Despite often being classified in the same category of table games in casinos, blackjack and baccarat are polar opposites. While blackjack is often portrayed in the media as a game of fast pace and action where the player is accompanied by what can only be described as a colorful group of strangers by their side cheering them on and celebrating each win as if it was their own, baccarat carries a whole different aura of sophistication and tact, a game of high rollers reserved for the elite and old money folk and famously favored by the man himself — James Bond!
Now would be a good time to mention that in case you’re freaking out because you don’t see yourself fitting in either of these groups of players — there is no need to worry! Online casinos allow you to trade the 007s suit for your comfiest pajamas and play your favorite table games at a virtual table on your phone or computer.
So that’s one problem solved! The question remains: Which one of these games gives you the best odds of winning and feeling like a high roller yourself?
Basic Rules of Baccarat
Before the game begins the players place bets and wait for the dealer to deal everyone’s hand. There are three possible bets to choose from: the dealer’s hand, the player’s hand, and a tie bet.
The objective of the game is to obtain the hand with the value closest to nine. The 2 nine cards represent their face value amount, while the aces represent one, and tens and face cards have a value of zero.
The dealer handles close to all aspects of gameplay, including dealing with the cards, pointing out the winner, paying out, and collecting from losing wagers. This goes for both the live game and an online version leaving only the decision-making to players.
The game might appear complicated at first due to its fast-paced nature, but on the contrary, it is deemed to be a simple and sophisticated game with very few rules that shouldn’t take rookies long to master.
Basic Rules of Blackjack
Although blackjack also relies heavily on the dealer, it requires quite a bit from the player as well, unlike baccarat. The objective of the game is to gain a hand with a collective value of 21 or wait for the dealer to bust before you do. Numbered cards hold their face value, while ace cards are valued at either one or eleven and tens and face cards are worth a ten.
At the beginning of the game, each player is dealt two cards that make the initial hand. Based on the cards in hand as well as the desire to play safe or plan a few moves ahead, the players choose between adding another card to their hand or retaining their hand as it is. This is where strategy comes into play since the player has multiple opportunities to make the right or wrong decision. You also need to avoid a bust which is when your hand’s value exceeds 21 points.
With the knowledge of how each game works, it’s easy to make The Comparison – Baccarat Vs Blackjack — the first difference is clear: blackjack offers more betting options. More decision-making also means more excitement for the player as well as a better chance of a win but only if the player has the right amount of knowledge and experience in the game. Otherwise, it can be quite challenging and if you are a newbie at casino table games, we recommend you stick to baccarat and practice blackjack before playing for real money.
In baccarat, your safest and best option is to bet on the dealer considering the dealer has a house edge of 1.06%. The small statistical advantage will play in your favor over a few rounds.
One bet that should be avoided at all costs is an infamous tie bet. The chances of winning are considerably lower than with either of the other two hands and the chances of running through your bankroll quickly with this bet are quite high.
The player’s hand comes with a house edge of 1.24% which makes it a good alternative if you want to switch from the dealer bet from time to time.
When it comes to increasing your chances of a win in blackjack you will need to recognize just the right moment to stand, hit, split or double down. This comes with practice and thoroughly studying the game. You should also pay close attention to the dealers’ hand despite the small advantage of up to 1.5%. The house edge also stays unaffected by the bet you choose to place.
The key difference between these strategies is that your strategy constantly shifts and adapts when playing blackjack as every good player knows. With baccarat, it is all set in stone after the initial bet, leaving most of the outcome of the game to good fortune. While there are certain strategies that you can apply while playing, like avoiding the tie bet and focusing on the dealer’s hand, most of the game comes down to luck and how you manage your bankroll. With blackjack, however, making necessary adjustments after each hand and counting cards in live casinos is a sure way to put yourself ahead.
Now that you understand some key differences between the two games, we would like to conclude that the outcome of the game will depend on the type of player you are. If you are a beginner, unsure of their gameplay and strategy stick to baccarat as it will give you better odds of a win with the lowest house edge out of all the table games. If you are however a seasoned player with a talent for counting cards and a need for excitement, your best chance is to put your skills to use at a blackjack table and rack up the winnings.