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Old 12-31-2008, 07:42 AM   #1
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how beatable is baccarat?

given that in some casinos here in vegas, they have a board on each table with the count, or score or whatever its called, is this game actually beatable? a person i know was adamant that i could go to a casino and watch all the boards and find a shoe that was favorable, and i could make at least a few hundred dollars a day on average if i knew what i was doing. i want to know if there is any validity to this, and whether i should bother learning. any links on the subject or books on how to beat baccarat would be much appreciated.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:30 AM   #2
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Do you just start this thread over every six months for grins and giggles?

Last Time you asked this Question
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:02 AM   #3
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

totally forgot about that thread. ty for finding it. although, it leaves me wanting more. the only two people who seem to have any idea what theyre talking about are you and gbv. he thinks one could make a lot of money under available conditions, and you dont. arg. and i dont expect him to spell out a winning strategy that i could test either. the quest continues i guess.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Alright fine. Just so you will stop asking, I'll give you the winning strategy. I will not repeat myself, and will not elaborate further, so please read this carefully.

Wait until either the player or banker has won 3 in a row. Then bet tie.

You will have a positive EV of exactly 1.57% multiplied by the percentage of the shoe that has been played at the start of the hand before the one that you bet, multiplied by a factor of 2.57 (also known as the Williamson factor for the person that perfected this strategy).

The Kelly criterion bet amount (which will maximize your bankroll growth) is simple, bet 90% of your EV multiplied by your bankroll.
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Old 01-01-2009, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

wat

heh
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:04 PM   #6
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Baccarat actually has some the best odds on winning. If you would like to learn some winning systems playing baccarat, let me know.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:46 PM   #7
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

I would. Please post them in here.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:53 PM   #8
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

if its possible its just not worth the effort to gain an edge in bacarrat. just learn to count cards and play blackjack instead. if youre just looking for a decent bet, baccarats got a pretty low house edge.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:19 PM   #9
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Without special circumstances(*), bacc is not practically beatable.

Specifically, even if you had perfect information about the ranks of each card that has been dealt, and could play computer-perfect strategy (i.e. knowing which bet to place), that would not be enough to give you an overall edge with any reasonable betting spread.

There are some who like to claim that you can wait for rare bets with huge edge. What they never tell you is exactly how rare those bets are. I did a combinatorial analysis years ago, and figured it out myself. You'd have to wait weeks or months to get the chance to place one decent bet, and spend the rest of the time backcounting. Good luck with that.

(*) Special circumstances can always give you an edge. For example, the illegal method of card marking can give you an edge. But there can be legal ways too, in rare instances, but those who know them wouldn't likely share them.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:16 AM   #10
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alThor View Post
Without special circumstances(*), bacc is not practically beatable.

Specifically, even if you had perfect information about the ranks of each card that has been dealt, and could play computer-perfect strategy (i.e. knowing which bet to place), that would not be enough to give you an overall edge with any reasonable betting spread.

There are some who like to claim that you can wait for rare bets with huge edge. What they never tell you is exactly how rare those bets are. I did a combinatorial analysis years ago, and figured it out myself. You'd have to wait weeks or months to get the chance to place one decent bet, and spend the rest of the time backcounting. Good luck with that.

(*) Special circumstances can always give you an edge. For example, the illegal method of card marking can give you an edge. But there can be legal ways too, in rare instances, but those who know them wouldn't likely share them.

With respect, I don't think you have been following these discussions.

First, there is no such observable thing as a "reasonable spread" at baccarat. I'm guessing you don't actually play baccarat much, because it is quite common to see, particulary amongst asian gamblers, bets raised from minimum to max. No one notices or cares. It isn't even neccessary, in any case, to go to those lengths to get a decent advantage at baccarat.

Second, the frequency of favourable positive expectation situations at baccarat has been mentioned several times here and in numerous articles, books and other media. I'm surprised you think this is some kind of dirty secret.

That said, it really does not matter. Consider the following thought experiment: over three months you double your bankroll.

