is much smaller than in blackjack. While blackjack card counters can gain an advantage of up to 2%, baccarat card counters typically only gain an advantage of 1% or less.

Overall, baccarat card counting is a less effective strategy than blackjack card counting. However, it is still worth considering as part of an overall baccarat strategy, especially in situations like the Dragon 7 side bet. In the next sections, we will explore different baccarat card counting strategies and when they can be useful.

The Effect of Removing a Card

When developing a card counting strategy for baccarat, it is important to understand the effect of removing a card from the deck. Removing a certain card from the game can impact the house edge, with some removals being better for the player and others being worse.

To illustrate this, a table of values has been created to show the impact of removing each card from the deck on the house edge for each bet: Banker, Player, and Tie. These values are usually small and easier to deal with when multiplied by ten million. A negative value indicates that removing the card is bad for the player, while a positive value shows that it is good for the player.

For example, removing a 0 card has a value of 188 for the Banker bet, -178 for the Player bet, and 5129 for the Tie bet. On the other hand, removing a 6 card has a value of -1132 for the Banker bet, 1128 for the Player bet, and -11595 for the Tie bet.

These values can then be used to create a card counting strategy. A player can start with three counts of 0 and add the point values of each card dealt to each count. For example, if the first card dealt is a 6, the Banker count would be -1132, the Player count would be 1128, and the Tie count would be -11595.

To determine if a bet is advantageous, the count should be divided by the ratio of cards left to obtain the true count. A bet will have a zero house edge when the Banker count is 105791, the Player count is 123508, and the Tie count is 1435963. While it is rare for these counts to occur, when they do, a profit can be made.

Card Counting the Dragon 7 Side Bet in EZ Baccarat

EZ Baccarat is a variation of the classic baccarat game that has gained popularity in many casinos. One of the main differences is the No Commission rule, which eliminates the 5% commission charged on Banker bets in traditional baccarat. Another unique feature is the Dragon 7 side bet, which offers a 40:1 payout if the Banker hand wins with a total of 7 points that includes at least one card with a value of 7.

Card counting can be used to increase the likelihood of winning the Dragon 7 side bet. The strategy is similar to traditional card counting in blackjack, where the player keeps track of the number of high-value and low-value cards remaining in the deck to determine the likelihood of certain outcomes.

To count cards for the Dragon 7 bet, the player assigns a point value to each card. In this system, the 7s and face cards have a value of -1, while the 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, and 6s have a value of +1. The remaining cards, including the aces and 8s, are given a value of 0.

The player then tracks the running count as cards are dealt and adjusts their bet size based on the count. A positive count indicates that there are more high-value cards remaining in the deck, increasing the likelihood of a Dragon 7 outcome. In contrast, a negative count indicates that there are more low-value cards remaining, decreasing the likelihood of a Dragon 7 outcome.

It is important to note that the advantage gained through card counting in the Dragon 7 side bet is smaller than in traditional blackjack card counting. However, it can still be a useful strategy for players looking to increase their chances of winning the side bet.


In conclusion, baccarat card counting can provide a slight advantage for players, but it differs significantly from blackjack card counting due to the game’s unique rules and dealing process. By understanding how certain card removal affects the house edge, players can create effective card counting strategies to increase their chances of winning.

Moreover, we discussed how the Dragon 7 side bet in EZ Baccarat can be an excellent opportunity for players to earn a significant payout by using card counting strategies. While baccarat card counting can provide some benefits, it is essential to note that the advantage gained is relatively small compared to other casino games.

For players who want to try card counting in baccarat, it is crucial to practice using a reliable card counting system and have a good understanding of the game’s rules and odds. Additionally, players should manage their bankroll carefully and not rely solely on card counting as a winning strategy. Overall, baccarat card counting can be an exciting and potentially profitable skill to learn for dedicated players who are willing to put in the effort and practice.