Discount Gambling

Lucky Draw Baccarat

Posted in baccarat by stephenhow on October 2, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-10-02 at 9.23.33 AMWhile visiting the TCSJohnHuxley booth at G2E last week, I played at the Lucky Draw Baccarat demo table. It’s a fun game that plays like midi-baccarat, where you can squeeze your draw card. Each player wagers an initial bet, and receives their own 2-card starting hand. Everyone plays against the bank hand, whose first card is exposed. Each player may wager an optional 1x Draw bet to receive a 3rd card, or otherwise stand pat. After the action is complete, the banker reveals his hole card. The bank draws a 3rd card when his two-card total is less than five points. Otherwise the bank stands with 5 points or more.

The game is fun, because winning hands pay odds for drawn 7, 8, and 9 totals. The player makes a decision based on his 2-card total, and the exposed bank upcard. Winning hands pay even-money on the initial wager, and odds on the 1x Draw bet according to the paytable:

Draw Bet Paytable
Outcome Paytable 1 Paytable 2
Lucky 9 (3-card 9) 3-to-1 3-to-1
Lucky 8 (3-card 8) 2-to-1 2-to-1
Lucky 7 (3-card 7) 2-to-1 3-to-2
6 or less 1-to-1 1-to-1

I analyzed the game to check the house edge, and to run EORs. The outcomes for an 8-deck shoe and optimal player decisions are listed below.

Lucky Draw Baccarat Outcomes (Paytable 1)
Outcome Combinations Frequency Net Return
Win w/ Lucky 9 134,129,168,192,512 0.053669 4 +0.214675
Win w/ Lucky 8 98,365,258,946,560 0.039359 3 +0.118076
Win w/ Lucky 7 93,724,551,243,776 0.037502 3 +0.112506
Win on draw 260,100,744,978,432 0.104074 2 +0.208147
Lose on draw 976,828,113,772,544 0.390856 -2 -0.781713
Tie on draw 165,885,343,716,480 0.066375 0 +0.000000
Win on stand 471,832,788,590,592 0.188794 1 +0.188794
Lose on stand 195,977,691,906,048 0.078416 -1 -0.078416
Tie on stand 102,355,476,404,736 0.040955 0 +0.000000
Total 2,499,199,137,751,680 1.000000 -0.017931

The house edge for Paytable 1 is 1.79%, and 3.34% for Paytable 2.

The basic strategy for the Paytable 1 game is shown in the table below.

Basic Strategy (Paytable 1)
Total Upcard
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
9 D S S S S S S S S S
8 S S S S S S S S S S
7 D D S S S S S S S S
6 D S S S S S S S S S
5 D D D D D D D D S S
4 D D D D D D D D D S
3 D D D D D D D D D S
2 D D D D D D D D D D
1 D D D D D D D D D D
0 D D D D D D D D D D

The computed single-card EORs for an 8-deck game with Paytable 1 are fairly low. Still, I checked the countability of an 8-deck shoe, assuming only 15 cards cut off the end. For the simple count below, the game gets advantageous only 3.2% of the time (count is +40 or better), and for an average of only +0.23%/bet. That’s essentially worthless. You might pick up some additional edge with indexed plays, or better yet, using a computer and full knowledge of shoe composition. But overall, this game is surprisingly uncountable, given the options and the odds on the Draw bet.

Lucky Draw Baccarat EORs
(Paytable 1)
Removed EOR Unbalanced
Deuce -0.020302% -1
Trey -0.012306% -1
Four -0.027603% -1
Five +0.025698% +1
Six +0.023507% +1
Seven +0.015953% +1
Eight +0.033915% +2
Nine +0.050682% +2
Ten/Face -0.016883% -1
Ace +0.017983% +1