Discount Gambling

Panda-8 Bonus Bet @ EZ Baccarat

Posted in +EV, baccarat, panda-8 by stephenhow on October 9, 2011

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 7.08.26 PMRead all my posts on the Panda-8 sidebet.

There’s another bonus bet on the EZ Baccarat table, called Panda-8, that pays 25-1 for a 3-card player 8 win. Using the same methods as the prior posts on countable baccarat side bets, I came up with the following card count values:

Card Count Value
Ace 1
Deuce 1
Trey -2
Four -2
Five -2
Six -1
Seven -1
Eight -2
Nine 4
Ten/Face 1

The player should bet the Panda-8 when the true count is ≥ 11. (The plot below shows the EV curve crosses the x-axis at a true count of 10.5):

Use the following running count (RC) thresholds when betting the Panda-8 side bet:

Hand # RCMin
55 31
56 29
57 28
58 27
59 26
60 25
61 24
62 23
64 21
65 20
66 19
67 18
68 17
69 16
70 15
71 14
72 13
73 12
74 11
75 10
76 9
77 8
78 6
79 5
80 4
81 3
82 2
83 1
84 0

Using the above RCmin thresholds, simulations showed a profit of 22% of a fixed bet per shoe, at an average 3.8 bets/shoe.

14 Responses

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  1. James said, on November 2, 2011 at 7:38 am

    a) From, the odds swing to the player’s favor at a TC >= 11.

    But you stated above that player should bet when TC >= 13.

    So which one is correct ?

    b) For Dragon 7, without the tracking sheet, player bet when TC >= 4 ?

    c) For Dragon Bonus, without the tracking sheet, player bet when TC >= ?


    • stephenhow said, on November 2, 2011 at 10:18 am

      a) I’ll definitely agree that for the Panda-8, the bet is +EV for TC >= 11. I just generated a plot, and I’ll update the post with it. However, it makes almost no difference if I use a TC of 11 or 13 to with a tracking sheet (threshold RCs).

      b) For the Dragon-7, the EV vs. TC curve crosses the x-axis at 5. Eliot uses a TC of 4 with his definitions, and it really doesn’t make much difference.

      c) The TC threshold for the Player Dragon Bonus is 7.

  2. James said, on November 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for your clarification.

    Betting the Panda 8 is very rare before hand no 55 as stated in your above running count (RC) thresholds ?


    • stephenhow said, on November 2, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Yes, it’s uncommon that the count is good enough to bet the Panda before hand #55. When I sit around the mini-bac table counting the Dragon-7, I start paying attention around hand #55.

  3. Linus Blankette said, on February 20, 2012 at 12:30 am

    I was finding this Panda-8 count too laborious to maintain throughout the shoe along with the Dragon-7 count, so I went to Griffin’s “Theory of Blackjack” book to get the formula for betting correlation so that I could come up with a simpler count.

    Turns out that your Panda-8 count is strong with a betting correlation (measured against the EOR values) of 99.38%. Here is a slightly less powerful, but much simpler count, and has a betting correlation that clocks in at 95.05%. The point values of this “Panda-Lite” count (from ace to 10/face) are as follows: (1, 1, -1, -1, -1, 0, 0, -1, 2, 0). Note that the burden of keeping this count is greatly reduced due to having all of the 10s and faces count as zero.

    If you were to plug this simplified Panda-Lite count into your simulator, you should find that the EV of the Panda-8 bet breaks even at about a true count of 6.5.


  4. Allen said, on January 31, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Could you tell which casino(s) in Asia offer Panda-8 with the payoff of 25 to 1? Thank you!

  5. johnalbanese said, on March 12, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Has anyone calculated the frequency of +EV using this system?

    • stephenhow said, on March 12, 2013 at 6:39 am

      At the end of the post it says you’ll get 3.8 bets per shoe. Since there’s about 80 hands per shoe, that’s only 4.75% of the time. And it’s a very slow game with other players, so count on less than 4 bets an hour.

      • johnalbanese said, on March 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

        Hardly seems worth it, although I do wonder how wide the distribution of the count tends to be. Does the count swing wide? On average it sucks. But if there are those occasional shoes that swing into very high counts, relatively early, it could be fun to play.

  6. Kim Greenblatt said, on July 24, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Stephen, First, thanks for taking the time and doing this. I am slightly ignorant. To start the count on this particular strategy for Panda, do I use the burn card as the first number (example: 5 so I start with -2) or do I start with something like 36 etc? I didn’t get from the article what you use as the starting point for the count.

    • stephenhow said, on July 24, 2014 at 12:50 pm

      Yes, you should initialize the RC with the count value of the burn card.

  7. Kim Greenblatt said, on July 24, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks. From all the (ahem) “panda-monium” on the different flavors of Panda counting I figured I might try this at San Manuel this weekend if I go.

  8. Cass said, on February 17, 2015 at 11:27 pm

    Does this apply to both EZ Baccarat and Dragon Bonus Mini Baccarat?

  9. h3ll0kitty said, on June 11, 2016 at 3:32 am

    Forgive my noobness but could you explain the second table and Running Count Minimum?

    So starting at hand 55 i should not bet the panda unless the count is 31 or better? and so what about hands 1-54?

    thanks for any help on this

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