In this guide, we look at one of the most popular casino baccarat side bets of all time. The Baccarat Dragon Bonus strategy is one of the few documented baccarat systems dedicated solely to a side bet option, and it is also a fun side bet with a low house edge if you make the right choices!

Below, we will discuss the Dragon Bonus strategy in depth. We will begin by discussing the popularity of baccarat, which then leads to the reasons why baccarat side bets are available on many of today’s modern baccarat tables.

We will then get straight down to business and cover the exact details of the ‘Baccarat Dragon Bonus Strategy’, its house edge, how to use it with bet sizing strategies, and then finish by looking at the pros and cons of using this side bet!

Click on any of the links in this list to skip to each section in this article:

More outstanding baccarat Guides: Check out our ‘how to play baccarat’ and ‘how to win playing baccarat’ guides, which are useful if you find yourself stuck with any of the terminology in this guide. You will learn the points value of each card, how to calculate baccarat hand totals, how to play, myths, tricks, and tips!

The Popularity of Baccarat

Baccarat is purely based on luck. It is popular because players only need to choose from 3 betting options - ‘Banker’, ‘Player’, or ‘Tie’. Once all bets are down on the baccarat tables, players can sit back, relax, and enjoy the action as the dealer does the rest of the work with no player intervention required.

Players often prefer this controlled outcome as opposed to having to make strategic ‘hit’, ‘split’, ‘stand’ or ‘Double’ decisions on blackjack tables, or ‘fold’, ‘call’, and ‘raise’ decisions on some poker variants.

  • Baccarat is popular because it is a simple game of 3 bets
  • The dealer decides the outcome with no player intervention
  • A much easier way to play cards Vs Blackjack & Poker

How Baccarat Side Bets Became Popular

As the 3 main bets in baccarat are so simple to execute, and the dealer is responsible for the outcome of the hand, the inclusion of side bets was a no brainer for the casinos. Once players bet on the main baccarat betting options, they can also spice up the action with a few fun side bets.

You will find that as you move around different baccarat tables, you will run into a whole host of exciting and potentially lucrative side bet options in land-based casinos, online live dealer baccarat tables, and virtual baccarat tables.

House Edge: Always check the house edge for each side bet. Quite often you will find it is far higher than betting on the main game itself. The best strategy is to minimise your side bets or use a strategy based on probability and variation!

Here are some of the main reasons why side bets are popular:

The Simplicity of Side Bets: Side bets are popular because they only require that you place a bet. Much like the main game, there is nothing to do except wait for the dealer to produce the outcome and see if your side bet pulls off.

Fun Side Bets: Some bonus bets are just fun to wager. For instance, combined value bets are often fun because players can wager whether the combined total of both hands will be over or under 9:5. The odds on this bet are also pretty decent as far as side bets go.

Strategic Side Bets: Some side bets come as part of a strategy such as the ‘Super 6’ insurance side bet. On No Commission baccarat tables a win with a 6-total only pays 0.5-1, and the ‘Super 6’ side bet more than covers this situation with a well-timed bet that will pay 15:1 on most tables!

High Payouts: Of course, one of the main attractions to some side bets is the high winning potential. Side bets such as the ‘Player Pair’ or ‘Banker Pair’ can pay up to 200-1 in the right situation.

Progressive Jackpot: These are exciting side bets because there is a chance to win a huge jackpot win. There are usually other lower paying wins that accompany this type of side bet.

Useful Tip: Bonus bets are generally high variance betting options because you may not win often, but when you do, the bet can pay out a high amount covering any losses!

Some side bets to look out for include:

  • Super 6
  • Either Pair or Perfect Pairs
  • Pairs Side Bets: Player Pair or Banker Pair
  • First Two Banker/Player Cards Same Suit
  • Total Points Over/Under 9.5

Baccarat Dragon Bonus Side Bet Rules Explained

As per the above information, side bets are as easy as placing bets on the main game. The Dragon Bonus side bet only requires that you choose your bet amount and place a chip in its side bet circle/area. It does not get much easier than that!

Dragon Bonus Works in Sync with ‘Player’ & ‘Banker’ Bets

One of the reasons this bonus bet is popular is because it is an extension of your main ‘Player’ or ‘Banker’ bet – whichever bet you choose. Therefore, if you bet on ‘Player’, the Dragon Bonus applies to the ‘Player’ bet or if you bet on ‘Banker’ the Dragon Bonus applies to winning ‘Banker’ bet.

For example, if you place a bet on the ‘Player’ and the ‘Dragon Bonus’ and win - you win 1-1 for the main ‘Player’ bet + you stand a chance of winning a bonus amount applied to the ‘Player’ bet via the ‘Dragon’ bonus bet. Conversely, the same conditions apply if you bet on the ‘Banker’, but the Dragon Bonus does not apply to the ‘Tie’ bet.

