Baccarat v Blackjack: Which Gives the Lowest House Edge?

    Casino News

    Both are casino table games, both involve playing cards, and both offer some of the best odds of winning compared to other casino games. Blackjack and Baccarat are two casino card games whereby players go against the dealer in the hope of landing the best hand.

    For most of you, Blackjack probably needs no introduction. This is a game that is commonly found at just about every casino and has you hoping to come out on top against the dealer. Baccarat, on the other hand, is not as well known (at least in the western world that is). Across Asia, Baccarat is hugely popular and that popularity has since started to spread thanks to online casinos making the game readily available.

    Baccarat has a reputation of being a game for high-rollers mainly because it is the game of choice for many big spenders. Head over to a casino in Macau and you will see what we mean. The rich and famous often spend their time throwing their money at this game in the hope of getting even more rich and famous.

    We guess that you could say that Blackjack is probably the best choice for players that prefer a bit of strategy and a more careful approach to their gambling. As for Baccarat, players that are after a bit of reckless fun will probably be attracted. With all that said and done, which of the two games offers the best odds?

    Baccarat v Blackjack: What is the Difference?

    Before we get into the odds of each game, it is important to understand the main differences between Blackjack and Baccarat.

    • The Aim of the Games

    The aim of the game in both Blackjack and Baccarat is to beat the dealer. Players are tasked with creating the best hand possible from the cards dealt to them. Each card will be worth a set number of points and how those points total up is what will determine the winner. In both games, all cards from the 2 to 10 are worth their face value and the picture cards are all worth 10. The main difference here is the ace which is worth 1 or 11 in Blackjack or just 1 in Baccarat.

    • The Points Systems

    The points systems used in the games is probably the biggest difference between the two. Blackjack offers the easiest system as the points of the cards are simply added together. In Baccarat, however, things get a little more complicated. The values of both cards are first added together and then the first digit of that number is removed. For example, you have the 6 and 7 which equals 13. The ‘1’ is removed leaving the players score as 3.

    • The Betting Options

    This is another major difference between the two games. In Blackjack, players can only bet on themselves to win the hand. In Baccarat, a player can also bet on themselves to win but also have the ability to bet on the dealer to win or the hand to finish up as a tie.

    • How to Win

    To win in Blackjack, the player simply has to outscore the dealer without going above 21. Players will ‘bust’ if their cards combined value exceeds 21 and this means that the dealer automatically wins. As for Baccarat, winning a hand means getting a better score than the dealer. The highest possible score from the two cards is 9.

    House Edge of Blackjack

    Officially, the house edge of Blackjack is 2% but in reality, that is just for players that play the game badly. Anyone that understands even the most basic of strategies can get that down to 0.5%. That means Blackjack offers a lower house edge than any other game. At 0.5%, it basically means that on average and over an extended period of time, you will lose $0.50 for every $100 that you wager.

    What did we mean by basic strategy affecting the house edge? Well, if a player is going to keep ‘twisting’ when he has 20 points, he is going to lose 99% of the hands he plays. Basic mathematical decisions are all that is needed to play a basic strategy. Standing still on the 20 each time will win more hands than it loses. In fact, any player with any sense would know that you should stand on a score of 17 or higher.

    House Edge of Baccarat

    The house edge in Baccarat depends on the bet that you choose. The lowest is 1.06% when betting on the dealer to win. Betting on yourself to win has a house edge of 1.24% and betting on a tie has a house edge of 14.36%. As you can see, the latter is a bet that is not too favourable even though it can payout 8 to 1.

    You should certainly only be betting on the dealer and yourself if you want favourable house edge. That said, you would be surprised at how many players see the larger possible wins and regularly go for the ‘tie’ bet.

    So Which has the Lowest House Edge?

    They are the two casino games with the lowest house edge. Technically, Baccarat has the lowest but that is only if players bet on the dealer to win and the Blackjack player does not know basic mathematics. Blackjack has the lowest house edge if played with common sense and can be as low as 0.5%. A bad player can also suffer a house edge of 14.36% if they consistently bet on a draw in baccarat.

    To sum things up, both games offer a very similar low house edge and it is no wonder that they are popular casino games. As long as they are played with a bit of logic and the right decisions are made, players stand a better chance at beating the casino on each of these two games. Which of the two games you play should come down to which you prefer rather than anything else.

    Now you can go and try out your baccarat and blackjack strategy by playing one of our many tables in the mBit casino game section.

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