Blackjack and Baccarat are amongst the oldest and most popular casino games offered by land based and online casinos alike. While both are immensely popular and highly entertaining, these games have traditionally drawn two very different crowds at land based venues.
Baccarat has often been the game of choice for wealthy high rollers, giving it a certain prestige factor - after all, Chemin-de-fer is a classic James Bond favourite! Blackjack on the other hand has always attracted a wider audience and is largely touted as the world's most played table game.
With the advent of online casinos however, the lines between Baccarat and Blackjack audiences are blurring and both games are now easily accessible to anyone with access to online casinos, regardless of financial or societal status. Online casinos, with their varied table limits also add to the accessibility of these games - no longer do you need to be dressed to the nine's and willing to wager thousands per round in order to earn your place at the Baccarat tables.
This accessibility does however present a dilemma - which game is better to play - Baccarat or Blackjack? Generally the answer to this question is answered by answering the question which of the two do you prefer to play but it pure enjoyment is not just the aim of the game and you want to see financial returns, then you have to factor in the odds and the house edge that each game carries. So let's take a look at each of them, how they are played and which has the best returns.
In a game of Baccarat, players wager on the outcome of the game based on who will win the hand. This leaves three basic bets - the "banker" and "player", or if the hand will finish in a tie between the two.
The game offers pretty lavish odds. The house advantage when betting on the banker is a fraction over 1% while the player and tie have a 1.2% and 14.3% edge respectively, but you should keep in mind that you will need to pay the house a commission if you play the banker bet.
Even though Blackjack is generally more popular that Baccarat, when compared side by side, it actually has a less favourable house advantage in some versions of the game which shows that it is more widely played purely because it is less of an enigma to the everyday casino player than the seemingly mysterious game of Blackjack is.
That said though, it is still one of the most profitable games at online casinos due to the fact that skilled blackjack play according to sound basic strategy can lower the house edge quite substantially from its general 2% mark to a less than 1% edge for players who know how to play the game strategically.
So which one should you play? Considering both house advantages it is evident that blackjack can be rewarding for skilled players, whereas Baccarat is simply a game of chance with no real strategy coming into play.
So if you're an experienced Blackjack player who is familiar with the finer points of blackjack strategy, then it makes sense to stick to playing this game. If however you just want to have some fun without worrying about learning game play strategy, then Baccarat could be the better choice for you.