Though most blackjack players have a clear idea about the rules and regulations of the game, they generally do not have a basic strategy in place and make mistakes that can easily be avoided. With online options now available, players can easily learn the game and fine tune their strategies before trying to play with others. First time players are often scolded about touching their cards and holding them close to their body. Here are some of the most common mistakes first timers make during blackjack which should be avoided.
- Making big bets
Players that have played large wager games like poker and craps make the usual mistake of placing large bets in blackjack which is a wrong move as the odds are only 3-2 and you are not likely to win early. If you want to double the money that is brought to the table then spread your money into several small wagers and collect your money when it doubles and leave.
- Making a buy-in when a hand is in play
After you sit down to play blackjack and the hand is going around, wait for your chance for it to get done before making a call for buy in. After a couple or more hands are dealt and the dealer asks about chips encashment, go ahead and make a buy in.
- Playing progressive betting strategy
This is the most loss making strategies of playing blackjack as it does not improve odds, but instead increases a player’s losses. Using progressive strategy or playing multiple number of times in blackjack does not increase winning chances. But, if your ratio of high value cards to low value cards is high among unplayed deck, then you can win more.
Investors of Australia-based entertainment and gaming firm Echo Entertainment are questioning its theoretic model of future profit projections based on revenues from VIP gamblers. They stated that the projections of profits that the firm can win over a period of time are highly inflated as these are based on the premise that high rollers will bet specific amounts during this period. According to the theory projected by Echo Entertainment’s financial management body, future profits are based on an estimation that the casino will earn 1.43 percent on every $100 bet by VIP customers at its tables.
Actual vs projected earnings at Echo Entertainment
This projection was accepted at face value until it was discovered that Echo’s win rate from VIP customers was only at 1.27 percent so there was a shortfall of $66 million over projected earnings of $521 million which was largely due to volatile behaviour of high rollers. Though these high net worth clients wagered around $46 billion on its tables in 2015 it has not led to growth in revenues. Analysts’ state that Echo Entertainment’s projections are a little unrealistic and the closest earnings a casino can expect from high rollers is 1.35 percent in table games like baccarat which is easily achievable and is the industry standard.
Echo Entertainment’s earnings
Echo group owns three popular casinos in Queensland area of Australia and calculated the win rate on the basis of theoretical average of five years. Though the volume of VIP gamblers at Echo’s Jupiters Hotel and Casino has grown in recent months when compared to previous years the market has become very volatile so its theoretical rates are way above what is actually earned. Echo older theoretical rate was at a high of 1.62 percent a couple of years ago but was reduced to 1.43 percent after protests by its 10 percent stakeholder James Packer of Crown. But even this rate is higher than industrial average of 1.35 percent so there is a difference between actual win rate and projected rate.
A renowned professional card player from the United States is currently embroiled in a strange lawsuit that involves allegations of cheating at baccarat and using sexy casino staff to distract gamblers.
The plaintiff in the case is the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa of Atlantic City in New Jersey. The defendant is Phil Ivey, a 39-year old card player who is well-known in the World Series of Poker as well as in the European Poker Tour. Mr. Ivey has played in Barcelona, London and Sidney, and he has won one World Poker Tour title.
In 2012, Mr. Ivey played quite a few rounds of baccarat in Atlantic City. He ended up winning more than $9 million at the Borgata Casino, which later accused Mr. Ivey of cheating.
The Edge Sorting Accusation
In its lawsuit against Mr. Ivey, the Borgata Casino seeks to get back $9.6 million based on an edge sorting accusation. In baccarat and other casino card games, edge sorting is a technique that aims to tell cards apart by spotting subtle differences such as creases on their backs.
The case against Mr. Ivey has been playing out in court since 2014, and it has taken on a colorful turn. Mr. Ivey’s filings in response to the Borgata allegations claim that the casino applied a clever ruse to distract him as he played baccarat.
Mr. Ivey claims that whenever he would wager $100,000 on a baccarat hand, casino management would deploy an army of sexy waitresses wearing short skirts and tight tops to offer free drinks.
The actual court filing makes note of the skimpy outfits worn by the hostesses at the Borgata, and in a deposition Mr. Ivey stated that the waitresses were actively flirting with him and that he has telephone numbers to prove it. The case is currently awaiting a response from the casino.
Gaming content developer Realistic Games, which develops casino games for several online gambling sites has now developed a special version of Baccarat. It has customised the game to incorporate its own intuitive user interface while retaining the trademark design of the game. The interesting version has been customised to fit a mobile applications. The application has an easy to read game roadmap that shows details of previous game history so players can read and remember past mistakes. To increase its user base, Realistic Games has presented the game is 17 languages and accepts their currency.
