Baccarat and Blackjack are two of the most elegant casino games, with some similarities. ​There’s a dealer, and players receive two cards. The suspense comes from whether to hit or stand. However, there are fundamental differences surrounding these romanticized casino games. But which one is exactly better?

Or is it a safe bet that it’s a tie, pun intended if you play baccarat? We invite you to keep reading about what each timeless card game brings to the table.  

Both Blackjack and baccarat are two of the easiest table games to play compared to other games. They both share the philosophy of the dealer dealing two cards face down to the players.

For Blackjack, the object is to get to 21 or have a hand as close as possible to that number but without going over. Having a hand over 21 means you go bust and automatically lose the playing hand.

What makes baccarat so cool to play is that you’re never in danger of going bust. While the goal for baccarat is to get a natural hand to hit nine, or second best, eight, you don’t go bust. Both card games feature rules about hitting, which means taking a third card and standing.

For baccarat, the player must hit if the player’s two cards are worth five or less. If, after hitting after the third card, the baccarat total goes past nine points, only the last number in the total is considered the baccarat value. In other words, if your cards add up to fifteen, the actual baccarat value is five. So, in terms of the scoring, baccarat passes this test with flying colors over Blackjack.

If the player’s card value is six, the baccarat rules call for them to stand. Interestingly, baccarat also has special rules for when the dealer can hit or stand. But they are a result of the player’s hand. The dealer can take a third card if their value is worth two points or less, regardless of what the player has.

Unfortunately, for Blackjack, a player’s worst fear is deciding to hit and they go over 21. That’s it. It’s game over. If you’re new to table games, it’s understandable why you might go with Blackjack because there’s not an abundance of strategy besides not going over 21.

Baccarat and Blackjack don’t have as many variants as poker at leading online casinos. The main game for baccarat is Punto Banco, and for Blackjack, it is American or Classic Blackjack. But some sites might offer variants like Chemin de Fer for baccarat, Blackjack X-change, or Perfect Pairs. Blackjack X-change allows players to make side bets. The same goes for Perfect Pairs.

While certain baccarat variants offer daring side bets like the dragon bonus, they are few and far between. Also, the house edge in those cases can easily top 30%. So, in terms of side bets and their availability, Blackjack gets the edge in this regard.

  • Scoring and Winning

Scoring your blackjack hand is pretty straightforward. The cards between two and nine carry their value. Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings all count for ten points. The trick is how Aces score. If you have cards worth nine points or less, Aces count for eleven points. But with tens or other face cards, they count only for a point.

In the case of baccarat, cards two through nine carry their natural value. However, tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings count as zero. Aces always count as nine. Most blackjack variants don’t offer the choice of bets. You hit or stand to get to 21.

Baccarat, on the other hand, gives the player three distinct betting options. The player’s bet is where you stake on the player winning. The player’s bet odds are around 1.24%. Baccarat players can also wager on whether the banker wins.

The banker is the baccarat dealer. The odds of the banker’s bet are slightly more favorable at around 1.06%. The intriguing baccarat bet is the tie bet, where you wager on nobody winning or having the same card value.

While the payouts with the tie bet are fantastic, the 14% house edge isn’t so hot. American Blackjack also has an RTP of over 99%, which always makes it a draw. In terms of scoring and winning, in our opinion, this is a tie. If you’re a high roller and prefer choice, baccarat might seem the way to go.

If you want to make an even money bet, baccarat is also the way to go with the banker’s bet. But if you want a roughly 50% chance of hitting 21, American Blackjack’s amazing RTP speaks volumes.

  • Deck Composition and Card Values

Traditional baccarat games like Punto Banco usually play between six to eight decks with 52 cards. Jokers are never used. In the case of Mini Baccarat, it’s common to use six decks or less to speed up the pace due to the smaller table.

Blackjack also uses six to eight decks with 52 cards. Like baccarat, jokers aren’t used. If the casino supports double-deck Blackjack, more decks are used to give the player more favorable odds.

  • Final Thoughts

Blackjack and baccarat are very sociable games. Playing with others, including the live dealers at online casinos, is common. It’s good casino etiquette to chat with the dealer before play begins. And it’s proper etiquette to tip them with casino chips should you win.

Ultimately, the best game is the one you feel comfortable with. Regardless of whether you choose Blackjack or baccarat, please practice responsible gaming habits so you can enjoy these classic card games.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.