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Card Counting Effective in Online Baccarat Casino

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Card counting is applicable to baccarat and can potentially reduce the house edge for the two main wagers by a fraction of a percent. However, you need very liberal shuffle points and deep enough penetration for this to happen.

Thorp’s system, for example, produced negligible results during the above-mentioned simulation where the dealer inserted the cut card 14 cards from the shoe’s end. The chances of this happening in the real world are zilch as baccarat dealers are generally instructed to place the cut card at least one deck from either end of the shoe.

While gaining a minuscule advantage over the house through counting is theoretically possible, baccarat players will almost never witness the counts that can yield it. Counting cards in this game is impractical, laborious, and largely ineffective as multiple experts (Shackleford and Jacobson included) have confirmed.

1. Rare Yet Negligible Edges Combine with Crushing Variance

As Thorp bluntly puts it, baccarat generally is not a favorable game from the perspective of the player. Advantageous situations arise once in a blue moon, not to mention players face enormous variance as they must risk huge amounts to compensate for this rarity of occurrence. At the same time, risk exposure is massively disproportionate to one’s expected value which amounts to meager cents at best.

2. Player and Banker Are a Coin Toss

Furthermore, baccarat is a game of almost perfect symmetry where the winning chances of the Player and Banker are concerned. The two main wagers are pretty much a coin toss, with the Banker side having a negligible edge over the Player. No cards benefit either side massively as is the case of blackjack.

3. Counters Must Overcome Higher Initial House Edges

Baccarat players must overcome greater initial house edges which further adds to the impracticality, ineffectiveness, and futility of counting this game. The Player and Banker give the casino advantages of 1.24% and 1.06%, respectively, for a combined house edge of 1.15%.

By contrast, blackjack games with liberal playing conditions can produce house edges of less than half a percent. The low edge percentage combined with the greater effect of card removal makes it easier to profit from card counting in blackjack.

4. Baccarat Plays by Fixed Rules

The house rules for drawing cards to the Player and Banker hands are fixed which further destroys the efficiency of counting cards in this game. There is almost no decision-making here since players must only determine which side to back and how much to bet.

This is not the case in blackjack where you can choose from several moves, based on the strength of your hand and the current shoe composition.

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Why does card counting work in Blackjack?

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1. Overview

The rules, structure, and card values in blackjack render it highly vulnerable to counting. This is because certain cards work to the advantage of players whereas others heavily tilt the winning odds in the dealer’s favor.

2. Aces, Tens, and Faces Help Players

Tens, faces, and aces help the player. Their preponderance means high positive counts, which results in more player blackjacks, more dealer busts on hard totals, and more opportunities for successful splits and double downs. Players make larger bets during positive counts since they stand better chances of winning.

3. Cards 2 through 6 Help Dealers

Likewise, the abundance of low cards 2 through 6 leads to negative counts. These are advantageous for the dealer because they decrease their probability of busting with stiffs and help them make more winning hands.

In such circumstances, the player is more likely to suffer lousy splits and doubles and will get fewer blackjacks. Counters are logically seeking to expose less money to risk during negative counts by placing smaller wagers or not betting at all.

4. Neutral Cards 7, 8, and 9 Help Neither

Cards 7 through 8 receive tags of 0 under the Hi-Lo counting system because they are neutral. As such, they favor neither the house nor the player because their presence does not have a pronounced impact on the outcome of a round.

Is Card Counting Applicable to Baccarat?

Now, let’s see whether this approach is applicable to baccarat. Excluding the Tie bet which carries an enormous house edge (14.36%), there are two main wagers you can make here – on Player (1.24%) and Banker (1.06%). Baccarat is theoretically countable but requires a system with different tags than those used in blackjack because the cards are assigned different point values.