Scenario A

In the first case you make thousands of small positive expectation bets where you can only risk a small fraction of bankroll. This is similar to the situation with blackjack or poker.

Scenario B

In the second case you wait around for months not betting at all, and then make one big bet which doubles your bankroll at one stroke. This is similar to baccarat.

Which is better, A or B? Neither. Both cases are identical for mathematical purposes.

Provided the average bankroll doubling time remains the same, it does not matter how the advantage distributes itself. All that matters to me is that I have twice as much money as when I started.

In fact, many sophisticated blackjack players actually look at a prolonged period of play as one gigantic bet. They may try and double their bankroll, giving themselves, for example, an 80% chance of doubling their bank and a 20% chance of losing it. That is mathematically the same as betting your entire bankroll on a single even-money shot with an 80% chance of winning. The only difference is that it takes months of play to get the same result.

An additional point: you can greatly increase the frequency with which you encounter favourable subsets by leaving decks unlikely to produce such a subset, early on in the dealing of the pack. If an excess of ten-valued cards is dealt out early on, your chances of encountering a favourable subset decrease markedly. It is best to quit that table for a fresh pack elsewhere. You might find it interesting to experiment with this technique with your CA.

Data on play-all scenarios is of limited interest because no one would actually do that as a practical matter, in the same way that no card counter would play shoe blackjack and sit through every hand regardless of how negative the count was.

Last edited by GBV; 01-07-2009 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 01-07-2009, 09:21 AM   #11
 
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBV View Post
That said, it really does not matter. Consider the following thought experiment: over three months you double your bankroll.

Scenario A

In the first case you make thousands of small positive expectation bets where you can only risk a small fraction of bankroll. This is similar to the situation with blackjack or poker.

Scenario B

In the second case you wait around for months not betting at all, and then make one big bet which doubles your bankroll at one stroke. This is similar to baccarat.

Which is better, A or B? Neither. Both cases are identical for mathematical purposes.

Umm, isn't there a concept called variance that would be just a wee bit different in these scenarios. Scenario 1 if the player is maintaining the +EV situation over time via small bets there is a very good chance they will increases their bankroll, while having basically no chance of losing it.

This is similar to online casino whoring a few years ago. Basically it was impossible to lose if done in this way.


The "baccarat way" suggests you basically bet it all when a specific situation takes place (which also takes a lot of time, just spent passively watching instead of betting). Even if you are at a huge (but not certain) +EV advantage, the risk of ruin is hardly zero.


This really strikes me as odd that you think the two methods are the same just because they have potentially the same +EV.





Quote:
Originally Posted by GBV View Post
Provided the average bankroll doubling time remains the same, it does not matter how the advantage distributes itself. All that matters to me is that I have twice as much money as when I started.
Then take out a ton of loans and place it all on every number of a European Roulette wheel except two of the numbers. Odds are you can double your gambling bankroll in one spin if you get enough loans and credit. Let's even pretend the numbers will pay 40-1 instead to create a +EV, but you can only choose half of of them. Definitely +EV, so borrow from everyone any amount you can to do it, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GBV View Post
In fact, many sophisticated blackjack players actually look at a prolonged period of play as one gigantic bet. They may try and double their bankroll, giving themselves, for example, an 80% chance of doubling their bank and a 20% chance of losing it. That is mathematically the same as betting your entire bankroll on a single even-money shot with an 80% chance of winning. The only difference is that it takes months of play to get the same result.

I think a proper pro will not create a scenario where there is a 20% chance of ruin, since losing it all prevents that player from generating more income. The "one theoretical bet" for a BJ player in this scenario is not the same as one ACTUAL bet for a baccarat guy. Seriously, come on :P

The theoretical one bet for the BJ player is the concept of long term thinking and the power of an edge over the long term. Pretty sure that is a little different from your all in on one bet approach, and by a little different I of course mean the complete opposite.

Also, with all do respect, your extremely high variance baccarat approach also takes a lot of time to do, it is just spent watching and counting instead of betting while doing that. Not that different really.



I am not saying your approach is -EV, it probably is + EV, but it is not quite the way you portray it to be compared to long term grinding with an edge.

I also am willing to guess that your approach is not really ideal for people like the OP who's research basically involves "gimme a way to win LOL"
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:40 PM   #12
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Quote:
Umm, isn't there a concept called variance that would be just a wee bit different in these scenarios. Scenario 1 if the player is maintaining the +EV situation over time via small bets there is a very good chance they will increases their bankroll, while having basically no chance of losing it.
I mentioned the time it takes to double a bankroll. Amongst advantage players, that assumes bets are made according to the Kelly criterion or a Kelly fraction. I'm dealing with a relatively sophisticated audience that I assume have read previous threads and/or other discussion of this topic.

So, no, the variance is as constant as the expectation. Or, more accurately, the compound bankroll growth resulting from the EV and variance of the two games is the same.

Quote:
This is similar to online casino whoring a few years ago. Basically it was impossible to lose if done in this way.
You have a large advantage and relatively low variance with bonus hustling, even now. It is not really comparable with blackack or poker, let alone baccarat.
As you state, most bonus hustlers underbet dramatically relative to Kelly, some grinding away for hours with $1-$2 bets. This is, as you say, virtually risk-free over any long period of time, but is a very inefficient use of that time. Virtually every bonus hustler making $100,000+ a year plus has to be much more aggressive.

The downside with bonus hustling is that the returns tend to max out at quite a low level. By contrast, only (high) table limits restrict your absolute returns at baccarat. You can put down $50,000 on the tie in some casinos without any one batting an eyelid. BH and baccarat have advantages and disadvantages for certain types of AP.


Quote:
The "baccarat way" suggests you basically bet it all when a specific situation takes place (which also takes a lot of time, just spent passively watching instead of betting). Even if you are at a huge (but not certain) +EV advantage, the risk of ruin is hardly zero.
The risk of ruin is virtually never statistically negligble for most offline gamblers. It is definitely not negligible for blackjack card counters or poker players.
However, if you manage your risk intelligently at baccarat, as with blackjack or poker, you can reduce it to 5% or under.


Quote:
This really strikes me as odd that you think the two methods are the same just because they have potentially the same +EV.
To restate the point: I think they are the same because the two methods have the same return on investment with the same risk of ruin.

Quote:
Then take out a ton of loans and place it all on every number of a European Roulette wheel except two of the numbers. Odds are you can double your gambling bankroll in one spin if you get enough loans and credit. Let's even pretend the numbers will pay 40-1 instead to create a +EV, but you can only choose half of of them. Definitely +EV, so borrow from everyone any amount you can to do it, right?
See above comments. The correct way to bet this scenario would to bet Kelly, ie your % advantage divided by the ratio of a winning wager to a losing wager. In this case you have about an 8% advantage and roughly an even-money payoff, so you would only commit 8% of your bankroll, not 100%.


Quote:
I think a proper pro will not create a scenario where there is a 20% chance of ruin, since losing it all prevents that player from generating more income. The "one theoretical bet" for a BJ player in this scenario is not the same as one ACTUAL bet for a baccarat guy. Seriously, come on :P
20% is too high IMHO for ROR in baccarat or any other gambling game. Most professionals accept a lifetime risk-of-ruin of less than 1%. However, it is relatively common for new counters trying to build a bank to accept such an ROR or even more, and isn't that uncommon an ROR % for a trip bank.

Quote:
I also am willing to guess that your approach is not really ideal for people like the OP who's research basically involves "gimme a way to win LOL"
People should be aware of the challenges involved in this or any form of advantage play, I agree.


Btw I appreciate the concepts involved in getting an edge at baccarat are very difficult to comprehend, even for those engaging in some of the open-minded and intelligent criticism we have seen in this thread, and controversial.

However, I am having to repeat myself a lot in these threads.

