Baccarat, the Goldmine of the Recession

November 18th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

Baccarat is continuously proving to be a growing money maker for all land-based casinos. No game in Las Vegas is more intimidating than baccarat. It is played in an elegant, high limit room with staff ready to fulfill all your needs. Despite the expensive appearance of baccarat, it is an incredibly easy game to play. Baccarat actually requires no skill as moves are the result of the cards dealt.

Baccarat Continues to Grow

Although currently a rarity, baccarat is beginning to grow in across the industry. The simplicity of the rules mixed with the sophistication of the game make it a popular competition. Also, since no skill is involved and there is a low house edge, players flock to this game. Once the first card is dealt you are as good at the game as a player that has been playing for 20 years.

Throughout this recession, baccarat has generated more revenue than any other table game in Nevada. In 2009 represented 17 percent of the Las Vegas Strip’s gambling revenue compared to 9 percent in 2004. These numbers are so incredible baccarat was the focus of all seminars at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

The Mathematics of Winning

Baccarat has the same 50-50 odds of winning as flipping a coin. To make money, the casino slightly skews the odds in their favor. Nevertheless, it is one of the most reasonable games in the casino. Overall, the house edge for baccarat is 1.1 percent compared to 2 percent for an unskilled blackjack player. In comparison, American roulette has an edge of 5.26 percent.

Baccarat in the Media

Media reports have recently highlight losses of $115 million between two baccarat players in Singapore which opened its first two casinos this year. Macau is the world’s largest and most lucrative gambling market. As expected, it also contains the highest concentration of baccarat tables in the world. In the Chinese culture, baccarat is the most appealing way to showcase your wealth.

Baccarat is a game that continues to grow in numbers and revenue generated by casinos across the globe. As this trend spreads, Las Vegas will add more tables to accommodate new and veteran players to this gambling forum. A dream for Chinese baccarat players is to come to Vegas and win. Adding additional tables will draw more players from the Asian market to come to Las Vegas. Hopefully baccarat will pull many casinos out of the recession.

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Despite Record Quarters No Recovery is Expected Anytime Soon

November 4th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

Despite talks of record quarters and casino organizations bouncing back because of the legal approval of bankruptcy plans, industry analysts still do not see a an upswing on the horizon. The numbers are skewed due to a temporary increase in tourism traffic, gambling revenue and room rates. According to analysts at CB Richard Ellis, these figures are simply a temporary aberration since earnings are at a significant decline this year.

The Release of a Forecasting Report

According to a report released by CB Richard Ellis’ Global Gaming Corporation, home prices are lifeless, airfare continues to rise and an overall decline in Las Vegas customers is forecasted to result in revenue declines for most casinos in 2011. This 100-page report is the latest release discussing the continued recession. The home prices and consumer spending data found in this report were collected by third-party researchers.

Once the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas resort opens its doors at the end of 2010, there will not be any new casino construction for many years. This indicates that the casino organizations have adjusted their financial strategies accordingly.

Further Bad News for the Strip

Unfortunately, the report predicts that gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip is expected to decline from 2 to 4 percent in 2011. This number does not include revenue from the Cosmopolitan. With all games, including baccarat, factored into this number, revenue is projected to decline by 1 percent.

Approximately 80 percent of visitors to Las Vegas are there for pleasure, not business. At least half of these travelers arrive by plane, however, McCarran Airport is predicted to level-off or even decline in airline capacity despite an increase in travel demand. This indicates that airfare will continue to rise in 2011. An increase in airfare denotes less money to be spent in Las Vegas once the traveller arrives.

It’s Not All Bad News

Baccarat, a game favored by Asian high rollers, has been showing significant growth among the handful of casinos that offer the game. The report predicts a 10 to 20 percent increase in baccarat and mini-baccarat revenue for the Las Vegas strip in 2011.

Baccarat and subsequent variants could be the key to putting casinos back on track. The game shows great promise and high revenues. Based on this study, it is clear many casinos on the Las Vegas Strip will eventually add baccarat to their gaming repertoire which will hopefully spark the economy.