 Card Values in Baccarat

 Edward Thorp’s Baccarat Counting System

 A Simpler Counting System for Baccarat

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Is Card Counting Applicable to Baccarat Online Casino

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Portrayed in multiple blockbusters including Rain Man and The Hangover, counting cards in blackjack is not as difficult as it seems in movies. Anyone with rudimentary knowledge in arithmetics and enough patience to practice can master this craft and apply it successfully at the blackjack tables.

More importantly this approach provenly reduces the house edge and tilts the advantage in favor of blackjack players. One question that commonly arises concerns the efficiency of card counting in baccarat, another popular shoe-dealt casino game. In today’s article, we are looking at the applicability of card counting in baccarat and address its effectiveness.

First Things First – What Is Card Counting?

Contrary to popular belief, card counting is neither illegal nor does it require one to be a mathematical genius or a savant. Rather than remembering each card removed from play as some people think, the practice involves keeping track of the ratio of high to low cards that remain to be dealt.

To achieve this, most card counting systems assign value tags to the high, low, and neutral cards in the shoe. The simplest and most commonly used system is the Hi-Lo which uses the following tags:

  • Aces and ten-value cards (10, King, Queen, Jack) are tagged -1
  • 2s through 6s are tagged +1
  • 7s, 8s, and 9s are tagged 0

The player keeps a running count by adding up these values as cards are removed from play to determine the current ratio of high to low cards in the deck. For example, if A, J, 2, and 9 leave a freshly reshuffled deck, you are looking at a negative running count of (-1) + (-1) + 1 + 0 = -1. Most blackjack games are dealt out of a shoe containing multiple decks, however.

The player must, respectively, divide the running count by the number of remaining decks to calculate the true count, i.e. the ratio of high to low cards in the current deck. Counters make playing decisions and size their bets based on the current true count. The edge swings in favor of players whenever the true count gets higher than +1. Continue reading to see how this helps them gain a statistical advantage over the house.

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How to Approach Unwarranted Bans

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If you are confident your winnings are fully legitimate and you have done nothing wrong, perhaps you should consider pursuing further action in case of suffering an unfair ban.

The first thing you should do is consult with the terms and conditions again to ensure you have not unintentionally violated any rules. If not, follow these steps (in this specific order if necessary) to try and resolve the issue.


1. Step 1

Contact the support team and inquire about the reasons for the ban.

2. Step 2

If unsatisfied with the explanation, escalate the problem to the management team.

3. Step 3

Allow enough time for them to investigate the ban and get back to you. This may take several weeks in the worst-case scenario.

4. Step 4

If still dissatisfied with the reasons given for your ban, take the dispute to the senior management.

5. Step 5

In the event of failing to reach a resolution with the gambling business itself, you can turn to an alternative dispute resolution provider. They will investigate your claims and attempt to settle the dispute. Some gambling regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) also respond to player disputes of this nature.

6. Step 6

Your last resort is to take legal action against the casino. Winning players have taken matters to the court in the past, with the court ruling in their favor.

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Welcome to Advantage Players and gain an edge

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Like all private businesses, gambling operators have the right to deny service to customers who can harm their reputation or negatively affect their bottom line through advantage play. Land based casinos go out of their way to detect advantage players, including card counters, edge sorters, and people who use shuffle tracking.

All of these techniques enable players to overturn the casino’s statistical advantage and gain an edge over the house. While not illegal, they are frowned upon because they result in consistent winnings for the player if applied properly. As private businesses, landbased casinos are entitled to bar such players and refuse their action.

With that said, online gambling presents little to no opportunity for advantage play. Card counting randomly generated blackjack is an exercise in futility, while the playing conditions at the live dealer tables rarely, if ever, allow advantage players to gain a sufficient edge.

However, certain betting patterns and practices are undesirable from the casino’s perspective. If you resort to any of the following approaches, you will surely suffer a ban.

  1. Using bots and similar software aids that automate the gambling process.

2. Intentionally disconnecting yourself from games to prevent losses or avoid playing weak hands.

3. Player collusion violates the principles of fair gaming. Online gambling operators use special software to track such players and are very quick to ban them.

