Baccarat side bets are often named after exotic or mythical animals. SHFL has the Dragon Bonus side bet. There are the Dragon 7 and Panda 8 side bets to EZ Baccarat. Recently, a game inventor took the all-in dive, creating a combination of baccarat side bets he called the “Zoo.” The game of ZooBac is just normal baccarat together with four side bets: “Rabbit,” “Tiger," “Monkey” and "Zoo." I don’t recall ever seeing a rabbit in a zoo, but perhaps my zoo travels have been too limited. My pet rabbit, Bradley, died just over a year ago; poor little bunny. At any rate, this post considers card counting the Rabbit baccarat side bet.

The Rabbit side bet is similar to the Dragon 7 side bet in that it is based on a three-card total of 7. However, the Rabbit pays when the Player hand has a winning three-card 7.

Here are the payouts:

• Player has three-card 7, Banker total > 0, pays 25-to-1.
• Player has three-card 7, Banker total = 0, pays 75-to-1.
• Other, wager loses.

Here is the full combinatorial analysis:

In particular:

• The house edge is 9.370%.
• The hit frequency is 2.729%.
• The standard deviation is 6.140.

Like the Dragon 7 side bet, the key here is that there must be a third card drawn in order for the Rabbit wager to win. Intuitively, as 8’s and 9’s are removed from the shoe, fewer naturals will occur, giving more Player hands with three cards. Note that if the Player hand does draw, then an Ace will never given a total of 7. It follows that the three cards that benefit the player the most when they are removed from the shoe should be the A, 8 and 9. The effect-of-removals (EORs) demonstrate this to be the case.

The following table gives the EORs for the Rabbit side bet, together with a card counting system based on these EORs:

Note that the betting correlation for this system is BC = 0.990, making it nearly perfect. Also, note the tags for the cards A, 8, 9 are 1, 2 and 2 respectively.  As predicted by the heuristic argument above, these cards benefit the player the most as they are removed from the shoe.

Here are the results of a simulation of the system above, with the normal cut card placement at 14 cards and the normal burn card rules:

At 0.410 units per 100 hands and a DI of only 2.47, the Rabbit wager is not especially attractive to the AP, but it is not a triviality either. The fact that it appears as one of four side bets in ZooBac indicates the possibility of a team effort. At this point my intuition is that the “Tiger” will be roughly equivalent to the Rabbit, but the “Monkey” is going to get slaughtered.  Poor little Monkey. As for the whole Zoo, I have the feeling that it may be full of endangered species.