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Baccarat Posting Strong Numbers for Strip Casinos

October 16th, 2010  |  Published in Casino News

The Gaming Control Board of Nevada recently posted that Las Vegas strip casinos won $461.1 million in slots and table games in July 2010, matching July 2009. Unfortunately, overall this is the fifth straight month of decline with a fall of 4.9 percent prior to taxes. Fortunately, the decrease in gross win is much smaller than last year during a recording period of double digits.

One Positive Report

However, on the more positive side, Las Vegas Strip casinos reported a rise by 9 percent in the month of July from Baccarat with total winnings of $74.4 million. This is after being in a two month decline. Despite the increase in table winnings, slot games continue to be off their historic wins. May and June saw a significant change in the winnings from Baccarat with a decrease of 37.1 percent then 60.8 percent when compared to the previous year.

Further Numbers

Additional reporting numbers include an increase in the $1.3 million from the sports betting pool. This is reported from 37 Las Vegas Strip casinos which is a 249.8 percent increase. The majority of wins stemmed from collecting on baseball bets and World Cup soccer wagers. Also, casinos saw a 24.6 percent monetary increase in wins from Blackjack but also reported a decline of 7.2 percent on craps, a decrease of 13.9 percent in roulette and a decline of 7.7 percent in slots.

In three of the seven months of this fiscal year, gaming wins by casinos on the Las Vegas Strip has increased compared to 2009. Overall gaming win is up 2.2 percent in 2010 which is slightly better than the previous years.

Downtown Casino Numbers

Downtown Las Vegas casino numbers fell once again by a considerable 19.2 percent. This is the 26th consecutive month these casinos have seen a decline. North Las Vegas reported an even higher loss of 23.5 percent.

Other Gaming Locations

Laughlin only fell by 1.6 percent while the Boulder area posted a drop of 16.8 percent in wins. Overall, Clark County reported a drop of 12.6 percent for the month. Mesquite reported a negligible increase of 0.3 percent.

In general, the gaming industry is in pretty bad shape. The recession is playing a major factor in this decline. Casino operators need to devise a plan to attract customers on a budget to build the industry back to its peak.

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Cryptologic Baccarat Tips

September 30th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Cryptologic Baccarat is available at most casinos within their network. This form of the game follows the standard format found at most competitors. However, there are a few tips and customization options to playing this game at a Cryptologic casino. Master these and you house advantage should improve.

There are two areas that are a drawback when playing Baccarat at a Cryptologic site. Players need to be aware of these limitations so they do are not at a disadvantage when utilizing these tips. The two drawbacks are:

  • Difficult to tell minimum bet
  • Tie bet

The minimum bet in Cryptologic casinos is $2. However, $1 chips are displayed at the table and there is no specification that $2 is the minimum bet. Therefore, players wager $1 which is converted to $2 and deducted from the player’s balance. A text message does appear, however this is often overlooked and players think they are betting the original wager.

The tie bet is the wager that the hand values of the player and the house match. This type of bet pays out 8 to 1. Unfortunately, this is less than many other casinos which pay out 9 to 1. This bet has a high casino advantage and should be avoided at all costs. If players are inclined to place this bet, it is best not to do it at a Cryptologic casino.

Another tip is that the statistics of previous hands are available in a box on the left side. The Banker is represented by ‘B’ and the player is the letter ‘P.’ A tie is represented by a dash. Consecutive wins by either competitor appear in the same column. Once the other player acquires a win, a new column begins. Ties will show in the win column for the previous winner.

Additionally, Cryptologic Baccarat games have the dealer’s voice with play instructions as well as speaking the result of each hand. New players should always play with the voice enable so to help with the game. The voice can easily be disabled through the Casino Options menu. Within this menu, it is also smart for players to enter weekly betting limits.

These tips will help you become more aware of the Cryptologic Baccarat environment allowing you to focus on game play. This should initially improve your house edge and make you a more efficient player plus give you more hands per hour.

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The Background of Baccarat

August 11th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Baccarat is an extremely popular game across the globe. Due to the exciting action and its simple rules, Baccarat is now being offered to customers at online gaming sites. Since it’s a card game, it’s difficult to trace back to the exact origin. There are many different versions depending on the country where it’s played. The first card game was invented approximately 2000 years ago in Asia.

In the 14th century, crusaders brought back various card games to Europe from Asia. At this time, the first printed deck of cards was developed. Christopher Columbus is generally credited with bringing card games to the Americas. The suites were actually created to represent the feudal classes in society.

