Choosing a game to play at an online casino can be challenging for any player, especially if you prefer table games to slot machines. There are numerous to choose from, including craps, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, keno, etc. However, some are more popular than others. For example, baccarat and blackjack.
Not every table game follows the same rules or gameplay. Blackjack and baccarat share a few similarities, but they differ by quite a bit. So, a common question is: which is better?
In this article, we’ll dive into baccarat vs blackjack to find out which - if any - is better between the two.
How To Play Blackjack
Blackjack is a card game played against the dealer. While other players can join your table, ultimately, the game is between you and the dealer. The objective is to end up with a hand with a total value as close to 21 as possible - without going over. Note that your hand must beat the dealer’s, i.e. be closer to 21 than theirs. If you go over 21, that’s a bust, and you automatically lose.
Note that card suits don’t matter in blackjack. Instead, we consider the card’s value. For example:
- We take cards 2 to 10 at face value, e.g., 3 is 3, & 5 is 5.
- Cards K, Q, & J count as 10.
- An Ace could be a 1 or 11, depending on which is most advantageous with the hand.
- The player places their wager.
- The dealer deals 2 cards to each player face-up and 2 cards to themselves, with one of them face-down.
- Players decide how to play the hand. They can “hit”, which means to request an additional card, or they can “stand” - keep their hand as it is, ending their turn.
- Other players play their hands.
- The dealer plays their hand last against any players still in the game.
- All bets are settled.
How To Play Baccarat
You have one task when you play baccarat, to place a bet on a possible outcome. There are 3 possible scenarios, i.e., the banker’s hand wins, the player’s hand wins, or a tie.
The dealer uses 6 to 8 decks in the game. The cards have different values; for example, the Ace is worth 1 point, face cards (royals) & 10s are worth zero points, and the other cards are worth face value. So, the game starts with two hands on the table; a player’s hand and a banker’s hand.
Let’s say the banker has a 10 and 7, while the player has a 9 and 3. Therefore, the banker’s hand equals 7 points because 10 is 0 & 7 is 7. We only consider the second digit in baccarat, so the player’s hand equals 12, but it’s worth 2 points in baccarat. So, the banker’s hand would win in this instance.
A hand wins automatically if their first two cards equal 8 or 9 - known as a natural. But the player and banker could also tie. If they do, only those who bet on a tie receive winnings - all other bets are lost.
Important Game Differences
You might have noticed a few differences between blackjack and baccarat so far. We’ll highlight a few below.
The game objective
The objective in blackjack is to get your hand closer in total value to 21 than the dealer’s, but never over 21. Whereas in baccarat, you don’t have a hand as such - the aim is to bet on the hand you think will win by getting the closest to 9.
You can calculate your point in blackjack easier than in baccarat. This is because the latter introduces a system where the first digit drops if the total is in double figures. So, for example, where a 5 & 8 would equal 13 in blackjack, in baccarat, it is worth 3.
In blackjack, cards 2 to 10 retain their values, while the J, Q, & K equal 10 points. In blackjack, the Ace is worth 1 or 11 points, while the Ace is worth 1 point only in baccarat.
When you play blackjack, you bet on your hand winning. However, if you play baccarat, you bet on 1 of 3 outcomes: the player wins, the banker wins, or both tie.
Baccarat Odds VS Blackjack Odds
We’ll look at the baccarat payout odds vs blackjack payout odds in this section.
Blackjack can award a payout of 3:2 for a natural (hand of 2 cards totalling 21) and awards a payout at 1:1 (even-money) odds for a regular win. For baccarat, we’ll need to consider each possibility as follows:
- A winning bet on the banker’s hand can award a 1:1 payout.
- A winning bet on the player’s hand can award a 1:1 payout.
- If you bet on a tie and win, you receive a 9:1 payout (varies from casino to casino).
Lastly, 4.83% of hands might lead to a blackjack, so players prefer baccarat over blackjack in terms of odds. However, every live casino game is random, and all of them have a house edge. So, it’s always better to play for enjoyment rather than to play for profit.
Baccarat House Edge VS Blackjack House Edge
Baccarat has fixed odds, while blackjack odds vary depending on your decisions. For example, the house edge in blackjack might start as X but shift depending on your decision-making skills. Ultimately, both games are unpredictable, and they each have a house edge.
For example, baccarat has a lower house edge depending on who you bet on. If you bet on the dealer, the house edge is 1.06%, but betting on the player increases it to 1.24%. In addition, betting on a tie increases the house edge to 9.5%.
Blackjack and baccarat have two of the lowest house edges of all pay by mobile casino games.
Note that these are still games of chance. Having a basic knowledge of the gameplay and learning basic strategy may help, but nothing is guaranteed.
Is Baccarat Easier Than Blackjack?
Baccarat might involve less decision-making than blackjack, but it has a more complex point system to learn.
However, blackjack pits you against the dealer. You have to make decisions to try to get closer to 21 without going bust; because of this, you have more of a hand in the development of the game. Not to mention that your decisions could impact the house edge.
Ultimately, the games have a similar premise of getting closer to a certain number, but they play out differently, have different payout odds, and have different chances of winning. Neither is objectively better than the other. It all comes down to personal preference.
*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.