It is not uncommon for people who are participating in card games (or any sort of gambling) to try and work out ways of beating the system. Strategies of varying nature (and varying success) have been introduced to the world, and some players have managed to utilise them to the best of their advantages.
However, baccarat is one of those card games that most people have not been able to tackle with a good strategy or playing system. Some people have suggested though, that pattern recognition may be the route to take when it comes to playing the game.
But what exactly is pattern recognition? And how is it useful when it comes to partaking in the game of baccarat? Does it provide an actual advantage in the game and thereby shift the odds in your favour? Plus, what sort of rules do you need to follow to implement it into your gameplay in the proper way? Let’s take a closer look at whether pattern recognition works for you in baccarat and if so, how it can be incorporated.
What Is Pattern Recognition?
Before you try and use something to play a game, you should have at least the basic information about what it actually is. What is pattern recognition in relation to playing baccarat? Well, some people also describe it as a law of averages.
The idea behind utilising pattern recognition is that you can look at the results of previous hands over a course of time and from that information, it’s possible to better estimate what will happen in future hands. Of course, this would be quite difficult to do while you’re playing it, as you need to rely on a large batch of outcomes for a more accurate result.
Playing baccarat requires you, as the bettor, to place a bet on the Banker, Player or Tie segments on the table. Essentially, you are betting on which hand you believe will be the best one, and if that hand does turn out to be the greatest, you receive a payout from the game. If you have played baccarat before, you will know that your bet needs to be placed prior to any cards being dealt out, so you won’t be able to discover any sort of information from the hand you are currently playing. This is why anyone using the pattern recognition technique has to utilise the information from previous hands.
Taking the route of researching hundreds of hands that have been dealt in baccarat already has given some players the idea that patterns from gameplay can emerge. By recognising those patterns and figuring out where the current hand fits into that sequence, so to speak, it allows a player to potentially figure out what the bet should be on the next hand and the following one and so on.
Let’s say, for example, that a pattern has emerged from studying previous hands, which tells you that for every banker win there are five player wins, if you have just experienced a banker hand win, then you may opt to choose for a player bet on the next round due to this.
And that is essentially what pattern recognition is. Figuring out what the pattern actually is, utilising it in baccarat gameplay by recognising what pattern is in effect, and then betting accordingly. The real question by many people at this point is does the whole thing actually work? Or is it another strategy that has been thought up by someone trying to make money themselves from other peoples betting woes?
Does Pattern Recognition Work When Playing Baccarat?
Throughout all of this, it is highly important to remember that when trying to figure out whether a pattern recognition will work or not; previous results have absolutely zero bearing on future outcomes of hands dealt.
Just because you have studied your previous 1,000 hands and seem to have come to the conclusion that the player hand wins five times to every banker hand win does not mean that this is definitively going to happen in future hands. The hands that have appeared before have no bearing at all and are therefore completely irrelevant to what is likely to happen when the next hand is dealt.
Statistics relating to baccarat gameplay are actually drawn from thousands of games, meaning that there is far too much manoeuvring room to even start considering the idea that some sort of minor hint towards a pattern emerging will do you any good in future hands you participate in. However, it is important to remember the following statistics when it comes to playing the game:
- The banker hand has an approximate win rate of 45.9%
- The player hand has an approximate win rate of 44.6%
- Around 9.5% of games will finish in a tie
The issue comes from the fact that these are only approximate percentages and not 100% specific. In a single session, you may see the banker hand win 68% of the time, while the following session you play the day after only witnesses around 15% of banker hands win. Of course, in actuality, there is usually only a small percentage difference between the sessions as far as baccarat hands are concerned. But, those figures represent much more of a distinction for stress purposes. However, even if you do play a game of baccarat where things are clear cut at the stated percentages, there is nothing that can really guarantee things will definitely swing one way or the other once the next hand arrives.
Because the baccarat statistics mentioned above are taken from thousands upon thousands of hands, you would need to be playing that huge amount before you could actually gain any confidence in understanding how the cards would be likely to land. And even then, it would be a stupid move to bet large amounts of your money on that being the outcome. Instead, you would be better off going into a game of baccarat believing that each hand is completely random and proceeding with gameplay with that in the back of your mind.
The ability to play for such long periods of time and through thousands of hands though, is not something that is totally out of the realms of imagination. Take for example Akio Kashiwagi, who nearly toppled Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal following a deal being worked out where he would continue playing baccarat until he either won or lost $12 million.
