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.

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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:

  1. The size of your bet
  2. 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.

About Blackjack

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…

  1. Each player receives two face-up cards and the dealer also gets two cards – one face-down card and the other face-up.
  2. 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.
  3. Players can also split identical cards or even double down
  4. Getting a point total of 21 is called a blackjack. It is a natural win that pays 3 to 2
  5. The dealer can draw additional cards if they have less than 17 points
  6. If the dealer’s hand is worth 17 or greater points, they won’t draw any additional cards
  7. 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.
  8. If the dealer doesn’t bust, every hand beating the dealer’s wins and paid 1 to 1
  9. 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.

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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
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About 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, unless you want to try your hand at reading patterns.
  • 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. 

Baccarat Odds Vs Blackjack Odds Wich Is Better

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.

Bottom line: which is better between baccarat and blackjack?

All things considered, baccarat is better than blackjack. It is easier to learn and play than blackjack, yet baccarat still has a low house edge and great odds if you have the bankroll. Baccarat also delivers a more refined gambling experience than blackjack.

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…

  • A hand in blackjack can have more than three cards
  • The goal in blackjack is to get as close to 21 as possible, while baccarat players aim for 9
  • A natural win in blackjack is obtained by getting 21 points, instead of 8 or 9 as in baccarat. It pays 3 to 2 in blackjack and 8 or 9 to 1 in baccarat.
  • Face cards in blackjack are worth 10 points. They count for nothing in baccarat.
  • Tens are worth 10 points in blackjack and zero value in baccarat
  • Aces can be worth 1 or 11 points in blackjack
  • Blackjack has more options for betting than baccarat, which can add to the fun and gaming experience.

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.

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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 games are similar to blackjack?

Baccarat is similar to blackjack. Other games closely similar to blackjack in gameplay and design include:

  • Omaha poker
  • Texas Hold’em
  • Pontoon
  • Pai Gow Poker