Card Counting the Super Six Baccarat Side Bet

Card Counting the Super Six Baccarat Side Bet
By Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.

The way baccarat usually operates, a winning Banker wager is charged a 5% commission, creating a house edge on the Banker bet of about 1.0579%. Another way of saying this is that a winning Banker wager pays 19-to-20. As commissions are collected and accounted, this challenging payout causes the game to slow down, losing profit for the house. One solution to this problem is to offer a "commission free" variation. These commission free versions work by choosing a rare winning Banker hand and not paying it full value. The two most common commission free variations (both public domain) are the following:

  • Commission Free Variation #1: Banker winning three card seven is a push. House edge = 1.0183%.
  • Commission Free Variation #2: Banker winning total of six. House edge = 1.4581%.

The first version has been known for a long time as EZ Baccarat. However, in 2013 the patent on this rule expired and other companies marketed the game under their own brands. In particular, Shuffle Master started pushing its Fortune 7 baccarat. Regardless, the big question is why any casino would want to offer a version of baccaratwith a lower house edgethan standard baccarat? By reducing the edge from 1.0579% to 1.0183%, the casino directly gives up profit. However, this profit is recouped in two ways. First, because the game is non-commission, it will move faster.  Second, this version has a very popular side bet that almost always accompanies it on the table.

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