An Unbalanced Count to Beat the “Tie on 7” Baccarat Side Bet

The “Tie on 7” side bet is part of the UR Way Egalite conglomerate of side bets that I previously discussed in detail in this post. I’ve also created a spread sheet (the UR Way Egalite Edge Calculator) that lets you compute the house edge for this side bet, and all the Egalite side bets, in real time.

I was recently contacted by an advantage player who wondered if I was could create unbalanced counts for these side bets.  These are counts that utilize only the running count, without a true count conversion.  In other words, the “trigger running count” means to play the wager whenever (running count) ≥ (trigger running count) without dividing by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. Well, given that there are 10 separate side bets in UR Way Egalite and that I am retired, I didn’t feel like doing the work on all 10, so I asked the person to choose one of them.  They chose the “Tie on 7” (T7) side bet, that pays 45-to-1 for a winning bet.  I agree that this is by far the best choice if you’re only going to be playing one of these side bets.

A quick reminder, the balanced count that is used against T7 is as follows:

  • 7 = -8
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 = 0
  • A, 9, T, J, Q, K = +1
  • 8 = +2

Or, in shorthand, (1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, -8, 2, 1, 1).

With the cut card at 14 cards, a simulation of 200M shoes showed the following results:

  • Trigger true count = +4
  • Bet frequency = 22.4%
  • Average edge = 11.8%
  • Win (in units) per 100 hands = 2.65

This is very strong all by itself, more than 3 times as good as the Dragon 7 side bet for example.  And the counting system is super easy.  But, if you look at the EOR’s for T7 (available in the previous link and my book) you would notice that the 8 and 9 have roughly the same EOR, yet this count system gives them different tags.  This discrepancy leads immediately to testing the unbalanced count:

  • 7 = -8
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 = 0
  • A, T, J, Q, K = +1
  • 8, 9 = +2

When I ran the correlation for the system (1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, -8, 2, 2, 1) it turned out to be even better (0.998) than the balanced system above (0.993).

Here are the results of a simulation of 100M shoes of this unbalanced system, with the cut card at 14 cards:

  • Trigger running count = + 33
  • Bet frequency = 22.0%
  • Average edge = 12.1%
  • Win (in units) per 100 hands = 2.67

In this modern world most casinos that offer the UR Way Egalite side bet know it is very countable.  For that reason, the cut card is usually placed fairly deep (1 deck or more).  Anyway, here are the results of a simulation of 100M shoes of this unbalanced system, with the cut card at 28 cards:

  • Trigger running count = +33
  • Bet frequency = 21.4%
  • Average edge = 10.6%
  • Win (in units) per 100 hands = 2.26

That is still very strong result, indicating that a much deeper cut card must be used to adequately protect against counting T7. Someone who wants to do some good work should take this project on and figure out effective unbalanced counts for the other UR Way Egalite wagers.

I recommend any casino offering the UR Way Egalite side bet place the cut card at 1 deck or more and be on the lookout for advantage play.