Baccarat – Gaining as much popularity in the West as it does in the East
What card game accounts for 60% of the MGM Grand, Las Vegas table game revenue? You’d think perhaps it would be a game like Poker, or perhaps Blackjack, but in truth, the game which is the real cash cow for casinos both in the east and the west is Baccarat!
And the reason why Baccarat is quickly becoming the game of choice is tied into the rise of professional, high-stakes gamblers in the East, many of whom play for high stakes at the tables in Las Vegas, handing the casino’s a multi-billion pound boost.
The world’s largest gambling resort of Macau is famous for its huge, ostentatious casinos and for the high-roller, Baccarat is the table game of choice. The reasons why so many Asian players prefer Baccarat is a complex question and requires consideration of several facts.
The first is the simplicity of the game and betting on it. Baccarat is not a complex game, it pits the banker against the player in a very simple format. There can only be three possible outcomes, banker wins, player wins or a tie and players can bet on any of these outcomes.
However, what may also appeal to eastern cultures is the traditional aspect of the game. It is tradition to back the same bet as the leading player at the table, indeed it is often seen as ‘bad form’ to back against a player by betting against his selection. This promotes a feeling of teamwork – players against the dealer. A shared positive experience when you win, shared disappointment in defeat.
In addition, the game is suited to flourishes and embellishments, with many of the top Asian players preferring to hold off on betting until the last minute for added drama and effect at the table.
Baccarat has been played in the east since the first western settlers moved there; it is a simple game of tradition with its own unwritten code, pitting player against the house in a battle to see who comes out on top.
It is a battle that has been fought in the east traditionally, but which is increasingly being contested in the west too and for the keen gambler that can only be a good thing!