Why Baccarat Is Still a Popular Casino Game

min read
Two cards surrounded by floating casino chips.
BetMGM Nov 30, 2023, 7:59 AM

The card game baccarat has been around for centuries and remains one of the most popular casino games. Who can forget that scene in “Casino Royale” where James Bond plays baccarat against the villain Le Chiffre? But the game also enjoys immense popularity in Asian countries, particularly China. In Macau, for example, baccarat generates well over 80% of all casino profits. 

The popularity of the game stems, in part, from the ease of gameplay. However, there are many other reasons for the popularity of this entertaining casino game. Read on to find out more and pick up some tips about baccarat strategy and rules. 

What Is Baccarat?

Baccarat is a popular card game that draws in a huge number of gamblers to both online and land-based casinos. The history of baccarat is said to be traced back to the old gambling salons of Italy and France. While this popular game of chance has been around for hundreds of years, its popularity has grown throughout the world over the past few decades, particularly in Asia and the United States. The main objective in baccarat is to bet on the outcome of the game, which can either be a win for the player, a win for the banker, or a tie between the two.

How To Play Baccarat

One of the best things about baccarat is that it’s extremely easy to learn, and because it’s primarily based on luck, you don’t need any complex strategies to win. That said, there are still a few baccarat strategies you could look into to improve your understanding of the game and increase your chances of winning. 

Before getting started, you may also want to brush up on some basic baccarat terminology. Simple to learn, exciting to play here’s how to play baccarat. 

  1. A standard game of baccarat is typically played with six to eight decks of cards. These are standard 52-card decks, plus an optional joker, which is only used in the event of a tie. 
  2. Players bet on which hand they think will win the game, either the player hand, the banker hand, or a tie.
  3. Two cards are dealt to the player hand and two to the banker hand.
  4. The value of each hand is determined by adding the value of the individual cards and deducting the tens digit from the result. For example, if the player hand is dealt a seven and a six, the total value would be 13, and the value of the hand would be three. 
  5. If either the player hand or the banker hand has a value of eight or nine (called a “natural”), that hand wins. If both hands have a natural, it’s a tie.
  6. If neither hand has a natural, a third card may be dealt according to certain rules. These rules are known as the “drawing rules” and are based on the value of the player and banker hands.
  7. Once all the cards have been dealt, the hand with the value closest to nine wins. If the value of one of the hands is more than 10, only the last number is used. If the player hand wins, all bets on the player hand are paid out. If the banker hand wins, all bets on the banker hand are paid out. If there is a tie, all bets on the tie are paid out.

Baccarat Card Values

The most important part of playing baccarat is understanding the card values because you’ll need to add them together and subtract 10 in order to determine the final value of the hand. 

  • Aces are worth one point. 
  • Number cards (2-9) are worth their face value.
  • 10s and face cards (jack, queen, and king) are worth 0 points. 

How Many Decks of Cards Are Used in Online Casino Baccarat Games

The number of decks used in online casino baccarat can vary depending on the specific online casino and the version of baccarat being offered. However, just like with the standard baccarat games you’d play at a brick-and-mortar casino, it’s common to find online baccarat games that use between six to eight decks of playing cards. These decks are typically shuffled together and used in the game. 

Some online casinos may offer variations of the game with a different number of decks, so it’s important to check the rules and details of the specific game you’re playing. The number of decks used can affect the house edge and the odds of winning, so players should be aware of this when choosing a baccarat game to play online.

Baccarat Odds and Side Bets

When it comes to baccarat odds, the banker tends to win 45.8% of the time. However, this is only slightly higher than the player’s hand, which wins 44.6% of the time. This means that ties win 9.6% of the time. In terms of house edge, every standard baccarat bet for the banker has a house edge of 1.06%, while the player gets 1.24%. In the event of a tie, it’s 14.36%. 

Despite the odds being slightly in favor of the casino, baccarat has one of the lowest house edges you’ll find in the online casino industry, and there are ways for players to boost their winnings. Some casinos have introduced baccarat side bets as a way to spice up the game and increase the excitement with new rules without straying too far from the original gameplay. If you love playing baccarat but want to try something slightly different, looking into casinos that offer these side bets may be a good option.  

Why Is Baccarat So Popular?

Now that you understand the basic baccarat rules and gameplay, let’s consider the reasons for the game’s popularity, whether you’re playing baccarat online or in a casino. 

Baccarat Is Straightforward

Like so many other casino games, baccarat is easy to learn and will keep you entertained for hours without requiring too much effort. Baccarat rules are simple and easy to remember, and even if you get a little confused, the dealer is always there to lend a helping hand. Baccarat is also accessible to players of all levels. 

The general baccarat strategy is simple: always bet on the banker. Unlike most other casino games, such as online poker, you don’t need to use complicated strategies. The simple strategy of betting on the banker is highly effective. All in all, the banker wins 45.86% of the time, the player 44.62%, and ties occur 9.52% of the time. To counteract the banker advantage, there’s a five percent commission on house bets. 

An Air of Elegance

It’s no surprise that the 2013 movie “The Great Gatsby” features a baccarat game at one of the extravagant parties thrown by the wealthy character Jay Gatsby. Baccarat is a casino game that has gained a reputation for sophistication and is commonly associated with high rollers and luxury. However, if you have a limited bankroll, you can place small bets and still enjoy the game in all its elegance. 

Low House Edge

This means that, compared to other games, the casino has a smaller advantage or house edge, which makes it more attractive to players. At only 1.06%, baccarat’s house edge is better than you would find at slot, roulette, and most other casino games. Playing games with a lower house edge provides the longest playing time from your bankroll.

Fast Paced and Online

Baccarat rounds last only a few minutes. This makes it a great option for players who want a quick game.  Also, the rise of baccarat online means that players can enjoy the game in the comfort of their own homes. 

Enjoy Online Casino Games With BetMGM

From competing in online poker tournaments to playing baccarat online, there are many exciting gambling experiences just waiting for you at BetMGM. Register today to start enjoying stimulating gameplay with a wide range of players worldwide. 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.