4. Implementing low-risk betting patterns violates the user agreements of most online casinos. This includes simultaneously wagering on opposite even-money outcomes like Player/Banker in baccarat or Odd/Even in roulette.

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Blackjack Variations to Avoid if You Want to Be a Winning Player

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Online casinos boast dozens of enticing blackjack variations but not all of them are created equal. Some offer less favorable playing conditions than others, significantly reducing players’ winning odds in the long run. Their poor rules go hand in hand with higher house edges that can and will drain your blackjack bankroll the longer you play.

Where gambling is concerned, there is one rule of thumb. It stipulates that the greater the house edge is, the more money players stand to lose, and conversely, the more casinos will profit from them.

In the following article, we are going to share with you some of the worst blackjack games you can find at online casinos. You might want to avoid them if you wish to improve your winning chances and lose less over the long run.

Blackjack Rule Variations Players Should Generally Avoid

Blackjack is easily the best game you can play at online casinos because it yields an almost negligible house advantage of approximately half a percent. It is worthwhile noting this percentage can go up depending on one’s skill level.

Players who follow their gut instincts rather than using blackjack basic strategy typically face a higher house edge of around 2%, sometimes even more. Basic strategy reduces your disadvantage because it tells you when it is optimal to hit, stand, double down, or split.

If you find it difficult to memorize all correct plays, you can always print out a strategy chart to consult with during your online blackjack sessions. Rookie players will find one such chart in Mines Games thorough article on blackjack strategies.

Assuming you have already mastered basic strategy, the first thing you should do before you start playing online blackjack for real money is to check the ruleset. This is because rule variations in blackjack have an impact on players’ overall expected return in the long term.

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So Is Triple-Zero Roulette Worth Playing?

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The short answer to this question is no, triple-zero roulette offers no value to players whatsoever. This variation will deplete your gambling bankroll much faster compared to standard single and double-zero games. You will lose ¢0.08 on average per every dollar you bet as opposed to ¢0.05 and ¢0.03 in American and European roulette, respectively.

You are better off playing online slots as many of them offer better winning chances than the monstrosity that is triple-zero roulette. Apart from the five-number bet, the blackjack insurance, baccarat ties, and certain craps wagers are the only bets that can compete with it in terms of poorer odds.

As you can see below, this is one of the worst games a gambler can possibly choose where house edges (HE) are concerned.

1. Blackjack Insurance

7.39% HE in six-deck games

2. 000 Roulette

7.69% HE

3. Five-number bet in 00 roulette

7.89% HE

4. Hard 6, Hard 8, Big 6, and Big 8 bets in craps

9.09% HE

5. Hard 4 and Hard 10 bets in craps

11.11% HE

6. Tie bet in baccarat

14.36% HE in eight-deck games.

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Online House Edges in Single and Double-Zero Roulette

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In fact, all wagers in triple-zero roulette carry the same house edge and the percentage is significantly higher than that in single-zero (37 pockets) and double-zero (38 pockets) variations. If you pick a number on a 0 wheel and wager a dollar for 37 consecutive spins with each number landing once, your overall risk will be $37.

Respectively, you will again collect $36 in total on the one spin that produces your winning number and lose $1 to the house. It follows that the house edge in single-zero roulette is equal to 2.70% as you can see below.

(1 / 37) x 100 = 0.02702 x 100 = 2.70%

The percentage coincides across all bet types in games with a single zero. It is irrelevant whether you are placing corner, split, dozen, column bets, etc. You are always battling against a 2.70% casino advantage.

At 00 tables, the house will collect $2 every 38 spins on average if you bet a dollar on any individual number. Accordingly, the house edge at such tables is almost twice as high.

