Baccarat and blackjack are similar in many ways. Baccarat, of course, is a game about getting as close to the number 9 as possible. Blackjack is about getting as close to 21 as possible. Almost the same game, just different numbers, right? Not really. The two games are actually fundamentally different in many regards, so much so that they really shouldn’t be compared. They are indeed both about getting close to a specific number, but this is where the similarities end.
At its core baccarat is a game based more around where you place a bet, as opposed to manipulating cards. Blackjack allows players to call for cards or stick with the cards they already have. To put it a bit more bluntly, baccarat is more about luck, and blackjack far more about understanding the game, and having a level of skill at playing it. There are, after all, professional blackjack players who may earn a living at the game, based on how well they can play it. The same cannot be said for baccarat.
Blackjack In More Detail
The player is dealt two cards face up in blackjack. The dealer is then dealt one card face down, and one card face up. The player adds the value of his two cards, and may call for another card, or stick with his current total. Those inexperienced at blackjack might immediately say that they would call for another card, if their total was 13, for example. Isn’t the game about getting close to the number 21? Not necessarily. And this is where blackjack becomes a very interest and in-depth game.
13 is indeed a long way off from 21, but amateur players tend to forget a very important aspect of the game. The player will win, as long as their total is closer to 21 than the dealer. 13 is a perfectly reasonable number to stick on, as long as the dealer does not get closer. Instinct may be to stampede towards 21, but the best players will have a good idea of the dealer’s hand, based on the shown card. Those who know blackjack well can tell a great deal from just a single shown card.
We are, of course, talking about very skilled blackjack players who have an incredible grasp of mathematics and statistics. But the point is that the more skilled the player, the more chances of winning at blackjack.
Baccarat In More Detail
Firstly, baccarat goes only up to 9. If the total of the cards exceeds 9, only the second number of the total is counted. If the cards equal 16, it counts as a 6. But this is not the most important difference between baccarat and blackjack. In baccarat, any extra cards laid down are entirely determined by a set of rules. Once the first cards are down, the dealer will put extra cards via a set of instructions. The player may not ask to stick, regardless of what is occurring.
That is to say; baccarat could be played without an actual player. This may sound a bit alarming, but keep in mind that the game of baccarat is based around players placing bets on who they think the winner will be. A player is not necessary, as long as the two hands are played according to the rules.
In baccarat you may place a bet on the banker hand winning, the player hand winning, or the two hands coming up as a tie. It may at first seem that it is basically the same as betting on a coin toss, but there are small statistical differences in which hand will win. The banker hand is always more likely to win, by a very small percentage. Betting on this hand pays out less, however, so it really is a question of the bet maker weighing up pros and cons.
Yes, at its core baccarat is a great deal more to do with luck, but it is not a game without its intricacies. And it would not be one of the oldest modern casino games if it did not hold a great deal of appeal to players.
It is certainly not a case of saying that one game is objectively better than the other. The two games appeal to different kinds of players. Not everyone has the time and patience to get good at blackjack, and prefer the more luck-based approach to baccarat. And others prefer to test their skill when gambling, and would rather steer clear of something that has little to do with skill.
Which you prefer is up to you. Both games are fun, and both can be played online at any time. You may even choose to go between one and the other depending on your mood. That’s the great thing about modern online casinos games; incredible freedom of choice.