There has been a longstanding debate, between baccarat and poker, on which game is riskier. Some claim that baccarat is easier and carries less risk.
Others insist that poker is a safer game that relies primarily on strategy, and a little bit of luck. They also claim that baccarat is solely a luck-based game.
However, it is imperative to understand the rules of both baccarat and poker before making a solid conclusion.
The Standard Rules of Poker
Poker is a probability-based game. Nevertheless, when we look at the betting factor, poker requires a considerable amount of psychology and skill. Knowledge of poker entails the following:
- The basics
- The way the hands get ranked
- Nomenclature of hand ranks
Starting with the basics, poker is played using the standard 52-card pack, though some variants of poker use numerous packs or even include extra cards known as jokers. These cards are typically ranked based on a hierarchy.
In poker, the Ace has the highest value, followed by the King, and then goes Queen and Jack. After that, the numbered cards, i.e., two to ten rank in descending order. Wild cards, for instance, a Joker, can take whichever rank or suit the holder’s desires.
Poker hands are usually ranked based on their similarities in the following order. Five that are similar, straight flush, four that are alike, full house, flush, straight, three of a kind, two pairs, pair & high card. A hand with five similar cards is the highest rank, and it is only possible with wild cards.
In case multiple players have achieved that, the highest card wins.
The straight flush in poker represents five cards in ascending order that is of a similar suit and represents the best natural hand. Straight flushes can either be high, i.e. (A, K, Q, J, T) or even low (5, 4, 3, 2, 1). Ace high straight-flushes are known as royal flushes, and they form the highest natural hand.
A poker hand with four similar cards is the second-highest rank and comprises of four cards that fall within the same rank. In case two or more hands qualify, the hand that ranks higher emerges victorious. Whenever hands are tied within a pair rank, or three of a kind, the outside cards break the ties by high card rules.
In poker, a full house is simply three of a kind in addition to a pair, for instance, K-K-K-5-5. Three of a kind break ties, after which they pair. On the other hand, a flush represents a hand in which all the cards are of the same suit.
In case of a flush tie, the High Card rules are observed.
Straights are simply five cards in ascending order. Three of a kind represents three cards that fall within any rank that is matched with two cards that don’t form a pair. A high card is any hand that does not qualify as any of the abovementioned.
Betting in poker happens when a player “antes” a stake. After that, players must bet into a pot placed at the center. After that, the highest hand that has not folded wins.
The General Baccarat Rules
According to Mike Tan of OnlineCasinoGems, “Baccarat is almost fully based on chance. The only thing you need to do is make a decision of the baccarat hand you think might win.”
Even though the rules of baccarat seem somewhat confusing, bear in mind that you do not have to understand the precise rules of baccarat. However, following the fundamental strategies of baccarat can tremendously assist you in understanding the game, and even increase your winning chances. You should then place your bet accordingly.
At the onset, two hands are dealt both to the banker and the player. You have a choice of betting on either of them. In case your bet wins, you are awarded an even payoff or 1 to 1. You can also bet on a hands tie.
However, this is not advisable since ties are usually very rare.
After each hand has been given two cards, the additional ones can be drawn based on the rules. Any hand closest to 9 emerges victorious. Queens, Jacks, tens, and Kings are equivalent to zero. The Ace card is equal to 1, and those numbered two through nine are taken at face value.
Any baccarat hand with a count closest to nine is considered the winner. In case the initial two cumulatively add up to eight or nine, this hand is referred to as a natural and gains an automatic victory. A natural comprising eight points are referred to as le petit, while a total of nine is a le grande.
Any others are strictly based on the standard baccarat rules of play.
So, Which Is the Riskier of the Two?
When you take an in-depth analysis of the game of poker, you will notice that it relies more on skill rather than luck. In poker, you must strategize your moves based on the calls and steps of your opponent. Though the picking of a card is based on chance, you need to know how to work with the cards you possess accordingly.
Even when you are at a disadvantage, making the right move at the right time can entirely alter the course of the game. For this reason, you need to have some amount of experience and skill, especially while playing against equally experienced opponents. So, the better you are, the fewer risks you face.
On the other hand, baccarat relies more on probability. In most cases, you only have to make a lucky guess. It is extremely difficult to follow patterns when playing baccarat. Even the patterns displayed on the baccarat boards are most often misleading.
Therefore, though baccarat is an easier game to learn, it bears more risk compared to poker. First-time gamblers should remember that though fun and easy nature, you may lose lots of money if you opt to win big with baccarat instead of poker. You may also make a large profit with baccarat, even if it is your first time playing since it is a game of chance.
Either way, cross your fingers and hope that the odds are with you.