Blackjack and Baccarat are two of the most popular casino games across the globe. And, if asked what the differences are between the two, some will simply make an offhanded statement that they are largely the same as they are both card-comparing games. And yes, it is true that the games do have similarities.

But any experienced player will recognise that the games are different in extremely fundamental ways, some of which mean the two games cannot be compared. Let’s take a look at the major differences between Baccarat and Blackjack, and understand how they are different, and may appeal to different types of casino game players.

How To Play Baccarat

The object of Baccarat is to get a hand of cards as close as possible to 9. For this reason many might instantly say that Blackjack is about getting a hand as close as possible to 21, and therefore declare the games similar. But lets take a closer look at how Baccarat is played.

One aspect of Baccarat that immediately stands apart from Blackjack is that in Baccarat a hand cannot go bust. If a hand goes over an initial 9, the score loops round and again starts from 1, ignoring the first total of 10 in the score. For example, a 7 and a 9 would count as 6.

Note that all face cards in Baccarat count as zero.

The second, and perhaps most important part of Baccarat is to keep in mind that the player does not decide when to hit or stand and is not actually the player at all. The Player in the game is simply a placeholder for position at the table, just like the Banker is. Hands are decided by the dealer, on a predetermined set of rules as to when cards should be dealt, and when the hand should stand. In playing Baccarat, a person only decides where to place a bet; on the Player, Banker, or a tie. The bet is placed on who the player thinks will have the wining hand, and wagering on the Player doesn’t mean betting on oneself!

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How to Play Blackjack

Blackjack is a much better known game, although it never hurts to brush up on the rules. In Blackjack, as already stated, the goal is to get a hand closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand, without going over, or bust. The player personally decides when to ask for another card, and when to stick, or stand with the hand.

Some additional rules in Blackjack are for the Ace, and for two cards of the same value. An Ace is referred to as a ‘magic card’ in Blackjack, since it may count as 11, or as 1, depending on the total of the cards. If two cards of a same value, such as two 10s are dealt, the player can decide to split them, and have two separate hands.

Important Game Differences

So it’s clear to see that although the two games have a similar goal, in trying to create a specific total, they have major, important differences that set them apart. Let’s recap the most important differences.

  • Player has no direct control over Baccarat
  • Hands cannot go bust in Baccarat
  • Face cards count as zero in Baccarat
  • Ace counts as 1 or 11 in Blackjack
  • Hands can be split in Blackjack

Got it? Good. Get playing!

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