(2 / 38) x 100 = 0.05263 x 100 = 5.26%

The house edge again remains 5.26% for all wagers in American roulette bar the five-number bet. As the name indicates, it covers five specific numbers (0, 00, 1, 2, 3) and produces a 7.89% advantage for the house, which is 0.20% higher than that of triple-zero roulette.

The single-zero layout offers an equivalent wager known as the basket bet on numbers 0, 1, 2, and 3. It has the same payouts and winning odds as the corner bet, for a 2.70% house edge.

The triple-zero layout allows for a similar bet on six numbers where you wager on the two adjacent streets covering 0, 00, 000, 1, 2, and 3. It pays as a regular double-street wager and has the same winning chances, for a 7.69% casino advantage.

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House Edge in Triple-Zero Roulette

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The extra 000 pocket further increases the casino’s statistical advantage over roulette players. Let’s assume you are looking to back a single number with a $1 bet for 39 spins in succession, with each of the 39 numbers showing up only once.

You are risking a total of $39 in this case. Your chosen number comes up once throughout those 39 spins, so the dealer pays you $35 in net winnings on top of your original dollar bet.

You end up with $36 in winnings and the casino retains $3 of your $39 in bets. The simplest way to calculate the house advantage is to divide your losses by the overall amount wagered and multiply the result by a hundred to convert it into a percentage.

(3 / 39) x 100 = 0.07692 x 100 = 7.69%

As you can see, the house holds a 7.69% advantage on straight up bets. Let’s repeat this exercise with even-money wagers like odd or even. Suppose you wager $1 on even numbers for 39 successive spins at a triple-zero table.

You are again risking $39 in total. Your bet wins if any of the 18 even numbers comes up and loses when any of the 18 odd numbers or one of three green zeros (0, 00, and 000) shows.

At the end of the session, you will win $18 on average plus your original $18 in bets, for a total of $36 in profits. The casino again retains $3 of the $39 you have wagered, which tells us it still has a 7.69% advantage on even-money bets over the long run.

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Is Triple-Zero Roulette Worth Playing Online Casino

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There is only one rule of thumb to follow when choosing which roulette variation to play – the fewer the zero pockets on the wheel, the better your winning chances. In a (successful) attempt to raise more revenue, gambling operators came up with yet another atrocity known as triple-zero roulette.

This monstrosity first popped up at the Venetian in 2016 and spread throughout Las Vegas like wildfire. Other casinos soon followed suit and started adding triple zeros to their wheels, with Flamingo, MGM Grand, Harrah’s, and Planet Hollywood being few of the numerous examples.

Triple-zero roulette has taken Sin City by storm and operators advertise it as a roulette variation “with an exciting additional bet” that offers “more winning opportunities to players”. Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth and we explain why in today’s article.

The Zero Gives the House Its Edge in Roulette

Most roulette wheels in European casinos use the single-zero (0) configuration, while those on the other side of the pond have adopted the double-zero format (00). Now, is this really such a big deal? It is because roulette will be a break-even game had it not been for the green zero pocket.

Gambling operators derive their edge over players from the zero. The more zeros there are on the wheel, the higher said edge gets. So forget about the folly of having “more ways to win” in triple-zero roulette. You don’t. If anything the third zero diminishes your winning odds even further.

Let’s elaborate on this statement. The main issue with the zeros results from the fact that when you win, the house pays you as if they are not there. The odds against winning are higher than the casino odds, i.e. the payouts. When you do win, you always receive less money than you should. Examine the table below and you will see what we mean.

The casino payouts would have reflected the true odds without any house edge if the wheels contained only 36 pockets rather than 37 or 38, as is the case with the single-zero and double-zero variations. The actual odds against winning straight up with a single number are 36 to 1 with a single zero and 37 to 1 with a double zero.

Triple-zero wheels contain 39 pockets, further improving the odds against winning to 38 to 1. Nonetheless, winning players still receive lower payouts of 35 to 1 and this has a dramatic effect on the house edge as you shall see shortly.