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A lot of players are of the belief that the player and banker bets in baccarat have a close to equal chance of winning given they both pay even money. They then look at the 5% commission on the banker bet and think the player position is the better choice. This is an easy and unfortunate mistake to make.
It turns out, the banker position has a significantly higher chance of winning. In fact, without the 5% commission, you would have an edge over the house by playing the banker bet. While both bets give the house a fairly low edge, the banker bet in an 8 deck game has a house advantage of just 1.06% compared to 1.24% for the player bet and over 10% for the tie bet. If you are lucky enough to find a 1 deck baccarat game online, the banker bet with a 5% commission only has a 1.01% house edge, which could potentially be overcome if the casino offers bonuses that allow you to play baccarat.
As has been mentioned, the tie bet isn’t worth considering at all. It is pure tax paid to the house for ignorance of the odds, and while those occasional ties are frustrating, you shouldn’t bother hedging your banker bet with a smaller tie bet. Remember that the rules for the player and banker hands are quite different, and thus ties are actually even less likely than you might think.
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