How to Maximize Your Comps and Extend Your Bankroll Playing Baccarat


Many baccarat players wonder what they can do to increase their comps. After all, higher comps mean more great rewards like free drinks, meals, hotel stays, and cashback.

The truth is that baccarat players already have it pretty easy without extra comps. This game features one of the lowest house edges, along with simple strategy.

All you need to do is bet on the banker hand beating the player hand to achieve perfect strategy. This can be seen by looking at the house edges on all three baccarat bets.

  • Banker bet = 1.06% house edge
  • Player bet = 1.24%
  • Tie bet = 14.36%

The average player will theoretically win back $99 for every $100 wagered just by sticking with the banker bet. Few casino games offer this opportunity, especially with such little strategy involved.

But baccarat players want to take things a step further by adding great comps to their winnings. After all, adding the best comps moves you closer to a level playing field with the casino.

I’m going to discuss different ways that you can maximize your baccarat comps. And you’ll see that some of these methods coincide with extending your baccarat bankroll and helping you play longer.

How Baccarat Comps Are Rated

The first thing that you should understand before maximizing baccarat comps is knowing how these are rated. Pit bosses rate your play to determine what comps you receive.

They use a simple formula that includes your average bet size and amount of time played. They can convert the amount of time played into however many hands they think are being dealt per hour (e.g., 150).

The final variable includes the casino’s comp rate. Most casinos only comp baccarat players at 0.1% or 0.2% of their total bets.

Here’s an example of how all of this comes together to determine your baccarat rewards.

  • Average bet is $10 per hand
  • Time played is 2 hours (approx. 300 hands total)
  • 300 x 10 = $3,000 wagered
  • 3,000 x 0.002 = $6 in comps

You can see that baccarat isn’t the most generous game in terms of comps. But this is because the house edge is so low that casinos don’t make much money off baccarat.

Some players are shocked when they bet thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a night, only to find that they receive less than $10 in rewards.

But remember that the casino still need to pay the dealer and bills, while leaving something for profit. They can’t afford to give back half of your theoretical losses.

Note:Also note that you need to sign up for a players club card in land-based casinos. You give this card to the dealer or pit boss and tell them you wish to be rated.

Otherwise, you’ll be relying on the pit boss noticing you through your big bets and/or extensive time played. This is less likely to happen on a busy night, so make sure to sign up for the players club before sitting down to a baccarat table.

Online baccarat is an easier process because the software will automatically track your play and determine rewards.

Given baccarat’s low house edge, internet casinos typically comp players at 10% the rate they do for slots players.

This isn’t necessarily fair, because most online slots only have a house edge that’s five times higher than baccarat. Technically, online baccarat players should be comped at 20% of the slots rate.

But you may find better deals by poking around different online casinos, which leads me to the next section.

Find the Best Baccarat Comp Rates

Unfortunately, there’s no clean-and-concise guide on where to find the top baccarat comps. This isn’t this something you google and find a broad list of the top baccarat comp rates.

Important:Instead, you need to research which casinos have a reputation for offering good rewards.

The Las Vegas casinos Gold Coast and El Cortez comp low rollers well. MGM properties offer some of the best rewards for high rollers.

Of course, nothing is better than visiting casinos yourself and talking to the casino host beforehand. They can give you a better indication on the exact variables used to determine comps.

You can use this information to make comparisons between casinos. Odds are that you won’t find anything better than a 0.2% comp rate on your bets.

At a 0.2% rate, the casino is giving you back 20% of your theoretical losses. Considering the cost of running table games, this is pretty good in today’s casino climate.

Online casinos are easier to compare because you can just visit their loyalty page or the bonus/rewards terms and conditions.

The standard is for online casinos to comp baccarat players at 10% the rate of slots play. But you can find better deals by visiting enough internet casinos.

Ask the Pit Boss About Your Rating

Again, you should speak with a casino host before playing baccarat so that you know what to expect in terms of comps. Standard comp levels include RFB, RLF, and “player” rewards.

RFB is the highest level, because your room, food, and drinks are all on the house. This level is reserved for high rollers whom the casino knows will be worth the generous comps.

RLF is given to solid customers who offer good betting volume and/or make fairly large wagers. These players at least get their room comps, but they don’t receive free drinks, and their food options are limited.

Note:The player rating is for the average baccarat player. These gamblers can expect to receive free drinks and possibly a meal if they play long enough.

Odds are that you’ll be in the player category and won’t receive many freebies for your baccarat play. But you can always talk with the pit boss afterward and try to get them to bump up your rating.

You’re not going to be bumped from a player to RFB just because you’re talking with the pit boss. But they might increase $10 in rewards to $12.

It’s also possible that they don’t give you better rewards at all. But you should consider speaking with them afterward to see what criteria they use to determine your comps.

I again stress that you shouldn’t play a single baccarat hand until you’ve given the pit boss your players card and told them that you want to be rated. Otherwise, you’re very unlikely to receive any rewards.

Fool the Pit Boss

Some table game players use deceptive tactics to earn a higher comp rate. These methods involve making the pit boss think that you’re playing longer and/or betting more than you actually are.

A pit boss doesn’t have time to watch you play baccarat all night. Instead, they typically write down your first couple of bet sizes and the time you start playing.

They’ll make the rounds to check up on the players whom they’re rating. But they don’t always catch players who are varying their bet sizes and sitting out hands.

It’s especially tough for a pit boss to keep track of all this during busy nights. This represents the best time when you can fool the pit boss into giving you higher comps.

