Think ‘mini’ when it comes to playing baccarat

May 7, 2013 3:09 AM

There is an aura of mystery surrounding baccarat. This aura intimidates a lot of people from ever thinking about playing the game – let alone playing it. Baccarat is the game we see in movies and on television that says high roller.

Big Baccarat games are played on large tables in private high limit rooms. The players are among the nicest dressed people in the casino, with men often wearing suits and women in fancy dresses.

Baccarat is a smart game to play since it has a house edge of just over 1% and this makes it one of the best bets in a casino. With such a small house edge on baccarat, casinos actually charge a commission, usually 5%, for winning hands.

While initially for high rollers, baccarat has stepped out to the casino for “regular” people to get in on the action. Mini baccarat is similar in play to the big table game but made smaller so it fits in with other table games.

Mini baccarat offers the same small house edge as the big table game with lower limits that most casino visitors can afford. It’s rare that you’ll find a $5 mini baccarat game but you will probably find $15 or $25 games on a given night, which is much less than you’ll find in the private room games.

Games with a small house edge for the casino are always your friend. High rollers and low rollers alike should be able to enjoy a game of baccarat. The big table baccarat games may be intimidating because of the size, limits and high regard people seem to hold for the game but the same isn’t true for mini baccarat.

The game and limits are accessible and the small house edge can prove to keep your bankroll intact for a long time, if not produce a little profit.

Since baccarat is held in such high regard, not a lot of people know how simple the game is to play. Players can bet whether or not the dealer (aka banker) will have a better hand or the players will. That’s just about it!

You can also bet on a tie but the house edge on that is huge and most people don’t touch that betting opportunity.

Baccarat at low stakes isn’t the most exciting game, but winning and playing any game in a casino is fun. Baccarat is simple enough to play and has little to no strategy so you can play and socialize with others more easily than at blackjack, for example.

At worst, baccarat is a game to play that won’t drain your bankroll quickly, allowing you to play for a longer time while enjoying a cocktail and earning a few players club points. I often talk about keeping bets and games simple. Baccarat does both.

Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at Contact Marc at [email protected].

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