Baccarat Saves Nevada Casinos

The annual report indicated that Nevada’s gambling and tourism economy has been boosted by baccarat, a high-roller game very popular amongst Asian players. A state record for the year is the $10.7 billion wagered on baccarat, said Mike Lawton, senior analyst with the Gaming Control Board. Our average hovers around $1.2 billion, which is another state record up 21 percent after an increase of 26 percent in 2009.

“We can say with absolute honesty that baccarat saved the day for us here on the Strip,” Lawton said. “We sincerely hope that our esteemed Asian players will return soon.” In comparison the yearly slot win which indicates mass market volume, totalled $63.8 billion, it dropped 2.7 percent from 2009 levels, plunging by 11.8 percent from the previous year as a result of the current recession which gripped Nevada’s vulnerable economy.”

State gambling regulators reported that Nevada casino winnings were rather low during the 2010 calendar year, knocking up a mere 0.1 percent in comparison to the previous year. For the calendar year a staggering $10.4 billion was won, this amount increased by $12 million. Even though this amount might seem small, it’s the first increase in nearly two years, regulators said.

The Gaming Control Board issued the win and revenue figures for December. For the month of December casinos reported a total win of $838.8 million, indicating a 2.4 percent decline for the same month in 2009. Texas’ casino winnings for the month totalled $29.9 million, this figure decreased by 10.4 percent, according to the report.

Gambling taxes in Nevada comprise approximately one third of Nevada’s general fund revenues, and the ostensible casino “gaming win” hasn’t returned to its heyday levels of 2004. The end of the year gambling report indicated that profits dropped by 4.3 percent in Washoe County, 2.3 in Elko County 2.3 percent and in Clark County below 1 percent.

Casino winnings on the Las Vegas Strip increased by 4.1 percent for the year, but declined by 0.3 percent in December to $500.7 million. Strip resorts are responsible for half of state wide casino revenues. December’s “casino win” is the total amount of cash remaining in the casino coffers after gamblers gambled $12.1 billion at slots and table games. The $9 billion played at slots was increased by 1.1 percent and table games increased 3.8 percent up by $3.1 billion.

“I would say our theory of a baccarat-based recovery on the Strip is holding true,” Lawton said. “What we’re waiting for is that eventual spill over to our other markets.”

More About The Game Baccarat

Baccarat is an easy game to play and has a relatively low house edge. Traditional baccarat is normally played in roped-off areas of casinos and reserved for high rollers. Bets range from $100 to $1,000. Players with modest bankrolls can play ‘mini-baccarat’, normally found on the main casino floor in between the other tables. The rules are the same but there are some procedural differences. In regular baccarat, the cards are dealt by the players. While in mini-baccarat the dealer is in charge. Both formats of the game is based entirely on luck.

Big and mini-baccarta only have three bets: the banker (or bank), player and tie. The hands in baccarat no matter where you play it are governed by a mandatory set of rules. In regular baccarat eight decks are used, while 6 are used in mini-baccarat. Some internet casinos only use one deck. Binion’s Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas charged a 4% commission for many years, which resulted in a house edge of 0.60% on banker bets. Other casinos experimented with 3% commissions.

No-Commission Baccarat

In an attempt to eliminate the annoying 5% commission on the banker bet, various versions of commission-free baccarat were introduced. The first variant offered in Singapore, pays 1 to 2 when the banker wins 8. This results in a house edge of 4%. There’s a similar rule at the Atlantic City casino where a banker win paid 1 to 2 on a 6, for a house edge of 1.46%.

Lucky Pair

Some casinos offer a baccarat side bet that a player or bank’s first two cards will be a pair. The majority of the side bets in table games carry a hefty house edge. The Lucky Pair is no exception to this rule.


Optimal strategy in baccarat is quite easy. Always bet on the banker. Smart players always make notes and track every hand that’s dealt from the shoe. If you make an occasional bet on the player it won’t cost you much in expected value. Normally the expected value bounces back and forth between the bank and the player. This is according to the ratio of bank to player bets that’s made by the player. My advice to you, avoid the tie bets at all costs.


When playing baccarat always bet on the banker. Don’t let the no-commission games fool you, the regular game is your best bet.



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