Reason I like Bovada #3:

Good Odds

Bovada online casino ad

The odds are always against you when you gamble, so it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds. I spent some time looking for an online casino with good odds, and I found it in Bovada. Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

It's disappointing that most online casinos are greedy when setting the odds on their games. They think they'll make more money by setting the games tighter, so the player has less chance of winning, but they're wrong. Most gamblers eventually gamble away all their playing budget anyway. They're going to lose the same amount of money no matter what, the only question is how long it takes them to do so. And when they play at a tight casino and lose quickly, they're less likely to return.

A casino which offers good odds will make just as much money as a tight casino, because the players will usually gamble away whatever they deposit anyway, no matter what the odds. The only difference is that with better odds, they'll get to play longer before they go bust. And that means they had more fun in the process, and they're more likely to return.

Bovada is one of they few casinos that understands this. They offer games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer. Among their offerings are:

  • Two blackjack games returning over 99.8%
  • Single-0 roulette
  • Full-pay Jacks or Better (99.54%)
  • Nine other video poker games returning over 99%

You don't have to play at Bovada, but wherever you play, make sure they offer odds at least this good!

Try their blackjack for free.
One click and you're in.


Gambling Problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.



How to Play

Baccarat

How to play: Baccarat | Blackjack | Craps | Roulette | Slots | Texas Holdem | Video Poker


B
accarat (pronounced BAH-kah-rah) is a card game that's popular with Asian players.   James Bond also played it in one of the movies.   The house edge is just 1.06%, making it one of the best bets in the casino.  It's also one of the simplest card games around, because there's not really any strategy.  It's kind of like roulette:  You choose what you want to bet on, then the cards are dealt, and then you see whether you won or lost.  There's no deciding whether to hit, stand, raise, or any of that.  Just pick your bet and wait to see the result.  That's it.  So it's a good game for those graduating from slots, who want a better chance of winning, and the ability to lose a lot slower than with slots.

Here's how it works:  Two hands are dealt, and the higher hand wins.  You can bet on either hand to win.  One hand is called "Banker" and the other called "Player", but that's purely arbitrary, and you can bet on either hand.  The "Banker" hand has nothing to do with the casino, and the "Player" hand has nothing to do with you.  They might as well call the hands Hand 1 and Hand 2.  Note also that there's only one "Player" hand dealt no matter how many players there are, because the "Player" hand isn't really the player's hand, it's just one of the choices you can bet on.

There's no such thing as busting in Baccarat.  Only the last digit of the total is counted.  For example, 9+5 is really 4 (not 14).  And 6+5 is 1 (not 11).

Aces count as 1, and face cards have no value.

Initially two cards are dealt to each hand, and complicated rules determine whether a third card is dealt to either hand.  You don't have to worry about this, because if a third card needs to be dealt, the dealer will deal it automatically.  But for those who want to know, the third-card conditions are listed further down.

Betting on Player has a house edge of 1.24%, and betting on Banker has an edge of 1.06%, so betting on Banker is the best Baccarat play.  The low 1.06% edge includes the 5% commission you have to pay on winning Banker bets. (Binion's Horseshoe in Downtown Vegas took only a 4% commission on the Banker bet for years until they went out of business in 2003.  They reopened with a new owner but didn't resurrect the 4% commission.)  The dealer keeps track of the commission and you pay it when you at the end of your session.  Even with this commission, betting on Banker still has a lower house edge, because the Banker hand is much more likely to win against the Player hand.

You can also bet that there will be a tie between Banker and Player, but this carries a whopping 14.4% house edge.

In the snooty Baccarat rooms with the high table limits, each player gets a turn to deal the cards.  On the casino floor there's no such perk, but some casinos like the Orleans will deal the cards to a player so the player can turn them over. 

Baccarat is appealing because there's no strategy to learn.  Most games with a low edge require you to learn some strategy.  But with Baccarat, you get the some low edge no matter what, because the only decisions you make are how much to bet and which of the two low-edge hands you want to bet on, Player or Banker.  The only way to screw this up is to make the Tie bet which carries a high edge.

If you play with Asians then the play is generally very slow, because they take a long time to make their betting decisions.  It's even slower if the casino lets them handle the cards.  This can be a good thing, because the slower you play, the less you'll lose per hour.  Check out our Expected Loss table to see how much you're likely to lose for a weekend of Baccarat play.

When you play, you'll notice the other players meticulously keeping track of which hands won.  They're looking for trends so they can figure out whether Player, Banker, or Tie is "due".  All this effort is completely wasted, though, because the past rounds have no bearing on the next round.  It's like when you toss a coin -- it doesn't matter what came up before, the chances of heads on the next flip are always 50/50.  There's more about this on our page about the Gambler's Fallacy.

You can practice baccarat online for free at Bodog, with no registration required.  One click and you're in.

Drawing rules

Here are the rules which determine whether a third card is dealt, just as FYI -- because you have no choice about whether a third card is drawn, and you can't base any strategy on it.

When Player's first 2 cards total...
Player will:
and Dealer Will:
0-5
Draw one card
(see next table)
6-7
Stand
Draw if Banker has 5 or less,
Stand if Banker has 6 or more
8-9 (Natural)
Stand
(see next table)

When Banker's hand totals...
Banker DRAWS when player's third card is:
Banker STANDS when player's third card is:
1 or 2
any card
(always draws)
3
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10
8
4
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
1, 8, 9, 10
5
4, 5, 6, 7
1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10
6
6, 7
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10
7
Stands
Stands
8 or 9 (Natural)
Stands
Stands

See also how to play:

 

a d v e r t i s e m e n t s

Online Casino Guide
Guide to gambling online features casino reviews, game guides, payout percentage information and a guide to online casino bonus offers
CasinoChecklist.com


Gambling Problem?
Call the 800-522-4700 hotline, and read this.

Also, know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling