In a previous article, we talked about the ‘One Sided’ baccarat strategy. For most people this is the best strategy for the world’s most popular casino table game for several reasons. It works equally as well at land based casinos as it does at online casinos. It’s as simple of a strategy as you’ll find for any game in the casino. It’s also pretty effective–since the house edge on the two major baccarat bets are slim, you don’t ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ by ‘zigging when you should zag’. The ‘banker’ bet has a house edge of 1.06%. The ‘player’ bet has a house edge of 1.24%. By assuming one role or another and betting accordingly, you’ll be able to maximize your playing time and leave with a profit if you get lucky.
There are other popular baccarat strategies around though none have the elegant simplicity and sound statistical foundation of the ‘one sided’ approach. One such strategy is the ‘trend switch’ strategy. This strategy relies upon the assumption that casino games governed by randomness (ie: most of them) will not ‘play to form’ all the time. What this means is that there will be ‘trends’ in outcomes that a clever player can follow and bet accordingly.
TRYING TO PREDICT A SERIES OF RANDOM EVENTS
The problem with this strategy starts with the dubious validity of it’s fundamental assumption. Any game that consists of repeated random and independent events will have ‘streaks’. This part is correct–if you flip a coin 20 times you won’t necessarily flip 10 heads followed by 10 tails. Nor will you neatly alternate between heads and tails. Much of the time will be spent without a discernible pattern or ‘form’ in gambling parlance. A repeated series of coin flips will have a couple of heads in a row, three tails in a row, a head and tail alternating for a few flips, etc. In other words, much of the time will be spent without any discernible ‘form’.
This is true with any series of independent randomized events. If you roll a pair of dice you are statistically most likely to roll a 7 (16.667%). You are least likely to roll a 2 or a 12 (2.778%). Yet if you roll a pair of dice 100 times you won’t end up with 16 or 17 ‘7’ rolls and 2 or 3 ‘2’ or ’12’ rolls. In the short term there can be all kinds of variance. In the long term, or more appropriately with a larger sample size, the outcomes will more closely reflect their theoretical probability. This is called the Law of Large Numbers and is a very important concept to know. Of course even with this conceptual observation that a greater sample size = more representative statistical results there’s no set definition of what sample size would be ‘large enough’. Would it be 1000 rolls, 100,000 rolls, 1 million rolls or more like a billion or a hundred billion rolls? There’s no valid answer.
The ‘trend switch’ strategy basically tries to pretend that the law of large numbers doesn’t exist. Every series of random, independent events will consist of clearly discernible ‘trends’. As it applies to baccarat, there will be clear ‘trends’ when the banker is winning and clear ‘trends’ when the player is winning. In between there are choppy, indeterminate trendlines when these ‘streaks’ are ‘forming’.
JUST ZIG WHEN YOU SHOULD ZIG, ZAG WHEN YOU SHOULD ZAG AND ENJOY YOUR PROFITS!
For the sake of argument, we’ll assume that you buy in to the previously outlined concept of two types of ‘trends’. The next part of the strategy is to try and determine which trend is in play and bet accordingly. In other words, do some guesswork and place your bets. Most strategies of this sort offer dubious ‘triggers’ that mean you should start betting on the *other* trend. For example, keep betting on a ‘streaky banker’ until you’ve lost three times in a row. Then start alternating your bets assuming that you’re moving into a trendline in which no clearly discernible form is present.
Or you could just ignore all of the nonsense outlined above and just guess. The result will be the same. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t waste your time on any strategy that requires rejecting a belief in the randomness of outcome of casino games. For some reason, this is very easy for humans to do. Google ‘randomness’ and you’ll find a lot of interesting reading about how humans as a species have long had a tendency to ‘find patterns’ in randomness. Conversely, the concept of true randomness–or a complete absence of patterns–is difficult for humans to wrap their head around.
Even if you can’t ‘wrap your head around’ the concept of randomness it is important to buy into it long enough to place your bets.