Baccarat and blackjack are two very well-known, popular and historic casino card games. Some gamblers like them both equally, others are dedicated fans of either one or the other and still others stay away from both. These games have different historical images and the attitudes towards them have not always been the same. But nowadays this difference is not so evident due to the spread of online casinos, where you can play both games from home, with no need to wear a tuxedo or any other kind of special gaming attire to go to a land-based casino.
It is now very different from the past, when baccarat was the game of choice of wealthy high-rollers, while blackjack was not. The movie industry popularized Baccarat’s high-profile image – it was the favorite game of James Bond as first described in Casino Royal, a 1953 novel by Ian Fleming (later adapted into a movie, of course). Some highly influential celebrities, like Frank Sinatra, also contributed to baccarat’s popularity and growth and to the building up of its aura of exclusivity.
Historically, baccarat is a stylish game of chance for those who want to have fun trying their luck with no special care to be taken of decision making and no accent on game strategies, but with a certain affection to the famous casino flair. And blackjack is for those who would like to learn some more about the game mechanics and strategy and to weigh their gaming decisions carefully in order to become of the best blackjack players. But, setting aside the issues of styles and preferences, which one of the games offer better winning odds?
Three popular versions of baccarat include Punto Banco, also known as North American baccarat, Baccarat Banque and Baccarat Chemin de Fer. The latter two, unlike Punto Banco, which is a pure game of chance, do involve some strategy and skill. The same relates to blackjack – if a player wisely uses a strategy, he can lower the house edge to less than 1%. But it is a well-known fact that both baccarat and blackjack are, in general, the games with the lowest house edges. Hence, the chances of winning for both games, compared to other popular casino games, are fairly high.
However, there are some gamers do not stick to any strategical approach in order to win. This is a problem of general gaming behavior, which depends on many psychological and emotional factors. While the math shows that baccarat and blackjack offer better odds, some gamers still put their hopes of winning on some other games – perhaps, too much.
All the card games are games of chance – but in baccarat, your result is entirely random: just as your fate would have it. The statistics show that the player’s hand wins in 44.62% of the cases and the banker’s hand loses in 45.86%. After the player decides whether to bet on the player, the banker, and the ties, he has got no control of how the game further unfolds.
Ties come out rarely, with the probability of 9.53%. The payouts on these bets are very high: 8 to 1, which is indeed very tempting, but you should keep in mind that the house advantage on these bets is huge: over 14%. Betting on the tie is very thrilling, especially noting the issue of the minimum bet size. Mini-baccarat table bets normally start with $25. The larger tables require $100. So, even taking into account that the level of the house edge in baccarat is fairly low, a gambler could lose a lot of money playing this game if he lacks the understanding of the odds involved and bets on the tie too much.
If you don’t bet on the tie, the odds are pretty much even: 1.06% and 1.24% against you if you bet on the banker or on the player, respectively. If you take into account that the gambler should pay 5% commission to the house if he wins, these numbers are respectively 1.17% and 1.36% for the banker and the player bets. This difference is indeed small, but some people just like to “bet on their own hands” and bet on the player perhaps too often. The banker’s odds are slightly higher because his hand comes second and the banker knows whether to draw a card or not.
Even with the lowest house edge in the baccarat game, you should always keep in mind the high stakes because the result could be devastating for the player’s bankroll. When choosing blackjack vs baccarat, blackjack is considered more preferable regarding your bankroll; minimum bets of $5 can still be found when playing this game.
But before you go for blackjack, you should really learn about the game and how to better play. Blackjack is not very difficult. It doesn’t take many years learning the game. It is not a game of chess, after all. But you need to understand the basics to make the right decisions with your cards. You could easily find books on blackjack that explain everything you need to know. If you play along with the theory, you optimize your results, and even more – you make the game a kind of affordable entertainment doing pretty well out of the low level of the house edge.
Baccarat odds vs blackjack odds: which are higher? Both baccarat and blackjack can equally either bring you money if you play your cards well or destroy your bankroll if you make mistakes or ignore the basics. If the latter is the case, it is not theoretically really important how low the house edge is. To derive some benefits from your odds, you need to understand which game to choose and how to better play at a gambling party you attend.
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