Blackjack is clearly a better game than baccarat, but it’s much closer than most gamblers think. And if you don’t play blackjack the right way, baccarat is actually a better option.
Baccarat has a set return to player percentage depending on which of the three wagers you make. The return to player percentage for blackjack depends on the table rules and how you play each hand.
I’ve put together a list of five reasons why blackjack is a better option than baccarat. But both blackjack and baccarat are better casino games than every other table game offered in the casino.
1 – More Variety and Options
When you go into a casino to play baccarat, you can play at a small table or a big table. And once you sit down at a baccarat table, you can place a bet on a tie, on the player hand, or on the banker hand. This is every choice you have.
But when you play blackjack, you have much more variety and many more choices. The base game of blackjack has many rule variations, and there are many blackjack based games available, like Spanish 21.
The variety starts with the dealer rules. Some tables have a rule where the dealer stands on a soft 17, and other tables use the rule where the dealer hits on a soft 17. You also have different rules about doubling down, splitting pairs, and even doubling down after splitting a pair. Other variations involve surrender and how much the table pays for a natural blackjack.
Although most blackjack players don’t know the difference, there are games with a different number of decks, from one deck all the way up to eight decks. In case you don’t know, a one-deck game is better than a multiple-deck game, and a two-deck game is better than a game with four or more decks.
You can even find multiple rule combinations at blackjack tables in the same casino. And some mobile and online casinos offer two or more blackjack games with different rules combinations.
Baccarat simply doesn’t compare in any way to blackjack when it comes to options and variety.
2 – Higher Availability
Real money blackjack is by far the most popular table-based game in the casino industry. It gets more play than all of the other table games combined in some casinos. Baccarat isn’t even close to the most popular table game in any casino in most of the world.
In a few territories in the world, baccarat is quite popular. But in most of the world, it barely cracks the top five games. And casinos tend to offer more tables for games that are more popular than others.
This is the main reason why blackjack has a higher availability than baccarat. Some casinos don’t even have a baccarat table available.
3 – Better Strategy
Baccarat strategy is so easy that many gamblers don’t even realize that there is a strategy. The strategy is to bet on banker. And when you play baccarat, you need to follow this strategy 100% of the time.
Blackjack offers the opportunity to take strategy to a much deeper level. This means that blackjack strategy is harder to use than baccarat strategy.
It’s worth it to learn how to use blackjack strategy because it gives you the best chance to win.
You’re going to learn about the numbers that back this up in the next section. But the fact is that when use the better strategy that blackjack requires, you win more or lose less than when you play baccarat and use strategy.
As far as how to learn blackjack strategy, I suggest getting a strategy chart or card. With a chart, all you have to do is follow the directions and you’re playing perfect strategy. The other option is to run all of the odds and numbers to see which playing decision offers the most long-term profit.
You can do this because you know all of the factors involved. But it can be complicated, especially if you don’t enjoy working with math. This is why using a chart or card is the best option for most blackjack players.
Now, you’re going to learn why using blackjack strategy is more valuable than using baccarat strategy.
4 – You Have a Better Chance of Winning
The best way to compare two or more casino games when determining your chances of winning is to use the house edge or the return to player percentage. This is easy to find for baccarat because each of the three wager options is well-known.
When it comes to determining the numbers for blackjack, it’s a little tougher. This is because each rule variation changes the numbers a little bit and how you use strategy also changes the numbers.
You learned the importance of using strategy in the last section, and it’s not that hard to do if you follow my advice. The blackjack numbers below assume that you’re using the best strategy when you play. They also assume that you’re playing on a blackjack table that pays 3:2 for blackjack, and not 6:5.
Return to Player Percentage
1.06% (Banker bet)
.25% to 1%
99.00% to 99.75%
The banker wager is the best option when you play baccarat. This is why it’s the only bet I listed. The other two bets are worse.
You can learn more about how each rule variation influences these numbers with a little research, but most blackjack games fall in this range. It’s not that difficult to find blackjack tables with a return to player of over 99.5%.
These numbers are useful beyond comparing two or more games. You can multiply the edge number with the total amount you risk during a session or over another period of time to predict how much you’re going to lose.
You should also note that if you don’t use strategy when you play blackjack, the edge can be 1% or more, higher than what I listed.
5 – Advanced Tactics and Strategy Possibilities
Baccarat only has three wagers available. And there’s nothing else you can do with the base game. A few people have studied how card counting works with baccarat, but they’ve all concluded that you can’t get an edge doing it.
A few gamblers have been able to use edge sorting to beat baccarat, but all of the large casinos are now wise to this trick, and most casinos use cards that you can’t edge sort with now anyway. A few side bets available at some baccarat tables might be able to be counted or used in a profitable way, but these opportunities are rare.
On the other hand, there are a few advanced tactics and strategies that you can use when you play blackjack that can actually get you an edge. The most common advantage tactic, and the easiest to learn how to use, is card counting.
Other advantage tactics include shuffle tracking, spying hole cards, ace sequencing, and ace tracking. All of these tactics can work, but I don’t recommend investing any time in any of them until you can get an edge counting.
Before you start trying to count cards you need to become a strategy master. It’s a waste of time and energy to try to count cards if you can’t play using perfect strategy.
Once you reach the point where you’re ready to learn how to count cards, pick up a book or two about the subject. I highly recommend Blackbelt in Blackjack by Arnold Snyder and Knock-Out Blackjack by Vancura and Fuchs.
Something that you need to understand is that the casino hates card counters. They do everything they can to identify counters and kick them out of the casino. To be a profitable card counter, you have to learn how to do it without getting caught, and you need to move from casino to casino often.
Blackjack and baccarat are both excellent choices when you’re gambling in a casino or at an online casino site. But blackjack is a better choice most of the time. Baccarat is easier to play and has an easier strategic component, but blackjack isn’t much harder to play.
When you use strategy at the blackjack table, it increases the return to player number to over 99%. While baccarat is close to this, it can’t quite get to the 99% level.
It’s easier to find blackjack tables because it’s the most popular table game. And finally, you can learn how to use some advanced tactics at the blackjack table that give you an even better chance to win.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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