Imo and according to a couple of serious players the best situation to aim for is to win just one unit per shoe. Say per every playable shoe.
Hence there are no "good" or "bad" shoes, just shoes that may or not offer enough "room" to get the searched situations.
"Room" doesn't necessarily means the number of hands dealt so far. There are many of additional factors involved I don't want to discuss here.
Actually in some cardrooms shoes are still shuffled manually, say quickly and badly shuffled thus we could think to get multiple wins per each shoe, but I do not suggest to apply this strategy as bac remains a game full of traps (unless a huge betting spread is utilized after the profit was secured).
I know it's not that appealing to set up a mere +1 profit per shoe (especially knowing that not every shoe is eligible to be played), but think that we join bac tables just to win getting an astounding high probability of success and not to gamble.
Moreover we see that the "luck" factor will be placed in the remotest corner; after having assessed that a given shoe is playable, we do know that a certain event must happen at least once.
A thing confirmed by the fact that itlr profitable spots will produce points mathematically favorite at the start, meaning that no matter which side we've got to bet, itlr the side we wagered got the highest two-card value by values very different to a random environment.
Again you can measure the validity of your system/method/approach by simply controlling the percentages of the two-card highest point happening on the wagered side.
If itlr such values tend to be equal, alas the method can't work. It's just a mere kind of taxed unbeatable coin flip proposition.
You write so many things that are spot on. To those people that play mostly 'on-line' I would say they will tend to be less agreeable. And, like yourself, I rather not get into discussions as to the technicality of the on-line gambler versus the brick and motor live casino gambler. Two different sets of everything, IMO!
Things will work and the same things will not work, in the same shoe or the following shoe or 3 or 5 shoes later or switching tables, etc.
As I have been attempting to express, define and bring out the type of play I am involved in at B&M casinos, it is not always easy to write about. Yes, some things are left out and other things I write about are drug out. I do not know anyway to make all happy any longer here.
A great example was the other night at the casino. The shoe was a classic gold mine waiting to be picked. IMO, years ago the casino would have got smacked and I mean big time, like hundreds of thousands of dollars would have went flying out of the dealers rack. But today the highest majority of the people do not play the way they used to, like pre-2005'ish lets say. Rarely these days is the casino hurt. Almost every hand it is pick up $3,000 or $4,000 and pay out $800 or $1,500. Or pick up $8,000 and pay out $3,000 or pick up $1,000 and pay out $150. You get the drift.
Playing for the CUT, meaning the opposite or playing for something to happen, will almost with the highest majority of the times, grind the player right down with his buy in. If you are playing for a one unit win and that is it, that is very easily done with time, willpower and nothing else to do. (I will repeat myself, I have a full time business, I have other things I do, I have family, I do not go to a casino-hang all day or all night and spend countless hours each and every day on the gaming floors). Nothing wrong, I just do not do that. With that said, I was at the casino the other night. The shoe was a few ones and twos the way it started, then 2 rows of Players side wins the first one 8 Players repeating than one Banker then one Player then one Banker then another 9 Players repeating themselves once again.
I watched in amazement how every single person on that table except for one, wagered and kept wagering for the Bankers side to win. Tens of thousand of dollars were lost to the casino. I am telling you, the newer style of baccarat is in the casinos favor, tailored by the casino and most of its dealers, the set ups and the aura in general. Couple those things with the higher internet know it all, A-Alpha male persona, etc., and the casino is a happy camper as the saying goes.
Then after the two rows of Players side wins, there was a section of 1s, 2s and 3s. Then the Bankers side wins almost replicated those Players side repeating wins to a T. Except they were stronger and with more naturals and a lot of 7s over 6s, and 4s and 5s for the Bankers first two cards and the Players 3rd card killing the Players side each time. Of course while all that was going on, almost everyone once again refused to follow but rather went on a wagering war siding with the Players side instead of what was being produced and presented, the Bankers side. It equaled right out. The balance of the winning hands equaled out and it does more times than not. Then it just bounced back and forth until the end of the shoe for the following 20 hands or so.
No matter what the shoe was producing, almost everyone was only wagering for the CUT, if it was repeating they were all convinced the next hand would go to the opposite side. If it did CUT, they were then convinced the shoe would produce a repeat and it never did, at least 8 or 9 times out of every 10 hands.
I am just amazed at the typical players mentality these days. And it is not in one market here, it is the same from region to region. Sure there are some places that occasionally play the way most of us did prior to 2005 or for sure 2000. But I would have to say it is a complete opposite turn around, more and more in the casinos favor for numerous reasons, some of which I have outlined and wrote about in the past.