Like the suites, face cards also had significance. During one period, the faces on the cards were those of Kings, Queens and Soldiers. Some famous figures include:

  • Charlemagne
  • Alexander the Great
  • Julius Caesar
  • King David

Famous queens that were placed on cars include:

  • Helen of Troy
  • Joan of Arc
  • Athena
  • Rachel

Jacks represented famous knights:

  • Roland
  • Etienne de Vignoles
  • Sir Lancelot
  • Hodgier Le Danois

It is thought that around 1492 the game of Baccarat came to fruition in Italy. The original game was based on the Nine Gods, an ancient Roman tradition. As the story goes, 2000 years ago in Rome nine Gods were praying at the base of a virgin. The virgin threw a nine-sided die.

She needed to roll an eight or nine to be crowned as priestess. Rolling a six or seven meant she would lose her status. Anything less than that, she would walk into the sea. Baccarat uses these same numbers for specific actions and to claim a victor.

The first name associated with Baccarat is difficult to pinpoint due to the variations in the game across different European countries. In France, the game was originally outlawed in casinos since royalty felt they only had a right to play. This version migrated to South America, then north to Cuba. Around 1958, the game traveled to the Sands Casino in Las Vegas which is where it made its big American debut.

Currently Baccarat is offered in almost every casino in the world and many online. Although there are two primary versions (French and American), the rules are fairly similar. The game of Baccarat is quite diverse so it can be played at low limits or in the high roller room.

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Baccarat Strategies that Give you an Edge

July 12th, 2010  |  Published in Gambling Games

Once you’ve learned the basic rules of baccarat, the next step is to ascertain a few common strategies that will give you an edge against the house. Baccarat is a guessing game as to which hand will win. The banker hand has a slight edge, winning 50.68 percent of all hands. This gives the house a 1.17 percent edge on the banker (due to the 5 percent commission collected by the casino).

Card Counting System

Many mathematicians have argued that baccarat is susceptible to a card counting system, similar to blackjack. The best counting system developed only gives the player a slight advantage on one hand per eight deck shoes. This is not enough of an advantage to make it worth the while. The time involved to gain the edge is enormous and the casino wouldn’t hold the seat for someone not playing consistently.

To attain the advantage, the player must count down every single hand, without playing, until the advantage comes along. This is not a good way to spend time at the casino and over the long run would significantly decrease the player’s hourly earnings.

More Efficient Strategies

Despite the card counting, there are a few strategies that will come in handy during normal play. First, money management is one of the best areas to perfect. This means not making bets too large for your immediate bankroll. Also, do not chase (make larger bets when losing). This is a great way to lose all your money quickly.

Also, if you set a specific goal for winning and hit that mark, walk away. Do not continue to pump money back into the casino. Since the house almost always has the edge, over the long term, you will lose. A big part of successful gambling is discipline. Similarly, when winning, learn to walk away. When winning, only bet with a small portion of it and if you lose that, walk away.

Baccarat is a game that’s as exciting as blackjack or craps. Although not the most popular game in the casino, many flock to it due to the excitement of the game. Following these easy tips will help you to be a more consistent winner. The two keys to baccarat are money management and discipline. Keeping a consistent betting pattern accompanied with knowing when to cut your losses or walk away a winner will help you become steadily successful.

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An Overview of Baccarat

June 21st, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

Baccarat is one of only a few casino games giving the player slightly under an even break. Along with Blackjack, Baccarat is one of the most profitable games a customer can play. The house edges only 1.17 percent per bet on a banker hand and 1.36 percent per bet on a player hand.

History

Throughout its tenure, Baccarat has been primarily a high-roller’s game. Only a few players have mastered the game as it’s been kept under wraps to the average customer. In general, the lowest current minimum bid at a Baccarat table is $20.

Baccarat derives from the Italian word, baccara meaning zero which is the point value of all face cards. Baccarat was originally developed from the European game Chemin de Fer. Traced back to 1490, Baccarat was the favorite game among the elite.

Modern Baccarat comes primarily from the game Chemin de Fer as there are many similarities. One difference is that customers play and bet against each other and not specifically against the house. The casino makes money by taking a percentage from the player that’s holding the bank.

