Baccarat Great Learning, from Zuan Xin
By Zuan Xin
They say that Confucius astutely observed, “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” That certainly holds true for baccarat. From now on, we players look for the beauty in the pattern of each shoe we play. We have stopped being lazy gamblers and started being hardworking players. We have admitted it is nonsense being too lazy to do the math and then blaming our losses on bad luck.
A problem the game of baccarat presents is data overload. Our job is to concentrate on the data that is useful and ignore the data that is not. Casinos provide scoreboards and scorecards. Why? To overload us with data so that we confuse ourselves. To what end? To take all of our money as fast as they can! After all, that is their business. So what do we do? We look for the beauty in each shoe.
Chinese New Year last, I was at a high end baccarat room on the fabulous Las Vegas Strip. A Hong Kong man and his beautiful wife were gambling. They diligently scanned the scoreboard, and marked their scorecard in traditional Chinese style, and used the eye catching 3 Row and 6 Row pattern tallies for betting analysis. Each betting decision was preceded by extensive animated discussion, watched over gleefully by their VIP hosts.
Inevitably, the casino efficiently reduced their tall stacks of yellow chips down to nothing. I saw them lose $125,000 in less than half a shoe, a cool $25,000 on the last decision alone. As they departed, I ventured to ask him to explain the basis of his last betting decision. His angry wife killed me with her stare. She did not see the beauty in that particular shoe, but there was beauty, much much beauty.
There are 4 rules that this example points out that I must teach us now. And we must follow them religiously. If we fail to follow any of our 4 rules, it is ultimately certain death for us at the baccarat table.
Rule 1. We must exercise total patience. When the shoe reveals an opportunity, then and only then do we place a bet. To practice our ability to follow this rule rigorously, we will attend a baccarat table for two consecutive shoes, tracking them, but never betting, not even once. When we can attend two consecutive shoes without betting, then we are ready to play and win. We wait for the shoe and enjoy the process by which it reveals itself.
Rule 2. Do not use any of our Chinese betting analysis methods. Forget about 3 Row and 6 Row pattern tallies, and any variations and combinations thereof, they are less than a waste of time. These methods do not stand up to logical analysis, they represent the worst seductions of circular reasoning, selectively using consequences to prove their antecedent. Baccarat is a game of chance. Its probabilities are a matter of analysis based on a very very large series of shoes, we certainly must not establish a probability for one shoe based upon itself. The high end baccarat managers here in Las Vegas send private planes and stretch limousines for the masters of our insane Chinese betting analysis methods. Pretty and deadly diagrams are these. We have our way of tracking the shoe and we are sticking to it, concentrating on it. We will learn our tracking method next time.
Rule 3. There is no pattern but there is a pattern of the patterns. Every shoe is unique, like a piece of raw jade. Millions and millions of different shoe patterns can be dealt out of the billion trillion possibilities. We use computers to play millions of shoes quickly, and the data matches up with statistics compiled on the casino floor. Based on standard procedures of play, the average number of hands per shoe will be 80. And on the average, out of those 80 hands there will 8 ties and 72 decisions.
We know the banker wins just slightly more often than the player. But the banker and player decision statistics are not useful data, except that we should hope that the opportunities each shoe reveals will be for the player so that we can avoid paying the 5% commission on the banker. Generally, the banker and player balance becomes roughly equal as the number of shoes analyzed goes beyond a month’s worth.
These 72 decisions are our raw jade that is crafted into a beautiful jewel. On the average, these 72 decisions generate 36 runs of 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or more consecutive player hands or banker hands. Out of those 36 runs, 18 will be runs of 1, and 18 will be runs of more than 1. Out of those 18 runs of more than 1, 9 will be runs of 2, and 9 will be runs of more than 2. This pattern of patterns goes on and on like the brilliance of a jewel. The beauty we see in each shoe is the unique pattern of its 72 decisions out of its 80 hands dealt from its limited set of 416 playing cards.
Out of those 36 runs, we calculate that the average number of occurrences of a run of more than 8 or a chop of more than 6 is about 1 in every 3 and 1/2 shoes. The 1 and only 1 trend in a shoe is its mathematics. If we conjure up for ourselves any other trends and gamble, our stack of chips will disappear.
The pattern of the patterns represents the intrinsic beauty of the game of baccarat and is the reason it is the world’s grand casino game. Let us resolve to appreciate the pattern of the patterns of baccarat and play each shoe in harmony with the intrinsic unalterable nature of the game.
Rule 4. Never never never never bet the tie bet. That is 4 times never. Tie betters are not players, they are sucker betters. Therefore we will not dishonor ourselves by discussing this further. Never bet the tie, don’t even think about it, and ignore those who do. This same rule applies to all other side bets and betting propositions, and any baccarat game and rule variations.
Think 8 times over about our 4 rules. Next time we will learn our tracking method by replaying the winning moments of the 2005 Chinese baccarat challenge won here in Las Vegas.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions and comments.
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