Despite its relative lack of popularity compared to other casino games, baccarat offers some of the best odds to casino players. Bets on the Banker or Player only have a casino edge of just over 1%, even when an unfavorable number of decks is used (the Tie bet, though, has a much higher casino edge).
It should also be noted that the relatively low house edge on the Banker and Player bets is assuming no knowledge or skill required on the player's behalf. There are other situations in a casino where you can lower the house edge to a very small amount but the player will need to incorporate knowledge to do so. For example, a blackjack player needs to know basic strategy and a video poker player needs to play perfect strategy.
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There will occasionally be a casino that offers a 4% commission on bankers bets. If this is the case, the house edge on a banker's bet is cut by almost half - to approximately 0.55%-0.60% (depending on the number of decks).
Another rule variation is a 9-1 payout on a Tie bet. Under these conditions, the house edge on tie bets drops to approximately 4.5%-6.4%. Although this is a considerable improvement over the 8-1 payout, it is still a much worse payout than all other baccarat bets.
To see the effects of a change in the Banker commission or the payout for a Tie bet, download my casino odds spreadsheet by right-clicking and selecting "Save target as".
HPG ADMIN on March 1, 2013