Blackjack and baccarat are some of the most popular casino table games. These casino games are loved for their relatively low house edge. Craps and roulette are the other two games considered table classics.
Although baccarat and blackjack share some similarities, they couldn’t be more different. There are two schools of thought when it comes to the debate of baccarat vs blackjack. On the one hand, some players swear by blackjack as their favorite casino game for its favorable house edge and ability to use skills.
On the other hand, many casino players, particularly beginners, say baccarat is far better than blackjack. And with good reason: it’s easier to learn and play baccarat than blackjack. After all, you need to make only two main decisions in baccarat:
The size of your bet
Which hand to bet on – You have only three betting options on a baccarat table. You can bet on the banker, the player, or a tie.
Baccarat’s gameplay doesn’t have many variables. Once you have placed your bets, the dealer will handle the rest of the gameplay in accordance with clear rules for winning, losing, and drawing cards. Unlike baccarat, blackjack allows individual players to choose when to stand, split, hit, or double down as the cards are dealt out.
Baccarat strategy is also typically easier than blackjack strategy. Of course, comparing baccarat with blackjack reveals that both popular casino games come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s break down the basics, similarities, and differences between baccarat and blackjack to help you determine which is better for you.
Blackjack is a casino game where players play against the dealer. The object of the game is to have the strongest hand closest to 21 without busting. Blackjack’s gameplay is familiar enough…
Each player receives two face-up cards and the dealer also gets two cards – one face-down card and the other face-up.
Each player can decide to stand (no additional cards) or hit (receive an additional card) depending on the strength of the point total of their first two cards. The decision-making rotates clockwise, starting with the player immediately left of the dealer.
Players can also split identical cards or even double down
Getting a point total of 21 is called a blackjack. It is a natural win that pays 3 to 2
The dealer can draw additional cards if they have less than 17 points
If the dealer’s hand is worth 17 or greater points, they won’t draw any additional cards
Any player whose hand’s value goes over 21 points busts and loses their chips. All remaining players win if the dealer busts and they receive an even-money payout.
If the dealer doesn’t bust, every hand beating the dealer’s wins and paid 1 to 1
Expect your bet to be returned if you tie in points with the dealer.
Unlike other table game classics like Craps, Pai Gow poker, or roulette, the goal of baccarat is to get the best hand against the dealer without going over 21 points.
Pros of Blackjack
The advantages of playing blackjack vs baccarat may include:
Players can use blackjack strategy and specialized skills to reduce the house edge
Learning basic strategies and using a cheat sheet can dramatically improve your blackjack gambling experience and winning odds.
Blackjack odds are much higher than those of other casino games
Blackjack has a lower house edge than baccarat, ranging from as low as 0.5% to 1%
Blackjack players can help each other to beat the dealer
You can effectively count cards in blackjack and win. Card counting works better in blackjack than baccarat
Blackjack is a low-stakes game at land-based casinos
A natural blackjack pays handsomely at 3 to 2
Blackjack does not charge a house commission
Blackjack has well-paying side bets like the Lucky Ladies side-bet, which pays 1000 to 1!
Cons of Blackjack
Blackjack presents a series of shortcomings, as well, that can include:
Blackjack strategy can be more complicated than baccarat’s
It has complex gameplay that requires specialized skills and betting systems
Numerous betting options make blackjack less beginner-friendly than baccarat
Baccarat is a card game that looks similar to blackjack. There are only two hands in this game, the player’s hand and the banker’s hand. All players have three betting options on baccarat tables. They can bet on the banker, the player, or a tie between the two.
The dealer will deal two cards to both hands, one card at a time to each hand. As with blackjack, some cards are worth more than others in baccarat, as follows:
Aces are worth a point
Twos through nines are worth their face value
Tens count for zero points
Face cards (jacks, queens, and kings) have zero value
The value of each hand is calculated by adding up the points of the constituent cards. Any hand going over 9 points assumes the value of the second digit. For example, a 6 and 7 make a hand worth 3 and not 13 points. The first digit is omitted.
Calculating baccarat hands can be confusing at first. However, you will get the hang of it after a bit of practice. But that is not all.
A third card can be drawn by the dealer or the player. Third card draw rules are based on the point total of the first two cards dealt by the dealer. No hand can have more than three cards.
A bet on the banker pays even money minus the vig of 5% of the profit, which the casino takes in form of the house commission. So, if you make a $200 banker bet and win, your return will be $390. A winning tie bet typically pays 8 to 1, while player bets 1 to 1 if it wins.