Before he started losing, Kashiwagi was up $10 million against the Taj Mahal. Furthermore, the former president of that casino spoke of once witnessing Kashiwagi playing 80 straight hours of baccarat, betting up to $100,000 per hand. Unfortunately, he was murdered in 1992 and owed millions to various casinos.
Rules To Follow To Utilise Pattern Recognition
Pattern play can generally be considered a bit of a bust, regardless of the rules that the casino in question is using for baccarat gameplay. While it is easy to figure out a pattern from previous hands if you play long enough, it is important that you don’t assign a specific pattern when none actually exist.
The law of averages operates simply as an incorrect assumption that previous hands in a game like baccarat make an outright difference to the following hand. While we may want to believe that things will be ‘evened out’, it’s not something that can be guaranteed. There is a general human motivation to find patterns and this can mean finding them when none exist.
Over the long-term, things will likely even out to ensure that the statistical percentages noted earlier are correct, there is no way of knowing when that will occur. And most people access baccarat games in the short-term.
There are other things that can see the odds shift even further away from you as the bettor, too. For example, if the casino you are playing at shuffles the cards after every hand, there is zero chance of recognising any pattern at all. With these rules in place, you will be seeing hands dealt from a fresh pack more or less.
On the other hand, if the cards are not shuffled, you still won’t be able to utilise any sort of pattern recognition effectively, but card counting may provide an advantage instead. This is cited by some baccarat players as being much more useful than pattern recognition. However, once again, the moment that the deck is shuffled, card counting also goes out of the window, because the cards have been mixed up.
The prime rule to remember with baccarat is that it is a gambling game, and that odds won’t fall in your favour all the time – or possibly ever. You only need to look at the story of Greek-born gambler Archie Karas for that.
The player, born Anargyros Nicholas Karabourniotis, is famous for having the largest and longest documented winning streak in casino gambling history. He drove to Las Vegas with just $50 in 1992 and then turned a $10,000 loan into more than $40 million by 1995. He lost the vast majority of his money in a period of three weeks, with $17 million of it disappearing via playing baccarat. Karas was arrested in 2013 for allegedly marking cards at a casino in Lakeside, California.
Is It Possible to Move the Baccarat Odds in Your Favour?
Pattern recognition may not be the route to take when it comes to playing baccarat, while card counting requires the deck not to be shuffled and other specific circumstances. This does not necessarily mean that there is nothing that can be done to shift the odds a little more in your direction, though.
First of all, get rid of any sort of notion that it may be beneficial to bet on a tie outcome. While there is a higher payout on offer for betting on this and being correct, there is a reason for this – it does not happen very frequently. Instead, think of playing baccarat as a coin flip game – the outcome will be one way or the other. While you can’t influence the final outcome of that game, you can proceed with clever and responsible bets instead.
As with several other casino games, baccarat is a game of luck, and there is much more substance in being a good guesser than there is of strategising. You need to know that playing the game is an outright guess on the better hand, and you need to acknowledge that before you start betting. Otherwise, you will start seeing patterns that are not actually there.
One method of benefiting from playing baccarat is to ensure that you walk away from the table when you have built profit on top of your balance. In the long run, the house will be the victor, so whenever you are ahead, you have already won.
At this point, it is recommended to cash in your chips and walk away with even a small profit. It’s still a profit, after all. Continuing to play because you think you are on a hot streak could very much lead to your overall downfall. Set yourself some sort of realistic goal of what you would like to win and be fully informed of how much you can afford to lose while playing.
Nothing good can ever come from chasing your losses in betting. And that is not something that specifically pertains to baccarat, but all forms of gambling. There are countless stories out there of players who have lost a larger amount than they expected to, and so they have thought to continue playing so as to gain it back from the game.
This almost always never works out, because with a hot head or upset emotions, gameplay becomes reckless. Once you lose the amount you can afford to lose or win a small profit, it’s better to walk away.
The most important thing to remember when playing baccarat is that even though you may believe you have spotted a pattern in the way things work out, it is more-than-likely that you haven’t. Mathematically speaking, you have not found any such pattern. Instead, you have simply got lucky with your bets. Should you continue to believe in pattern recognition, the likelihood is that you will lose the money that you have accrued.
The most successful method of playing baccarat, and various other casino gambling games, is to set yourself a target for winning and a maximum for losing. Walk away if you hit either of these limits and you will feel much better about things. Pattern recognition isn’t something that can be relied upon for successful baccarat gameplay.