Baccarat – Why Is It So Popular In Asia?
Baccarat is a simple game that is quietly raking in billions for casinos behind closed doors and velvet curtains. According to the Associated Press, Baccarat earned an impressive $1.27 billion in the year 2011 – in Nevada alone. But that is nothing compared to the splash it is making in the Asian Pacific Rim. From China to Vietnam and Thailand, Baccarat is claiming the title of the most popular card game. Casinos in Singapore and Macau are seeing “whales” drop hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars on Baccarat.
So why the huge appeal in this region? It isn’t exactly clear. Some theorize that the culture of the game is what draws people. Baccarat was traditionally a game for royalty and the social elite in Europe. Even today, games are often played off the main casino floor in luxurious, high-roller pits. In addition to the rules of the game itself, players often observe special Baccarat etiquette. For instance, in many Asian casinos the custom is that if the “big better” wagers on the banker’s hand then the other players follow suit. Failure to do so is considered a breach of etiquette and quite tactless. The system of unspoken rules, customs, and the glamorous air of Baccarat explain a lot of its appeal. It also doesn’t hurt that the Asian Pacific Rim, China in particular, has experienced significant industrial and economic growth. This has created some thrill seeking millionaires in the region hungry to get a taste of 007’s favorite game.