Baccarat in Macau
(Last updated: November 2, 2023)
Sometimes it seems like Baccarat is the only game in Macau, and one look at the numbers all but proves that it is. In 2022, it accounted for a staggering 85.7% of gross gaming revenue, far outdistancing second place slots, which barely cracked 7%.
Given its obvious dominance, it’s imperative for anyone gambling in Macau to understand Baccarat, even if they don’t play the game themselves. Optimal strategy is exceptionally easy to learn, as are the two Baccarat variants.
Baccarat in Macau: Baccarat Variations
In the past there were as many as 5 different Baccarat games in Macau, but it’s not as complicated anymore.
Baccarat: Standard Baccarat is the only Baccarat in town where you have to pay a 5% Commission on Banker wins. In the large casinos these tables are reserved for high rollers only, and you might not even see one on the main gaming floor, only in VIP or Premium Mass, where minimums start from $1000 to $5000 a hand.
Bet the Banker every time when playing Baccarat since it results in a lower house edge than the Player Bet, 1.06% vs 1.24%.
Commission Free Baccarat: In exchange for not having to pay a 5% commission on any Banker win, won Banker bets totaling 6 pay 1/2.
When playing Commission Free Baccarat, the best idea is to bet the Player every time, because that house edge is lower than the Banker’s, 1.24% vs. 1.46%.
Commission Free Baccarat has become the dominant version of Baccarat in town, particularly on the Cotai Strip.
Baccarat in Macau: What to Watch Out For
Quite simply, the side bets, because they’re all bad.
The latest one is the Lucky 6 bet, which is now so widespread that it’s just as popular as the Pair and Tie bets.
Lucky 6 pays 12-1 if the Banker wins on 2 card total of 6, and 20-1 if the Banker wins on a 3 card total of 6.
That results in a high house edge of 16.68%, which is in the same neighbourhood as the Tie (14.36%) and Player/Banker Pair (10.36%) bets.
Baccarat in Macau: Strategy and Advice
Baccarat is one of those mindless casino games where you don’t have to make any strategic play at all – just drop a bet and then either win or lose.
As such, the best strategy is to only play Baccarat, and always bet on the Banker when doing so.
Although Baccarat has become insanely expensive on the Cotai Strip, there are still plenty of smaller casinos around town with $100 or $200 tables, making it a very decent and affordable game to play.
For information about Blackjack in Macau, just click the link below!