Baccarat is a fixture of most casinos worldwide. Most similar to blackjack, it’s a game that has players betting on whether the player’s hand or the dealer’s hand is worth more. The main twists of the game being that the scoring ensures that the total score of a hand can never exceed 9 points and that the player gets to bet on whether their hand or the dealer’s hand will win, or, if they’re feeling bolder, if the two hands tie.
Still, even though it’s a fixture at all casinos, baccarat isn’t necessarily equally popular across all territories. In fact, in the States, it definitely comes only a distant third behind both blackjack and poker as far as classic card games that are played for money goes. So, the question is where is baccarat most popular – countries where it might even overtake the two more famous card games in popularity?
This one should be obvious, seeing as how the game originated in this country, but baccarat is massively popular in France. The game first appeared in the up-market gambling halls of France in the 19th century and, in many respects, it never really left. It was so popular with the ruling class, in fact, that it was known to be a favorite game of Napoleon Bonaparte. Yes, that Napoleon Bonaparte. Baccarat can be found in casinos throughout the country, but fittingly considering its origins, it is especially popular in its high-stakes form, most especially in the casinos of Monte Carlo.
Like in France, Baccarat’s massive popularity in its early days in England was reserved mostly for elite gentlemen’s clubs inLondon and though it never quite reached those highs of popularity in recent years, it remains a firm favorite of upper-class Brits.
Baccarat is simply gigantic in China. It first rose to popularity in Macau (or Macao), the Chinese territory known worldwide for being one of the greatest gaming countries in the world, as the whole territory exists around and is supported by the very many casinos that can be found all over the island. Gambling has always been massively popular in China with Keno originating there as much as 2500 years ago and Mahjong being played extensively for real money throughout the land. Baccarat fits snuggly into that tradition so it’s no surprise how far and how quickly it spread from Macau to the rest of the country. Baccarat may have originated in France, but nowhere is it more popular than in China as it brings in billions of dollars a year, making it the most popular gambling game in Chinese casinos to this day.
Macau isn’t the only Asian territory where baccarat enjoys such massive, unvarnished popularity as the continent’s other gambling capital, Singapore, is also home to a great many casinos with baccarat as one of its star attractions. Singapore is one of the richest and most up-market countries in the world and the baccarat games in that small country certainly reflects this as it attracts high-rollers from across the globe to its luxurious hotels and spotless streets.
These are just some of the most popular spots for baccarat players in the world, but the truth of it is that the US is, relatively speaking, one of the least popular destinations for baccarat players. Not that it doesn’t still bring in tons of money in the US, but relative to other popular casino games and the recently legalized sports betting, it doesn’t rule the casinos in the way it does in Europe and, most especially, Asia. Along with China and Singapore, baccarat is also a favorite in Thailand and other Asian territories. It’s even relatively popular in Japan, despite the country’s strict laws regulating gambling in the country.