Although generally regarded as a true game of chance, especially if one opts for a punto banco variant, Baccarat can be a good platform for testing some of the most popular betting strategies. There is however an ongoing controversy when it comes to using any betting systems, even in the more skill-requiring baccarat versions, such as chemin de fer and baccarat banque; a number of gambling veterans often refer to betting systems as a myth encouraged by the casinos, with a sole purpose of prolonging gameplay time and enhancing the players' losses. Still, there are a lot of experienced players that would disagree and advocate for a few of the most widely known betting systems that can be applied to baccarat as well.
There are two main types of progressive betting – negative and positive. With the negative progression system, the player gradually decreases betting amounts after every winning hand and increases the wager after a loss. Positive progression system takes the opposite approach and the players who use this particular strategy increase the bet after every successful hand and lower the stakes when the luck turns against them.
Using negative betting systems in the game of baccarat – such as Fibonacci, for example – will not give you the advantage in terms of the game's outcome; the point of the betting system is to keep the losses under control and dent the house edge. Whether or not this is possible can be debatable, however, Fibonacci system is known to prevent hasty decisions that could cut your gameplay time drastically. It also allows you to keep track of your losses in the dynamic baccarat environment or regroup when you find yourself in the cold streak.
The system can of course be adjusted to your own bankroll and even reversed. Instead of increasing the bet by the total of two preceding numbers (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13… corresponding to bets of $10, $20, $30, $50, $80, $130…) and then going back two steps after a win, the player can also go one step forward after a win and go back two steps after a loss.
The main disadvantage of this betting system is that the method is predominantly suited to the high rolling players that can endure potentially long cold streaks. Players with a more limited budget may not find it equally beneficial since the results are short-termed and the losing streaks can go on hours on end.
Paroli follows the positive betting structure, meaning that every win should be followed by doubling your bet three times in a row. The system starts with flat betting up until the first winning hand, when the player needs to double the wager. In case the hand loses, the player will return to the original flat betting amount; otherwise the stake will be increased by 2x once again, following the same pattern in the progression of three.
The whole idea of Paroli pattern rests on the belief of winning and losing streaks existence, allowing the player to maximize the winnings during the hot streaks and minimize losses during the cold ones. However, as with many other betting systems, Paroli strategy works for as long as luck is on your side and your winnings can thus be successfully directed towards increasing the wagers by several units; not to mention that it is far more stable than the negative betting systems and does not come with a large bankroll requirement. On the the hand, the losses can easily accumulate and exceed the expected level, placing you in a rather unfavourable position.
It is therefore easy to conclude that there are not bullet proof strategies nor there are any guarantees directing us to the perfect formula; with the abundance of gambling tactics, most are in fact considered worthless by a large part of the gambling population. The latter can of course turn out to be true if you are putting all of your eggs in one basket and one should always remember that the strategies are primarily designed to be a gamblers' crouch, helping them keep records on their wagers and enabling budget control, but not much more. Sometimes, entering the game with realistic expectations and commons sense can in fact be the best strategy that one can employ.