Blackjack and Baccarat are among the most popular table games at both land based and online casinos. Historically Baccarat has the reputation to attract the wealthier players and holds with it a certain prestige as the majority of players were high rollers and big spenders.
Blackjack on the other hand has traditionally attracted more players and is widely considered to be the most popular table game of all time.
With the advent of the internet and the casino business’ evolution towards online and then mobile gaming, both games have become far more accessible to a wider demographic of players. To decide between the 2 games, one should first understand how each works.
The Rules of Baccarat
The rules of Baccarat are straightforward. The aim is to obtain a hand as close to 9 as possible without exceeding 2 or 3 cards. Natural hands only occur twice in Baccarat – when you get a value of 8 or 9 in the first 2 cards dealt.
It is only the natural 9 that beats a natural 8 and if either the player or the banker draws a natural hand in the first round, the player may not draw a third card. If the first hand dealt results in a tie, all bets are returned, and a new hand is started.
As it is in Blackjack, the face cards are valued at 10 in Baccarat, but the ace is valued at one. In Baccarat you cannot go bust as you can in Blackjack, so should a player draw a queen and a 2 and score double digits, the first digit is dropped from the hand so instead of 12, your value would be 2.
The Rules of Blackjack
Blackjack is a little more complicated, and requires some skill and concentration. A common misconception of Blackjack is that the aim of the game is to get as close to 21 without going over. In fact the object of the game is to beat the dealer.
In order to do so, the player must firstly not go over 21, but still outscore the dealer, or if the dealer goes bust. Aces are counted as 10s in blackjack, twos as 9s in pip value, and queens, kings and jacks have a value of 10. The value of the hand consists of the sum of the values of the individual cards in the hand.
A “Blackjack” hand consists of an ace and any 10 card, and beats any other 21 hand.
The Odds on The Games
The odds on both Blackjack and Baccarat are higher than most other casino games. Baccarat involves only 3 bets, with players betting on either the banker, the player or a tie.
The house advantage when betting on the banker is just over 1%, while the edge when betting on the player is 1.2% and on a tie 14.3% (although bear in mind that you will need to pay a casino commission should you win by betting on a tie).
Blackjack has less favourable odds of a 2% house advantage, however there is skill involved in the game. If someone is an experienced and talented Blackjack player, the odds of winning are better, and can minimise the edge of the house to up 1%.
How to Decide on Which and Where to Play
Now that you have and understanding of the differences between the games, or if you were already well versed in Blackjack and Baccarat, the next step is deciding which of the many online sites out there to play on. With the sheer volume to pick from the choice can be overwhelming.
At the top online casino NZ sites you can however play for both free and real money, so this may be an excellent option if you want to try each game first, get to grips with what it has to offer, and refine your skills.
So if you like the challenge of applying your Blackjack skills or if you prefer the more relaxed approach of Baccarat, both games have their individual advantages and offer a great amount of enjoyment for their players.