Pros of Playing Baccarat
If you choose baccarat over blackjack, you will enjoy the following advantages:
A more refined gambling experience, thanks to the easy gameplay
An excellent high rollers game because of its higher minimum bet limits
It’s a high-stakes game with decent winning odds for the player
Casinos don’t keep a watchful eye on baccarat players due to fewer cases of card counting
Baccarat’s strategy is easier to learn and master. the only decision is to select the bet size and whether to bet on the player winning or the banker winning.
No specialized skills or techniques are required
Cons of Baccarat
You need a large bankroll to play baccarat due to the higher table betting limits
It is barely better than flipping a coin
No ability to split cards or double down
Card counting rarely works in baccarat
Players pay a casino fee on winning banker bets
Baccarat’s house edge is almost double that of blackjack
Baccarat Odds vs Blackjack Odds
On paper, blackjack has better odds than baccarat, but you have to use a basic strategy. The house of blackjack ranges between 0.5% and 1%, depending on factors like the variant you play, decisions you make during the game, and the game’s rules.
On the other hand, the house edges of baccarat on an 8-deck shoe are as follows:
Banker – 1.06%
Player – 1.24%
Tie – 14.4%
If you exclude any tie bets, classic baccarat games offer a house edge of 1.17% for the banker and 1.36% for the player.
So, blackjack is a clear winner in terms of odds for the player willing to put in the work. However, to enjoy blackjack’s lucrative odds, you must memorize specific decisions and understand what you are doing. When should you split, hit, or stand? These great odds come at a cost that might as well make baccarat the better option.
Does craps or baccarat have better odds?
Baccarat has better odds than craps. You can expect to go against a house edge of 1.06% when you bet on the banker on a baccarat table. On the flip side, Pass Line bets on a Craps table come with a slightly higher house edge of 1.4%. That means you will lose roughly ten pennies (or 14¢, to be exact) on average for every $100 you wager on Pass Line bets.
If the first roll of dice lands on a 7 or 11, your Pass Line bet wins. A winning Pass Line bet pays 1 to 1. You will lose your Pass Line bet if the first roll hits 2,3 or 12. If you want to make more money, place your bets on the Don’t Pass line.
Is baccarat better than blackjack?
Baccarat is overall better than blackjack, especially for novice players and high rollers. Although blackjack has better odds, baccarat is more fun, boasts a better chance of winning, and has easier gameplay.
Is baccarat similar to blackjack?
Yes and no. On the one hand, baccarat and blackjack are similar in the following ways:
- They have near-similar gameplay, as both the dealer and the player receive two cards at the start of each betting round. Additional cards can be potentially drawn
- Both games involve players squaring off against the dealer
- Both casino table games use six to eight decks of 52 cards
That is almost about it when it comes to the similarities between the two. That said, blackjack is different from baccarat in many ways…
Is baccarat the best odds in a casino?
No baccarat does not have the best odds in a casino. That honor goes to blackjack and video poker games like 9/6 Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild with a return to player percentage of 100.76%.
Why does baccarat have the best odds?
Baccarat has the best odds because of the combination of low house advantage, simple gameplay, and a greater chance of winning.
Is baccarat the best game to play?
Baccarat is certainly one of the best games to play at land-based and online casinos. It is a high rollers game with great odds, pleasant gameplay, and low casino advantage.
What is better blackjack or baccarat ?
Choosing between blackjack and baccarat depends on your preferences. Blackjack is better for players seeking a strategic game that they can learn over time. Baccarat, however, is ideal for those wanting a simpler game with a touch of luxury and equally good odds without the need for extensive strategy.
What game is similar to blackjack?
Baccarat is similar to blackjack. Other games closely similar to blackjack in gameplay and design include:
- Omaha poker
- Texas Hold’em
- Pai Gow Poker
Which casino game has the highest chance of winning?
Blackjack typically offers the highest chance of winning in a casino, with optimal play using basic strategy. This approach can reduce the house edge to approximately 0.5%. Strategic play in video poker can also result in favorable odds, depending on the game variant and paytable.
Is baccarat the best odds in the casino?
Baccarat offers some of the highest odds in the casino, with a low house edge of 1.06% on the banker’s bet. This advantage positions baccarat as a top choice for players focusing on strategy to maximize their winning potential.
Is baccarat good for making money?
While baccarat offers lower house edges, especially on banker bets, it’s not a guaranteed way to make money. Using a system like Martingale carries risks, as loss streaks can lead to large financial losses. Gambling should not be viewed as a reliable income source, but rather as entertainment with a chance for profit.