One way to do so is by making larger bets when the pit boss first begins the rating process. Your average bet size may be $10, but you can start out with $25 or $50 wagers.

They’ll write this amount down and assume that you’re betting $25 or $50 until proven otherwise.

Mini baccarat is a fast-paced game, meaning players can sit out a few hands without having to give up their seat. You can use this to your advantage by skipping some hands every hour when the pit boss isn’t looking.

As long as they don’t see it, they’ll still give you the full amount of time played on your rating. And the best part is that you receive more comps while reducing your theoretical losses.

These techniques don’t always work because the pit boss could notice you’re betting less or sitting out hands. The dealer can also rat you out if it’s obvious that you’re using deceptive methods to earn more comps.

But it’s at least worth trying these techniques to some degree.

Play at the Big Baccarat Table to Get a Higher Comp Rate

Baccarat once had a reputation for being a slow-moving game that can only be played at high stakes. This version is called “big baccarat,” which refers to the table size being 12 to 14 players.

Big baccarat is played among high rollers in special casino areas. Many times, you need to bet at least $100 per hand to play.

Big baccarat also moves slowly, with these tables only seeing 40 to 50 hands per hour.

Note:Mini baccarat contrasts the big tables in many ways. First off, land-based casino visitors can play this game for minimum stakes of $10 to $25.

The tables are smaller, too, seating up to seven players. This creates a fast game that involves anywhere from 130 to 200 hands per hour.

Most people gravitate towards mini baccarat due to the quick pace and low minimum bets. But what they don’t consider is that they may actually get a better deal in big baccarat.

Allow me to explain with two examples of fictional players.

Example #1

  • Don is playing mini baccarat at $25 per hand
  • His table sees 160 hands per hour
  • 160 x 25 = $4,000
  • 4,000 x 0.0106 house edge = $42.40 in theoretical losses
  • Don is comped at a 0.1% player rate
  • 4,000 x 0.001 = $4 in comps
  • $42.40 – $4 = $38.40 in theoretical losses

Example #2

  • Stacy is playing big baccarat at $100 per hand
  • Her table sees 40 hands per hour
  • $100 x 40 = $4,000
  • 4,000 x 0.0106 = $42.40 in theoretical losses
  • Stacy is comped at a 0.3% RFB rate
  • 4,000 x 0.003 = $12 in comps
  • $42.40 – $12 = $30.40 in theoretical losses

You may ultimately decide that it’s still not worth playing big baccarat due to the slow pace. But don’t discount this game just because of the high minimum bets.

The truth is that you’ll probably make out better with the big table based on the higher comp rate and fewer hands per hour.

Just be aware that these tables often have dress codes. Be sure that you meet this dress code if you’re interested in playing big baccarat.

Learn Baccarat Card Counting and Use Comps to Win Profits

Card counting gains its fame from blackjack, where this advantage-play technique can earn you big profits over time. A good card counter has anywhere between a 0.5% and 1.5% edge over the casino.

By spreading their bets high enough, a blackjack card counter can make over $100 per hour. This is why card counting is one of the most popular paths to becoming a professional gambler.

Considering that card counting works in blackjack, some gamblers wonder how well it does in baccarat. But the truth is that it’s not worth counting cards in baccarat under normal circumstances.

Recommended Reading:You can still gain an edge through counting. But this advantage is so small that you only earn pennies as hourly profits.

Most knowledgeable advantage players ignore baccarat card counting for this reason. But one time when it becomes useful is if you’re trying to maximize baccarat comps.

You can break even (or win pennies) through baccarat card counting and earn rewards on top of your play. Counting is especially effective if you can handle playing two seats at the table and/or bring a friend into the fold.

This is the best method for maximizing your comps and getting the most out of your bankroll. In fact, you could theoretically play forever through proper card counting.

The best part is that counting isn’t hard in baccarat. Here are the brief instructions for doing so.

  • Start your count at 0
  • Ace, 2, or 3 = +1
  • 4 = +2
  • 5, 7, or 8 = -1
  • 6 = -2
  • 10-value cards are neutral

You want to bet on the banker when your running count is less than +16. And you want to wager on the player when your count is +16 or higher.

Your count starts over at 0 again when the dealer shuffles and begins a new shoe.

Look for EZ Baccarat

One more good way to simultaneously maximize your baccarat rewards and extend your bankroll is by playing EZ baccarat, which is found in Las Vegas casinos.

This game doesn’t take the standard 5% commission from winning banker bets. But the catch is that you push when the banker hand wins with a three-card 7.

This is certainly an inconvenience when it happens. But the lack of a 5% commission more than offsets the three-card 7 push rule.

EZ baccarat offers a 1.02% house edge on banker bets, which is slightly better than the regular 1.06% house advantage.

What’s nice is that casinos still comp EZ players at the same rate as a regular baccarat player. This means you can gain slightly more value when considering that your theoretical losses will be lower.


The best thing about going for better baccarat rewards is that there are multiple ways to do so.

You can look for the best comp rates, speak with the pit boss about your rating, fool the pit boss, count cards, and play EZ baccarat.

All you have to do is pick the method that you like best and put it into use. Or you can always use a combination of these tactics, such as finding good comp rates, tricking the pit boss, and counting cards.

I especially recommend that you work on card counting. This allows you to break even while adding comps on top of everything.

But you can go for easier methods, too, such as researching comp rates and asking the pit boss to give you a better deal. Whatever you prefer, you should at least try something to get the most out of your baccarat play.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.