It would be very helpful and considerate to other forum members if new contributors could re-read the previous threads on baccarat before posting, to minimize the amount of redundant content.
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Old 01-07-2009, 04:47 PM   #13
 
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

With all that you said, the thing that still sticks out is how you analyze the value of time. Your methodology is not one that happens that often, so a lot of time is spent, albeit in a essentially non betting way (or the equiv of the meaningless $5 bets)

I also have no idea what you ever expect to accomplish with the standard "how do I win at this game?" crowd which is always looking for the quick fix.

Some specific examples of a typical month using your system would be a lot more informative, even if you do not reveal the specifics of the system. Basically, bankroll size, how much time is spent watching/min betting, how often the magical count times occur, how much you bet when they occur.

Seriously, I have no idea if this is a once every day or year event, and I have no idea of how much passive time (which does count as time used) is required to wait out a typical scenario like this.

I do understand that insane bet size variation is possible at this game since the casinos do not suspect advantage play being possible, and I also understand that there is no need to disguise what one is doing so it is probably a lot easier to do then counting black jack.

Still, some hard data of actual trials would be quite a bit more informative of you explaining your methodology. Feel free to assume all of us are just too flat out dumb to get your theoretical models if it helps.
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Old 01-08-2009, 12:51 PM   #14
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monteroy View Post
With all that you said, the thing that still sticks out is how you analyze the value of time. ...

Seriously, I have no idea if this is a once every day or year event, ...

Still, some hard data of actual trials would be quite a bit more informative ...
You will be disappointed, assuming any data is ever provided.

I'll say this: The money comes from the tie bet at very deep penetration levels. For example, if there are only six cards left (the minimum possible), and you knew exactly what they were (perfect counting), and you played computer perfect strategy against those cards (knowing your exact edge, using a computer, and hence whether and how much to bet), then you could make decent money.

Here's the bad part: (1) no one deals to the 6-card level! Usually you see them cut off 15-20 cards in the US, for instance. And, (2) Your expected edge drops off exponentially as penetration worsens. I would already call computer-perfect play worthless at the 10-card level. At the 15 card level, it's a joke to even consider. If someone wants to claim a particular edge, or frequency of edge, to refute this claim, I invite it.

I am not the first person to figure this out. Read the Abdul Jalib article, if you can find it anymore. In summary, if the only info you have is "which card ranks have been played", then the game is not beatable under typical real world conditions. If one wants to violate any of the assumptions in my claim, then of course my claim no longer applies!
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Old 01-08-2009, 07:55 PM   #15
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Re: how beatable is baccarat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by alThor View Post

Here's the bad part: (1) no one deals to the 6-card level! Usually you see them cut off 15-20 cards in the US, for instance. And, (2) Your expected edge drops off exponentially as penetration worsens. I would already call computer-perfect play worthless at the 10-card level. At the 15 card level, it's a joke to even consider. If someone wants to claim a particular edge, or frequency of edge, to refute this claim, I invite it.!
What about Abdul Jalib? whom you mention below.

Buried in the archives here is a quote from him:

"For example, with 16 cards unseen before the last round, you could make 1.8% of your whole bankroll by optimal betting on tie while wired into a computer. How much of that potential profit is realizable by a human would depend on how clever that human is in devising heuristics to identify good betting situations based on remaining cards deep in the shoe. " -
http://www.twoplustwo.com/digests/mar99_msg.html#152601

Your basic problem is that you are confusing edge with profitability. It doesn't matter if the average edge is low provided the average optimal bet size is relatively large.

Additionally you are assuming the baccarat counter just sits there through the dealing of an entire pack regardless of how unlikely it may be to produce a favourable subset, the equivalent of never leaving the table in a negative count at blackjack or practicing zero game selection at poker. Obviously, with such artificial restrictions it would be impractical to beat modern blackjack or poker.

Quote:
I am not the first person to figure this out. Read the Abdul Jalib article, if you can find it anymore.
Two problems. 1) I was in communication with the author and the public version of the report was heavily censored. 2) No one has been able to reproduce his work or even work out what his data means. Abdul was just too out there.
You may be surprised to know I think baccarat is actually less beatable than Abdul thought.

Last edited by GBV; 01-08-2009 at 08:02 PM.
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