Chemin de Fer was actually offered in Last Vegas casino’s during the late 1950’s but was replaced by Baccarat after only a year. This original variant is still available in many European casinos. Although the standard version of Baccarat is played with 14 players, in the 1980’s mini games popped up with 7 players on a Blackjack-sized table.

The Basics

A full table consists of 14 players with 3 dealers in a separated area and 8 decks of cards. The dealers don’t actually distribute the cards. Instead, they simply pass the shoe that holds decks. Each player slides out the cards to one another. A single dealer, known as the “callman” stands up and turns all cards face up after they are dealt.

The callman calls out the point totals of each hand and announces whether different hands can acquire another card. The other dealers remain seated and pay out the winning bets and collect chips from the losing hands. Each seat is numbered indicating where to play the banker bet and where to place the player bet.
Advantages

Due to the nature of the game, Blackjack and video poker players with decent skills and a basic strategy tend to do well. Although average Baccarat are at less of a disadvantage than Blackjack or video poker players, the game doesn’t have any playing strategies that need to be mastered in order to become successful.

Baccarat is one of the least-known games with the best chances for winning. Although mini-Baccarat isn’t currently seen often in casinos, its fast-pace and payout may result in its overall return.

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The Many Faces of Baccarat

May 7th, 2010  |  Published in Inrodution

While most casinos only offer one kind of baccarat game, the truth is that there are at least three common variations – Chemin de Fer, banque and punto banco – plus a scaled-down version of punto banco called mini baccarat. At first glance, most amateurs won’t be able to tell the difference between these different baccarat games, but there are a few minute but crucial rule changes from one to the next.

In a live casino, location will likely determine which baccarat game you find in your local casino. Chemin de Fer, as you might have inferred from its name, is most popular in France. Baccarat banque is the baccarat choice in the remainder of Europe, and punto banco is favored by North American and Australian players. When playing baccarat online, you may be able to find more than one version of the game at an Internet casino, but it’s more likely that the site will choose the variation that’s most popular with its target audience.

Though many baccarat players are loyal to the game they know and have learned to love, many punto banco players are oblivious to the fact that when it comes to odds their preferred game is at a disadvantage to baccarat banque and Chemin de Fer. That’s because the latter two variations allow players not only to choose their hand but to intervene to a certain point.

For example, in punto banco two hands are dealt – the Player and the Banker hand. (On a side note, this is where the game gets its name.) Players may bet on either of these hands or on a Tie, but they have no control over how the hands are managed. The casino dealer will hit or stand according to house rules. Under punto banco rules, players have no way of impacting the odds.

By contrast, in Chemin de Fer the dealer/banker position rotates around the table every time a banker loses with the remaining punters representing the player hand. It is this circuitous way of dealing that earned the game its name, since “chemin de fer” loosely translates as “railroad.” Players ultimately decide whether to hit or stand, and the house does not intervene.

In baccarat banque, a player buys the right to sit in the central dealer/banker position. In this variation, hands are always dealt from a multi-deck shoe. In baccarat banque, two player hands are dealt – one to the right side of the banker and one to the left. The hand rules are the same as Chemin de Fer, but the banker may hold their position until the shoe has been exhausted so long as they have the funds to do so.

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The Five Best Bets in the Casino

February 18th, 2010  |  Published in Casino Tips

Every game in the casino from Texas Hold ‘Em to the slot machines has a house edge. A house edge is how the casino ensures they keep some of their money and are able to stay in business. However, different games have a different house edge that can vary from less then one percent to five or more depending on the game. Knowing the best games to play in the casino with the lowest house advantage may help you walk away a winner.

The Five Casino Games with the Lowest House Edge

1. Video Poker- Video poker machines typically carry a house advantage of two percent or less, and some poker machines go as low as half a percent. You can determine the video poker machine’s house advantage by reading the payout scale. The payout scale is typically located on top of or near the poker machine. Occasionally the scale may be listed on the interactive menu.

2. Poker Tables- The poker tables may be the best seat in the house if a player is trying to beat the house edge. This is due to the fact that in the exception of a small sum removed from each pot, the house has virtually no advantage at the poker table. House winnings are completely up to the dealer and the luck of the draw. A highly skilled poker player can eliminate the house advantage at the table.