Baccarat features offered at Realistic Games
During product launch the director of Realistic games stated that their team has developed mobile version of Baccarat to reach out to millions of enthusiasts that are addicted to the game but cannot afford to visit a casino or play on home computers whenever they are free. Players will find all the regular table Baccarat features in the mobile application which will help the casino operators to retain players and improve returns. Baccarat is the second card game created specifically for smart phones by Realistic after four tablet games created in 2014.
About Realistic Games
With the launch of this game Realistic Games has entered the big league of branded online games like Bet365, Ladbrokes, Boylesports, William Hill and Bede Gaming. Till recently Realistic Games has been creating video slot games for gaming operators in both land based and online space that are located in United Kingdom. The game was released by Realistic Games on 24 June 2015. The company specialises in developing card games like roulette and blackjack along with slot games that are chiefly distributed through their hosted games platform ReGal that is easily accessible to customers.
Ezugi and Racing Card Derby have entered into a new deal concerning distribution of latter’s popular game Knockout Baccarat. The deal certainly appears to be lucrative for both parties owning to the profitability of the game.
The knockout deal
As per the terms of the new deal Knockout Baccarat games will be now available to customers of Ezugi from all across the world. Knockout Baccarat is an offering from Racing Card Derby, which allows players several options for side bets. The side bets make the game more exciting for players as it gives them a chance to increase their winnings. Knockout Baccarat has been a popular game in the Asia Pacific countries and Ezugi believes that now others will also get a chance to play this fun game through their distribution network.
Baccarat is a popular table casino game. It brings high revenues to land-based revenues. The side bets are even more popular with players. With this new deal Racing Card Derby hopes that even online players will now be able to enjoy the game due to Ezugi’s robust distribution network.
Good business sense
Ezugi is a leading provider of live dealer games. The company uses social features in the games to make it more fun for players. This enables players to invite their friends to join in with them during the live dealer games. The games can be accessed through mobile devices also. This makes Ezugi games very popular. The management at Racing Card Derby hopes that due to popularity and reach of Ezugi; Knockout Baccarat will now reach players who are not able to access the game in land casinos.
Knockout Baccarat has so far proved to be quite profitable for Racing Card Derby. The new deal was finalised with the hope that live dealer platforms can further help the popularity and profits of the game.
Hong Kong-based smart card expert, Lin Haisan set a world record when he won an incredible amount of $12 million at a baccarat tournament in Macau. The grand prize which in Hong Kong dollars amounts to 100 million has ensured that the World Series Baccarat Championship, which was organised at Sheraton Macau Hotel by Suncity Group. The overall prize of the tournament was also record-breaking at $15,339,600, which was the highest ever set in a baccarat tournament.
About the Suncity tournament
The Suncity tournament is held after two qualifying events at Crowne Plaza, Melbourne in Australia followed by Venetian Macau of Sands China. The players that qualify in these two events are taken through two stage semi-final round and then a final tournament is held at Sheraton Macao. The tournament organisers Suncity Group have reported that they have set a Guinness world record for giving the biggest prize ever for baccarat tournament amounting to HKD 100 million. The combined pool amount is also a world record as it stood at HKD 129 million. The final leg of the tournament was held at Macao Sheraton on the Sands Cotai property recently.
Events at the Suncity tournament
Though Lin Haisan was the only one to win the staggering amount of HKD 100 million there were others that did win significant amounts from the main pool of 129 million. The philanthropic arm of the group also donated $1 million HKD on the celebration night to Macau Tung Sin Tong charitable Society and also to Cradle of Hope Association, which carries out social service to help needy members of society. The firm, which arranges junkets from the mainland into Macau, says that this tournament will help it to expand operations and provide diverse entertainment facilities to its guests.
Since the time gambling was introduced as a formal recreational source, people have been betting on outcomes of games in casinos, gaming parlours and racing tracks, which have now moved to online gambling. Land-based casinos are trying hard to reduce the growing popularity of online gambling. It has been growing exponentially in states and nations where it is legal as it is available on online portals and downloadable applications. The biggest reason for growth of online gambling is that players can use their mobile phones to play varied games like slots and card tables, and also place bets on sporting events like horse racing and football.
Growth of online gambling
This industry has grown due to rapid expansion of applications oriented smartphones and tablets followed by low cost payment options and growth of consumer confidence in online gambling sites which offer freebies all around the year to customers. The online gambling industry consists of several gaming options like sports betting, slot machines, and bingo, lottery and casino card games like poker, blackjack, baccarat and craps. Online gambling is limited to Western Europe, Australia, America and is a heavily regulated industry to streamline activities of betting. In Asian and North American nations online gambling with real money is limited to few nations and states.
Emerging trends in the industry
Rising demand for legalising online betting is forcing state governments to look into regulations to implement games at the earliest as these can also earn revenues which can be used for welfare activities. Social media and mobile gaming applications have also contributed significantly to the growth of betting industry which has also helped in growing popularity of digital currency Bitcoin. The lucrative nature of online gambling has prompted several states to consider legalization of online casino like New Jersey which generated $1 million within a week of starting operations. The largest brands in this industry are 888 Holdings, Betfair Group, Ladbrokes, Poker Stars and Amaya Group which owns Full Tilt Poker.
