Baccarat strategy 101: What is the 1-3-2-4 betting system?
Want to get ahead of the game when playing online baccarat? Try the simple 1-3-2-6 system and see if you can beat the house.
The 1-3-2-4 staking system is a fun progression plan for baccarat players. It requires an increase in your bets every time you win a hand.
If you lose, you simply drop down to your original stake.
The system rewards winning players but also helps you manage the downswings better. So, can you jump into 007's shoes and master the baccarat tables?
How the 1-3-2-4 baccarat system works
Online baccarat is a simple game played between two "players": the Banker and the Player. As a punter, your move is pretty limited. All you need to do is bet on which hand will be closer to a total of 9 - the Banker's or the Player's. You can also bet on a Tie.
When choosing the right play, the house edge in baccarat can be pretty small. But it's still important to have a strategy for your bankroll. That's where the 1-3-2-4 system comes in.
Playing the 1-3-2-4 staking plan at the table
For our example, we'll be playing standard online baccarat, as found at Betway Casino.
The staking plan in the 1-3-2-4 is fairly rigid. The player starts off with a base unit of £1. After a win, the stake rises to the next number in the series - £3.
A further win moves it back down to £2, and a fourth moves the stake up to £4. The bets then revert back to their original £1.
If the player loses, you simply go back to the start and bet £1.
In essence, the 1-3-2-4 is similar to the 1-3-2-6 system, popular with blackjack players. However, instead of a hefty 6-unit bet on the fourth hand, you stick to just 4 units. This reduces the overall losses if you hit a downswing.
The 1-3-2-4 system in action
In our table below, we have started at stakes of £1, betting on the Player. This returns 1/1 (even money).
Our first four hands are winners. We now automatically drop back to our original stake of £1 and carry on. Over 10 hands, we are in profit despite having three losing hands.
In fact, this system gives the player a 10-unit profit for hitting just four consecutive winners. Reverting back to a 1-unit stake saves us from any losses that then occur.
Advantages and disadvantages of the 1-3-2-4 plan
For baccarat players who are keen to keep their losses to a minimum, and hold on to their winnings, the 1-3-2-4 system makes sense.
With the 1-3-2-6 plan, you would win £1 + £3 + £2 on your first three winning hands, before betting £6 on your fourth. If you then lost your fourth hand you'd lose all of your winnings (assuming your bet is even-money).
With the 1-3-2-4 plan, you end up keeping hold of £2 once you reach the fourth hand. It's a small but important difference that can help your bankroll in the long run.
Like all casino games, of course, baccarat has a small house edge.
While betting on the Banker is usually the best play, the return is less than 1/1. It's 19/20, with the remaining 5 per cent kept by the casino. That's why players using any system must factor in the house edge when planning what stakes to risk.
Give the 1-3-2-4 system a go
The 1-3-2-4 system is an interesting positive progression staking plan that protects profits in the long run.
Of course, all systems aren't without their faults.
But you can give the 1-3-2-4 a try, and see if your bankroll is looking healthier as you take on the dealer in James Bond's favourite game.