Keynote: You will need to bet on at least 1 option on the baccarat table before you bet on the Dragon Bonus bet. I.e., you cannot bet solely on any side bets unless you bet on the main game!

How to Play the Dragon Bonus Bet

1. Bet on ‘Banker’ or ‘Player’

2. Place your side bet in the ‘Dragon Bonus’ area

3. Win with a natural or non-natural baccarat hand

How to win the Dragon Bonus Bet (Natural Vs Non-Natural)

Hand Type

Winning Conditions

 

Natural

A natural hand a baccarat is when your hand wins with just 2 cards

 

 

Non-Natural

A non-natural hand is when your hand wins with 3 cards, and that hand wins with a hand value of 4 points or more

Dragon Bonus Side Bet Payout Tables

Naturals

Natural Win (8 or 9 Total)

1 to 1

Natural Tie 8/8 or 9/9

Bet is pushed

Non-Naturals

Win Point Margin

Payout

Win with a 9-point margin

30 to 1

Win with an 8-point margin

10 to 1

Win with a 7-point margin

6 to 1

Win with a 6-point margin

4 to 1

Win with a 5-point margin

2 to 1

Win with a 4-point margin

1 to 1

The maximum win using the Dragon Bonus side bet is 30-1, while non-natural bets offer the better winning margins. You should also note that not all tables will strictly follow these payout rules. Some will have their own version of the payout table. In the end, this will depend on where you play!

Switching to Player Bets Vs Banker Bets

The strategy to winning this side bet goes against most baccarat guides. This is because one of the ways to win more frequently on a baccarat table is to place bets on the ‘Banker’ because the banker bet is likely to win more often than the ‘Player’ bet.

On the other hand, the Dragon Bonus side bet favours the player! The house edge is quite far apart, as you can see from the table below. Therefore, your first Baccarat Dragon Bonus strategy is to always choose the ‘Player’ bet over the ‘Banker’ bet.

There are also some slight changes depending on how many decks you use, but as you can see, the ‘Player’ house edge is much lower than the ‘Banker’ house edge regardless of the number of decks in the shoe. If you do the math, ‘Dragon Bonus Player Bet’ is always 6.72% lower than the ‘Dragon Bonus Banker Bet’.

Baccarat Dragon Bonus Bet House Edge

Number of Decks

‘Player House Edge

Banker House Edge

4

2.7%

9.42%

6

2.67%

9.39%

8

2.65%

9.37%

Baccarat Betting Strategies Used with the Dragon Bonus

There are quite a few ‘Bet Sizing Strategies’ for baccarat, and we have covered most of them already in our ‘Baccarat Betting Strategy Guide’. The strategies in this guide explain how you can adjust your bet sizes according to a win-loss result.

You have the choice of using 3 different types of bet sizing strategies:

  • Positive progression strategy
  • Negative progression strategy
  • Flat betting strategy

Now to combine a strategy that falls under any of these 3 bet sizing systems with your Baccarat Dragon Bonus strategy, you would need to always bet on ‘Player’. Although the main game’s ‘Banker’ bet has a lower house edge (higher RTP) compared to the ‘Player’ bet, the difference is ever so slight. While the difference between these 2 betting options when using the ‘Dragon Bonus’ is huge!

Baccarat Base Game House Edge

Number of Decks

‘Player House Edge

Banker House Edge

4

1.29%

1.01%

6

1.24%

1.06%

8

1.24%

1.06%

Looking at the table, the house edge percentage difference between the ‘Player’ and ‘Banker’ bets is around 0.18% to 0.28% on the main game bets, but if we refer to the ‘Baccarat Dragon Bonus Bet House Edge’ table above this, the house edge percentage difference between the 2 bets is always 6.7%. As a result, it would not make any sense to stake the ‘Dragon Bonus Banker’ bet along with any of the ‘Bet Sizing Strategies’ available for baccarat.

  • Always look out for difference in the house edge
  • Always bet the ‘Player Dragon Bonus’ bet
  • Use ‘Bet Sizing Strategies’ with the ‘Player’ bet

Pros & Cons of the Dragon Bonus Strategy

As with any betting strategy, there are always going to be pros and cons. That said, for the ‘Dragon Bonus’ bet, there is only a short list to cover which then ends our Baccarat Bonus Strategy guide. We hope you enjoyed the read and that this guide have you another useful lesson that helps you improve as a baccarat player!

Pros

  • This is a fun bet that could land you a 30-1 return
  • Successful ‘Dragon Bonus Bets’ can pay off any lost bets
  • The house edge for the ‘Player’ bet is low compared to other side bets
  • Works in conjunction with your main baccarat table bets

Cons

  • RTP of ‘Player Dragon Bonus’ bet is 2x the base game ‘Player’ bet
  • RTP of ‘Banker Dragon Bonus’ bet is 8x the base game ‘Player’ bet