Final Hand, Secret Bet, Protecting a Slim Lead

Discussion in 'Baccarat Tournament Strategy' started by gronbog, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    I played another baccarat event over the past weekend ( and managed my first final table appearance for baccarat! However, I finished 5th out of 9 and the prize pool was top heavy. Still, another good experience.

    In both the preliminary round (3 advance from 9) and the semi final round (1 advances from 8), I found myself in similar situations on the final hand. For both rounds, there were no limits, it was a secret bet and tie paid 8 to 1. The similar situations were that I was on the bubble (BR3 in the preliminary and BR1 in the semi final) and had one or more players close on my tail. In the preliminary round, the bankrolls of the remaining players were: ~12000, ~11000, 8100 (me), 8000, 8000, 7600. I had two players within a minimum bet. In the semi final, the bankrolls were 6700 (me), 6500, 6000, 4600, 4300.

    In both situations, I was almost 100% sure that my opponents would be all-in in some fashion and I was also acutely aware of the error I had made at my previous baccarat event ( Ididn't want to repeat it.

    In the preliminary round, I therefore felt that I could afford less than 100 on a tie bet. I also wanted to hold back a few chips in case my opponents went all-in and lost everything. I ended up betting 8000 on bank and nothing on tie, holding back 100. I figured that any tie bets my opponents would make would be big enough to beat the 25-75 I would have had available to bet. Looking back now, I probably should have bet only 7925 on bank which would have left me with 150 for a tie bet while still holding back a chip.

    In the semi-final, under time pressure, I ended up doing something similar. I bet 6500 on bank and nothing on tie, holding back 200.

    Any insights into these situations would be appreciated.
  2. S. Yama

    S. Yama Active Member

    Gronbog congrats for making final baccarat tournament table!

    In both cited rounds you were in a similar situations, you were in BR position and had 3 players very close right behind you.
    Being guaranteed advancement if you bet near all-in outweighs risking it by a smaller bet for somewhat increased chances of having chips left if you lose or covering the Tie.
    I am sure that what I write below is well known to you, but in case there are some other players new to the game reading it I include some basics.
    In elimination round you had to make a bet that you would end up with more than 16,000 if you won, because your closest opponents had 8,000 and could had doubled up.
    You could have bet 7,925 and kept 175, or bet 8,025 and 75 on Tie, or a combination of the above, but if you won your main bet you would have had 16,025.
    (Interesting fact: if they had regular 5% commission on Bank’s winnings, you could had bet 7,900 on Bank and kept the whole 200, as whoever had bet 8K on Bank would paid higher commission and you would beat them by five chips.)

    In the semis, the closest opponent can go to 13K, so, with the bankroll of 6,700 you can bet 6,325 and keep 375, or bet 6,525 and bet the rest on Tie, or the combination of the above with the goal of a minimum above 13K if you win the main bet.

    On a practical note, at the table, when you are covering your opponents’ going all-in, take their maximum possible score, deduct from it your bankroll, and make your bet by adding to it a minimum more (or rounding it up).

    S. Yama
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  3. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Thanks, as always. So I basically did the right thing.

    I did make an error on my previous post, that you addressed indirectly. If I made a 7,925 main bet and kept 175, I could not bet on tie, because that would defeat my main bet. As a rule of thumb, I have to remember that when I've calculated a precise main bet to win, I have to add to it whatever I bet on tie. Conversely, if I've calculated a main bet as the max amount I can afford to lose, I have to subtract from it whatever I bet on tie.

    Interesting comment re: commission. I'm not yet at the level where I can calculate that at the table. As it turns out, there was no commission on winning banker bets at this event.
    PlayHunter likes this.
  4. S. Yama

    S. Yama Active Member

    It is a little harder to estimate the exact chances of benefits for betting the extra chips on Tie or keeping them for a chance of advancing if your opponents lose and they keep less unbet chips than you. But the conclusion is almost certain for the type of players you described. Keep behind as much unbet chips as you can.
    In your semis situation for a Tie bet you have to multiply chances of your opponents respectively betting on Tie less than 200, 300, 425, and 475, then multiply it by the chance of Tie, and deduct the chance of advancing if you keep all extra unbet chips without making the Tie bet and advance by all players losing.
    For the chances of “low” you have to multiply chances of them all making bets on the losing side and keeping less unbet chips, minus the chance they don’t make the Tie bets as the above, times the chance for the Tie.

    Another interesting subject to discuss is to what side to bet based on you estimate what side your opponents are going to bet.
    To be mathematically correct you have to multiply all assumed chances of each player betting particular side times the opposite side winning.
    Practically, you add the assumed chances of one of the sides for all opponents and check if they are higher or lower than the average. Then, you bet on the same side as the higher number. For example (rounding to 5%), if you give players chances for betting Bank as P1 - 65%, P2 – 45%, P3 – 45% = 155%. Since the average for each side is 150% (3 players times 100%) you bet Bank (success 13.2% vs. 10.6% bet on Player side, assuming fifty/fifty outcome)
    Assumed chances for betting Bank: P1 - 30%, P2 – 55%, P3 – 60% = 145%. You bet Player (success 12.6% vs. 9.9%).
    This rule may stop working when you guess that one of the players is almost certain (over 95%) to bet one side and the other two are highly likely to bet the other side. If one bets Bank 100% and the other two Player bets are given 80%, the sum of Bank bets for all 3 players is 140%, less than average – but this is the only chance to advance if our bet is lost.

    In the majority of situations where we advance when we win, but have additional chance when other players lose with us, it is both practical and mathematically correct to bet with the player that we are most convinced (highest % number) about his/her preference.

    S. Yama
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