Although blackjack and slot machines get much of the attention, the amount of traffic at baccarat tables has a strong correlation to overall revenues at Las Vegas casinos.
Baccarat a Winner for Casinos Worldwide
Baccarat is very popular in Asia, and it represents more than 60 percent of the gambling revenue in Macau. To put that in perspective, consider that Macau is the largest gambling center in the world, at least five times larger than Las Vegas and generated $45 billion in profits in 2014.
Baccarat Interests Fading in the West
Westerners are not nearly as enamored of the game. Despite accessibility and how easy baccarat is to learn, participation is dwindling in Western casinos. In Las Vegas, baccarat participation fell 5.6 percent in 2014, and that resulted in revenues that were well below expectations. Consider that revenue from baccarat at Las Vegas casinos generally account for 40 to 50 percent of total revenue from table games.
Casinos Promote Baccarat
Casinos in Las Vegas and throughout the Western world are not sitting idly by as one of their best moneymakers becomes a dinosaur. Baccarat tables are being positioned front and center, and many casinos have hosts pitching the game to idle patrons. Many also offer loyalty programs and loss rebates that give back to the players. Even the middle-class tourist can spend enough on baccarat to take advantage of these perks.
What the Future Holds
Many gamblers argue that baccarat offers the best odds in the house, and the added comp opportunities should make the game even more attractive. Still, the players go elsewhere. Casinos are then faced with the difficult task of making baccarat more appealing or of making the popular games more profitable. Some casinos have begun adding progressive pots to baccarat games, and perhaps that is the future.
The world’s biggest baccarat event is here again. The 3rd leg of Grand Dragon Master Baccarat Championship began on August 8, 2014 and will run till March 28, 2015. The prize money to be won in the event is a staggering sum of $10,000,000.
What is the tournament about?
The first Grand Dragon Master Baccarat Championship was held from Oct 2012 and ran till March 2013. It consisted of 12 events covering many venues. The venues comprised of seven casinos in Las Vegas and other in Pennsylvania, Singapore and Macau. The inaugural championship attracted 30,000 enthusiastic players.
In the third year of the tournament the event is set to be bigger and better. Participants in the Las Vegas events will play for a prize pool of $1.59 million. There is $30000 worth of daily cash prize pool. The top finishers every day get to participate in the semi-final rounds. These rounds are a part of Ruby Dragon Baccarat Tournament. In the top players list, only six in total will receive the invitation to play in the Royal Dragon Baccarat Tournament, which has a prize pool of $1 million.
The top three players from the Golden Dragon leg of the tournament get to play at the Global Final event. Marina Bay Sands hosts the event and the participants get complimentary stay and also travel fare to Singapore. They also get allowances for food and beverages.
How does the tournament help baccarat?
Baccarat is witnessing a surge in global popularity of late. It has long been the favourite of the high rollers. But in the recent years casino fans are taking to baccarat and casino owners have made sure that they keep the draw of big and small players to the baccarat tables.
Baccarat has also been a part of popular culture and features in novels and movies. However, other casino table games were enjoying more popularity – namely poker and blackjack. Now baccarat seems to be getting its due on the popularity factor.
With the tournament, baccarat is making news and every year the number of participants increase and there is more awareness about the event as well as the game. It is set to only go upwards from here.
The popularity of baccarat is driving Asian customers to Las Vegas, which is giving the gambling industry a much needed boost. Although the number of people who play baccarat is still lower than poker, craps or blackjack, the money involved is higher than any of those games.
There are always signs that point towards an industry experiencing a revival. For Vegas gambling, that sign was the SLS Las Vegas. The opening of this resort in August marked the end of a four year period where no new casinos or resorts opened near the strip.
At the northern end of the Las Vegas strip, the new SLS Casino took over the spot where an old Sahara hotel used to reside. The project has been in motion since 2007, but recent improvements in gambling revenue drove the owners to push for an opening date.
A lot has changed in Las Vegas since 2010. With the country coming out of its economic depression, more people are willing to spend their money on frivolous gambling and other debauchery. However, the biggest change factor has been the newly found popularity of baccarat.
There was a time when blackjack used to bring in the most money, but baccarat had 2013-2014 figures of more than $1.5 BILLION for Vegas casinos. In layman’s terms, this means that for every four dollars someone spends on the Vegas strip, one dollar is spent on baccarat.
Vegas casinos are acutely aware of how much they owe to these Chinese gambling enthusiasts. There has been a steady increase in the number of theater productions that have a Chinese theme to them. For example, The Palazzo has been responsible for a production of Panda, which takes most of its production team from China. There were also huge celebrations on the Vegas strip to mark the Chinese New Year.