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Can You Count Cards in Baccarat?

Recently updated on July 29th, 2021

Yes, you can count cards in baccarat. However, this strategy keeps a much lower profile than what you would find in blackjack. The reason for this is because baccarat card counting doesn’t generate as much profit unless you are counting cards with a particular baccarat side bet. How does card counting in baccarat work? Is this technique worth using, and which side bet is it best to use this technique on? Below we answer all these questions with the help of our experts. If you would like to know more on how to count cards in baccarat, keep reading.

Count Cards in Baccarat

How Do Count Cards in Baccarat?

When counting cards in baccarat, the aim is to figure out which hand between the banker or the player has a better chance of winning. Similarly, when you play the game without counting cards, the banker hand carries a 1.06% house edge, and the casino still gets its 5% commission from winning bets. The player bet carries a 1.24% house edge, and the tie bet has a 14.36% house edge.

Before we can provide a demonstration of how card-counting would work, the technique will require you to find a table that has a 6 or 8 deck shoe. If you start with a fresh shoe, it will give you the opportunity to track the cards from the beginning. This ultimately gives you an opportunity to make informed bets on the banker or the player. Here’s a step-by-step of how you would count cards in baccarat.

  1. Add 1 to your count if an ace two or three are dealt
  2. Add 2 when a four is dealt
  3. If a 5,7 or 8 is dealt, you will subtract 1
  4. If a six is dealt, you will subtract 2
  5. Cards 10 Jack Queen or King are neutral

If your count is 16 or higher, you will bet on the player. However, if your count is 15 or lower, you will bet on the banker. It is important to remember that betting at these specific points does not mean that you have beat the house edge. Rather you have simply increased your odds of winning opposed to when you simply use the basic baccarat strategy

Pros And Cons of Card Counting In Baccarat

Like with anything with gambling, there are advantages and disadvantages attached to it. Likewise, counting cards in baccarat, it has its pros and cons that you should take note of before you start using the technique.


card-counting in baccarat doesn’t pay nearly as much as what you would find in blackjack. However, if you have a count of over 235 on the player hand and minus 200 on the banker, you will gain an edge over the casinos. In a perfect scenario, you would only bet when you have an edge and avoid making bets when you are at a disadvantage.

For instance, if you were in the perfect scenario, you would make $0.76 per hour when you bet $1000 per hand on the banker. Similarly, you would make $0.95 per hour when betting $1000 on the player hand.

Another advantage is that most casinos hardly pay attention to card counters in baccarat. So, you’re more than welcome to try your hand using this technique at any time.

Disadvantages of counting card in baccarat

A baccarat natural is when a nine or eight is dealt in the first two cards. Unlike in blackjack, a baccarat natural does not offer a bonus payout. Therefore, the prize of knowing when they are high probabilities of a baccarat natural being dealt is reduced significantly

Another disadvantage to card counting in baccarat is that you would have to bet $1000 per hand to make about $0.76 every hour. This is considerably a large amount of money to make on a bet which requires you to do a lot of work

baccarat card counting

Dragon Side Bet and Card Counting

As you can tell, using card counting when playing baccarat correctly doesn’t offer much profits. However, if you make the Dragon side bet, you will get an interesting opportunity to make large profits. So how does this bet work?

With the dragon side bet, you’re making a wager on whether the banker or player will beat the other side at a certain point margin. The banker or the player must win with a natural. Lastly, betting on a larger margin gives you a big payout. A basic payout table for the banker and player side bet will generally look as below

Win by Payout
9 30 to 1
8 10 to 1
7 6 to 1
6 4 to 1
5 2 to 1
4 1 to 1
Any other number Loss


So, how would you count cards with the Dragon side bet? You would start your count with zero, then minus one when 7, 6, 5 or 4 are dealt. You will plus two if 8 or 9 are dealt. If any other card is dealt, then you do nothing. You will then place the side bet if you have a count of four or higher in a true count. A true count is established by dividing the count by the number of decks left in the shoe. With the Dragon side bet you can make between $7 and $9 per hour under model situations. This is a more of a decent profit to what you would get when playing baccarat without the side bet

Final Thought

We have to be honest in saying card counting baccarat isn’t all what it seems. At the same time, you have to count cards to make a few pennies each hour diligently. Using this technique is not the way to go if you’re looking to make large sums of money. However, if you’re quite good at card counting, then playing the Dragon side bet can bring in larger profits. Card counting can cut down the house edge; however, you would need to use this technique seamlessly. So is card counting worth it? We would have to disagree; however, it is worth trying it out.

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