3. Blackjack- The blackjack table is another spot in the casino with a low house edge. Most blackjack tables carry a house advantage of less then one percent. By knowing the basic blackjack strategies, a player can reduce the house edge to half a percent.

4. Acting as the Banker in Pai Gow- At first glance, acting as the banker in Pai Gow does not seem that appealing, after all you have to pay a five percent commission to the house for the spot. However, the banker in Pai Gow collects on any player he beats, and if you are good at the game, the five percent commission is well worth it.

5. Baccarat- While Baccarat has a higher house advantage then blackjack or the poker tables; it is still one of the best bets in the house. Baccarat only carries slightly more then one percent on the house edge.

By playing games with a low house advantage a player has a better chance of walking away from the casino a winner, however, no player should play a game with high stakes until they are completely familiar with the rules and strategies.

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Punto Banco: Which Side are You On?

December 6th, 2009  |  Published in Inrodution

Punto Banco is the North American version of baccarat, one of the most popular casino games in the world.  It is essentially a game of two opposing sides: punto (player) vs. banco (bank).  Similar to baccarat, players only need to make one crucial decision: to bet on the player or the banker.  Once this is determined, the game commences, and there are three possible outcomes: win, lose or draw.

In traditional form, a game of Punto Banco is played on an oval shaped table with up to 14 numbered seats and a total of three dealers.  Two dealers are seated at each side of the table, while the third is seated in the center.  Often referred to as the palette dealer, the third dealer utilizes a wooden paddle to pick up cards and move them across the table.  However, in modern casinos and smaller venues, the game is typically played with a single dealer on a blackjack-sized table.

Objective of the Game

The goal of Punto Banco is to simply bet on the game taking place between the player and the banker.  The winning hand is the one with the value closest to the number nine.  Tens, jacks, queens and kings basically have no relevance, while aces have a value of one.  All cards from two to nine have their original face value.  The value of a given hand is determined by adding up the numbers on the cards.

If a hand happens to total double figures, then ten is deducted from the value.  For instance, if the player has a hand with a seven and an eight, the total value is considered five.  Because the value is in double figures, ten is subtracted to give the hand a total value of five.

Playing the Game

To begin the game, players position their chips on the designated boxes on the table in front of them.  These boxes represent the player, banker, and the tie.  Once all wagers have been put up, the player in the first seat deals four cards from the shoe to the dealer, who then places them.

The dealing rotation is as follows:

  • The player receives the first card
  • The dealer receives the second card
  • The banker receives the final card

After each game of Punto Banco, the card shoe is passed on to the next player.  In more simplistic versions of the game, the dealer handles all the dealing.  Once both the player and the banker have the two cards that form their hand, the following rules apply:

Player’s Rules

  • If the player’s hand totals anywhere from zero to five, he or she draws another card.
  • If the player’s hand totals six or seven, it automatically stands.
  • If the player’s hand totals eight or nine, it is called a natural and automatically stands.

Banker’s Rules

  • If the banker’s hand totals anywhere from zero to three, he or she draws another card.
  • If the banker’s hand totals four and the player’s hand ranges from two to seven, he or she must draw a third card.
  • If the banker’s hand totals five and the player’s hand ranges from four to seven, he or she must draw a third card.
  • If the banker’s hand totals six and the player’s hand ranges from six to seven, he or she must draw a third card.  However, this is only the case when the player achieves the total within three cards.  If the player’s total was achieved within two cards, the banker is required to stand.
  • If the banker’s hand totals seven, he or she must stand.
  • If the banker’s hand ranges from eight to nine, both the banker and player must stand.

Winners, Losers and the Tie

After the hands of the player and banker are determined, Punto Banco will either produce an undisputed winner or a draw.  All bets on the game are paid out at even money, while a winning “banco” wager pays out at 19/20.  In simple terms, a 5% commission goes to the house.

Winnings bets placed on a tie are paid out at 8 to 1.   Losing bets are collected before any winning bets are paid out to the winners.  Should there be a tie, the dealer pays out the bettors accordingly, and other players have the option to let their bets stay as is, modify them, or withdraw them entirely.  Those who bet on either the player or banker do not lose their original bet should a tie occur.

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