Baccarat may be an iconic card game, but it is way behind other casino offerings in terms of popularity. Research into the industry in 2014 found that only one percent of casino visitors played the game, compared to 16 percent who took part in blackjack. Poker was also found to be six times more popular than baccarat. Is the comparing game destined to remain in the shadows, or is it about to boom in popularity?
Baccarat Used to be the Most Glamorous Game
In the early days of casinos, baccarat managed to earn a reputation as being one of the more glamorous games. It attracted elite clientele, and there would always be movers and shakers milling around the tables. This was highlighted by Ian Fleming’s decision to make baccarat James Bond’s casino game of choice. In the first novel, Casino Royale in 1953, 007 famously plays a high stakes game of baccarat against the SMERSH operative Le Chiffre. Fleming wanted to portray Bond’s style and panache and did so using luxurious props. It seemed to be a key decision to include baccarat over blackjack.
When Martin Campbell adapted Casino Royale for the silver screen in 2006, he opted to change the casino game to Texas hold ‘em poker and took out all instances of baccarat. This underlined the latter game’s fall from grace as one of the best-known casino games, and it’s fascinating to think how audiences would have reacted if Campbell had chosen to stick with baccarat. At the time, the poker boom was in full swing, so it made sense to use the popular game in the picture.
Baccarat can Link the East and West
Despite falling by the wayside and being overshadowed by other casino games like slots, roulette, and blackjack, baccarat has a chance to make a comeback in the next two decades. As one of the most accessible card games with a simpler ruleset than blackjack, the comparing game can appeal to the masses, if it is marketed in the right way. Operators are certainly eying up emerging markets and looking at ways they can spread the word about baccarat before other games take off.
An example of this can be seen in India, where the online casino industry is starting to thrive. Baccarat seems to be growing in popularity with the rise of casinos, and this could be thanks to clever marketing. There are now so many sites offering card games that players have access to guides to find the best sites for baccarat online in India. Players can consider various factors when choosing where to play. For instance, they can check out a casino’s rating, or select based on the bonuses available. There is also useful advice about how to play and win at the game.
Baccarat can also act as a link between the East and West in the casino industry. The game is hugely popular in Macao because it shares a lot of similarities with Asian card games. Pai gow and Pok Deng would appeal to baccarat players, for instance. It has also been noted how Asian players like to have the option of betting on the player or the dealer’s hand. Cultures in the East have a greater emphasis on luck and fortune, so players will try to bet on people who they believe to be on winning streaks.
How Can Baccarat Challenge the Big Games?
Aside from breaking into emerging casino markets, developers could employ some other techniques to boost baccarat and help it challenge more popular games like blackjack. One way could be to follow the tried and tested model of slot creators in offering a range of themes to attract a diverse demographic. Another option would be to embrace emerging technology like virtual reality before other games jump on the bandwagon.
Despite living in the shadow of blackjack, baccarat has always remained at casinos, and it is known all over the world. Its popularity seems to be on the rise again, and it is making waves in budding casino markets. If developers employ new technology to boost the game, it could become one of the most-loved casino offerings once again.