Baccarat vs Blackjack: Card Games Battle It Out at Punt!
The age-old question: baccarat vs blackjack – which is better? Well, every player has their favorite casino games, and some may enjoy one more than the other. So the question isn’t really which game is better, but rather, which game is better for YOU.
So, as the go-to gurus for all your gambling-related queries, we’ve decided to lend a helping hand so that YOU can land that winning hand. Yes, pun intended. What do the cards predict for you? Is it going to be blackjack or baccarat? Let’s find out!
Blackjack vs baccarat – what’s the difference?
Even though both games may look very similar at first glance (cards, similarly shaped layout, and a card shoe), baccarat and blackjack are 2 very different games.
Blackjack is a casino card game where the decision on whether or not to pull another card to increase your hand total must be made by the player. A little knowledge of blackjack basic strategy can assist the player when making choices such as when to double down in blackjack or playing the blackjack insurance bet, among others.
Baccarat, on the other hand, is one of those games where you just place your bet and hope for the best. Its simple – either bet on the Banker position, the Player position, or a Tie and hope that you made the right choice. It may sound a little devil-may-care when comparing baccarat vs blackjack, but for many players, that’s part of its appeal.
Of course, there are many other differences to consider when choosing between blackjack or baccarat. To better understand these differences, let’s give a brief explanation of how each game is played.
How blackjack is played
Blackjack is a card game played with anywhere between 6 and 8 decks, depending on the type of blackjack you choose. One of the biggest differences between blackjack vs baccarat is that blackjack is played against the dealer, whereas baccarat offers 3 betting positions for all players on the table – 2 positions losing every hand, and 1 winning.
In contrast, blackjack has many betting positions that any player at the table can choose to bet on. Many blackjack games allow players to bet and win on multiple positions, whereas only 1 betting position can win in baccarat. That’s one of the biggest differences between baccarat odds vs blackjack winning odds.
In blackjack, 2 cards are dealt to all betting positions on the table as well as to the dealer. The aim of the game is to get your card value total (all your cards combined) as close to 21 as possible, without busting (going over 21).
However, since you’re playing against the dealer (the biggest difference between baccarat vs blackjack), you’ll only need to beat the dealer’s hand, whether you have 21 or not. The dealer is the last to pull cards from the shoe. Once the round is complete, the hand values are compared, and winning bets are paid odds of 1 to 1, with equal values resulting in a “Push”.
Whether you’re playing blackjack or baccarat, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the card value rankings of each game.
Blackjack Card Values:
That’s blackjack in a nutshell. Of course, there is a little more to the game than that, but that should give you enough to grasp the differences between blackjack or baccarat.
If you want to understand more about the game and learn how to play, you can play blackjack games for free at Punt before playing for real money. Or, you can go straight ahead and snatch that next winning hand if you want to sign up and deposit now.
How baccarat is played
As we mentioned, the differences between blackjack vs baccarat are many, but the primary contrast is that in baccarat, the dealer is not your opponent. There are 3 betting positions, the Player, Banker, or Tie. You simply place your bet on whichever position you feel will come out with the best hand and wait for the result.
Here is an example of a baccarat hand in progress to get an idea of the layout:
Two cards are dealt to both the Player and the Banker positions when the round begins. Similar to blackjack, the card values for each position are totaled for a score. However, instead of reaching 21, you’ll be hoping that your hand value totals 8, or ideally, a 9 – that’s another major difference when it comes to baccarat vs blackjack.
If either betting position gets an 8 or 9 total, it is considered a “Natural”, and the hand automatically wins. Otherwise, more cards are pulled to each position according to the baccarat card rules until either the Player or the Banker wins. BUT! There could also be a tie, which means bets on the Tie position are paid 8 to 1, whereas other positions pay only 1 to 1.
It is also important to know that a 5% commission is charged on all winning Banker bets. That’s another deciding factor when choosing between blackjack or baccarat. This is because the Banker bet has a slight advantage over the Player bet, as the odds of winning are a little higher. Typical bankers – always so greedy!
Baccarat odds vs blackjack odds and payouts
Another thing to consider when choosing between these 2 popular table games, is the payout odds on bets and the house edge for each game. Let’s break it down:
Blackjack payouts and house edge
Blackjack offers one of the most favorable house edges for the player, compared to other table games, that is. However, when comparing baccarat vs blackjack, you’ll find they are more or less the same. Blackjack generally offers a house edge of between 1 and 2%, but when using Blackjack Basic Strategy, this number can be cut in half.
Blackjack Basic Strategy guides you to make the best possible choices when playing the game. Manage this, and the house edge is only around 0.05% to 1% – favorable indeed!
When it comes to the payout odds in blackjack vs baccarat, you can generally expect to get paid 1 to 1 on your bets in blackjack, apart from a 2-card 21 (Blackjack), which pays 3 to 2. Some blackjack games offer additional side bets with much higher payout odds, so we suggest you keep a lookout for these.
Baccarat payouts and house edge
The house edge for baccarat depends on which betting position you decide on – the Banker, the Player, or the Tie. Although both the Banker and the Player bets have payout odds of 1 to 1, the house edge differs slightly from the Player bet, and of course, the 5% commission applies to the Banker.
The 5% commission basically means that you’re getting paid 19 to 20 on the Banker bet, and not 1 to 1. The Banker’s house edge is lower because of the rules for drawing cards in baccarat – there’s a slight advantage for the Banker, which is why the 5% commission is charged. This is what makes the baccarat odds vs blackjack odds very different, as no commission is charged in blackjack at all.
And as you can see, the Tie bet has the highest house edge of 14.36%. This is because the odds of winning on the Tie are around 9.5% overall. However, many players are attracted to the Tie bet because of its high payout odds of 8 to 1. It might be worth playing every few hands for that reason alone.
Baccarat vs blackjack: summary
- The player has no direct influence on the game in baccarat, whereas decisions must be made and strategies can be applied in blackjack.
- Face Cards (Jack, Queen, King) and 10s count as zero in baccarat, but count as 10 in blackjack.
- Blackjack hands can be split and doubled for a chance to win bigger payouts, whereas baccarat bets cannot be altered after being placed.
- Baccarat generally charges a 5% commission on the Banker Bet, but no commission is charged in blackjack.
- In blackjack, the object of the game is to get your card total as close to 21 as possible, without going Bust (over 21). In baccarat, you’re aiming for a total of 8 or 9 (Natural), and there is no such thing as “busting”.
- Blackjack has a house edge of between 1 and 2% – if the player knows Blackjack Basic Strategy, a 0.05% house edge can be achieved. In baccarat, the house edge varies from bet to bet, with the Banker position offering a 1.06% house edge, the Player a 1.24% edge, and the Tie bet a 14.36% house edge.
- Some blackjack games allow players to bet and win on multiple positions, whereas only 1 betting position can win for every round in baccarat.
Blackjack or Baccarat? The choice is yours at Punt!
When it comes to baccarat vs blackjack, there is no real way of telling which game is better than the other. Both have their pros and cons, and the best way to figure out which game is for YOU is to play them. Visit our online casino games menu today and take your pick! Still reading? Hit those tables now and let the cards do the talking!
With over a decade in the online gambling industry and a passion for all things crypto, Ethan offers valuable insight into playing at Punt with in-depth reviews, gambling guides, and informative content to help our readers make the best of their Punt Casino experience. Get all the ins and outs of crypto gambling with Ethan and our team of gambling experts right here, on the Punt Casino blog.