‘Casino Whales’ are the most highly sought-after clientele in the world.  These men and women have the means to wager fabulous bets on casino games, bringing in tremendous revenue to the world's premier casino resorts. High-rollers have deep pockets; they are extravagant spenders and casinos treat them like royalty. High rollers routinely drop thousands of dollars on a single game of blackjack, baccarat, or roulette. Their mantra ‘Bet Big to Win Big’ holds true regardless, and their game of choice is none other than baccarat.

The motivation behind betting big on casino card games may baffle the mind of casual players, but it makes perfect sense to high rollers. When money is in abundant supply, gambling often provides the ultimate form of entertainment. In mere minutes, chip stacks can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled, and it's certainly not chump change at stake. Exclusive resorts accommodate high rollers at VIP tables in roped-off sections of the casino. Everything about the experience oozes luxury, elegance, and pizzazz.

 ‘Baccarat is the simplest game in the world’ (David Vernon)

 The Ritz and Glitz of Baccarat

Few casino card games can hold a candle to baccarat. And yet, despite its global popularity it stands alone as one of the least understood games in the casino. Steeped in mystique, baccarat’s origins trace back to the upper echelons of European society, notably French and Italian aristocracy. This glorious game is one of the least understood attractions among players in the US, but the mega casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City certainly understand how important baccarat is to high rollers.

 Consider this unbelievable statistic: In 2017, Macau's casinos (40 of them) generated a staggering $29.216 billion (88% of $33.2 billion GGR) from Baccarat gaming. While that's a far cry from the total reported casino win in the Las Vegas Strip, baccarat still accounts for 18% of the total casino win in Las Vegas. Food for thought when you consider that Vegas is peppered with thousands upon thousands of slot machine games and only a handful of baccarat tables

Various high-ranking industry aficionados have helped to promote this iconic card game to players in Las Vegas over the years. The mystique of baccarat is its biggest selling point. Vegas casinos have craftedthe perfect atmosphere to host these games. Nattily clad dealers, attractive female hosts, expansive tables, and plenty of fanfare now accompany these games. None of these efforts have gone unnoticed. Asian players – the driving force behind baccarat - are drawn to this game in huge numbers. 

Good Fortune Plays a Big Part in Baccarat Games

The most engaging element of baccarat is luck. Asian players focus all of their energy on the card shuffling shoe which delivers Player and Banker hands. It's a simple game hosted by a professional baccarat dealer. The objective of baccarat is simply to get as close to 9 as possible by picking either the Player hand or the Banker hand. The dealer is not invested in either hand and simply acts as the facilitator of the game. If your hand total exceeds 9, the tens digit is removed. This means you can never bust in the game of baccarat which is markedly different to blackjack where it is easy to exceed 21. 

For players, Baccarat is all about good fortune. A set of rules determines how Banker and Player hands function. Typically, the house edge on player bets and banker bets averages 1.2%, which is remarkably low for a casino game. A third betting option is also available to players in the form of a tie bet. The payout odds on these bets is 8:1 and the house edge is a whopping 14%. It is true that players can win huge amounts of money on baccarat at land-based casinos, but casinos can also win big from players. For players, it's all about high table limits in the VIP sections of the casino, and lower minimums elsewhere. As the one game which can truly turn the tables on a casino, baccarat is often one of the most coveted casino card games. 

What is the Mystique of Baccarat All about?

Here’s a truism that few of us are privy to: Less than 1 percent (ostensibly) of players in a casino make their way to the baccarat tables. However, that one percent accounts for the profitability of the casino. It's oftentimes make or break for the world's premier casinos based on how effectively they can cater to Asian high roller baccarat players. You don't even need to know anything about the game to win – you simply place a bet on the player or banker hand. If you're really feeling lucky, you may go for a tie bet with payout odds of 8:1.

Part of the fabulous mystique around baccarat is its relatively low house edge. Any game boasting a house edge in the region of 1.1% – 1.3% naturally attracts players. In real terms, this means that a $1,000 bet on the game will likely result in losses of $11 – $13 over the long-term. However, the results in the short term can go either way on any given hand. A great degree of bankroll management is needed to better understand the nuances of baccarat. This card game typically cycles through a shoe every hour. There is no trick to fast-tracking wins, or predicting the winner of the next hand, based on past performance. It is Lady Luck alone that determines what hand you will be dealt.

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