While 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:
|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.
|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|
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.
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.