Beginner's guide

What is the difference between Baccarat to Poker?

The world of gaming has certainly brought us a vast and varied array of games to spend our time and money on. With so much choice out there, it’s a fact that some players prefer to take their chances on slot machines and others prefer more traditional table-based games such as baccarat and poker. To give you an idea of what the differences are, we highlight the formats, methods of gameplay, and the design of both games.


What is Baccarat?

If you have never heard of this game before and don’t have any idea how to play baccarat, here is a simplified version of what this game entails. Baccarat is a card comparison game played between two hands, the one being the player and the other being the banker. Each round that gets played could lead to one of three outcomes. The objective of the game is to bet on the winning side. There is a banker’s bet, a player’s bet, and a tie bet that make up the outcomes. The way to win baccarat is to correctly ascertain which bet will lead to the winning hand and bet on it before your turn is over.


What is Poker?

While there are some differences between poker and baccarat, the one thing that is similar between the two games is that the objective is to gauge which hand is going to win the game through comparison. The difference here is that there are more than three possible outcomes and the best hand is determined to the cards represented according to rankings and the rules of the poker game that is being played. Apart from this, there are currently 13 popular variations of poker available on the market. If you’re keen on giving this game a try, it would be best to conduct some research on the different rules that apply to each variant.


Differences between Baccarat and Poker

Now that we’ve outlined what each game is, what it entails, and what the objective is, we can now move on to what makes these two popular games so different from each other.


How to Win

While both baccarat and poker are card comparison games and the objective is to wager on the winning hand, these two games are very different when it comes to how to determine a “good” or winning hand. In baccarat, the rules are simple, and players are only given three options, the player the banker and the tie to wager on. With poker, there are many more variations of a “good” hand and players have to remain focused throughout the game to ensure that they are placing the right bets.


Beginner Friendliness

Many players have admitted that they have no idea how to play baccarat, and considering the options, baccarat is easier to learn for beginners. It might be down to the fact that players usually opt for the more popular or “cooler” options such as poker or blackjack and overlook the simplicity of baccarat. As such, players develop advanced gaming techniques from the get-go that are learned on-the-go and have yet to be perfected. Players who begin with baccarat on the other hand, have stronger foundations in key principles that making other card-based games simpler to understand and easier to win.


House Edge

Many important table games at the casino are overlooked simply because players have a misconception about them. Perhaps it is due to word of mouth or maybe social media, but baccarat actually has the lowest house edge in terms of table games and is purely based on your chances. It certainly helps to know how the game works and to develop some kind of strategy to win, but all in all, even a completely new player could score decently with this game.


Poker, on the other hand, has you playing against other players and not the casino, where the game is being operated. The only way to beat the rake that gets taken from each player is to be good at playing poker. To make a good living from playing this game, you would have to develop an effective strategy.


Design and Appearance

It’s a rookie mistake to confuse a baccarat and poker table, yet many players genuinely do not know the difference. Poker tables have a rounder table design that allows players to gather around the table and have allocated “stations” whereas a baccarat table is more elongated in shape so that players can stand along one side of it. The baccarat table also has more spaces designed for bets such as for the bank, for the cards, the chips, and the player.



Admittedly, there are a few similarities between poker and baccarat, but the differences outlined here should make it easier to identify which game is being played, how it is being played and the house edge of each game. Knowing the differences and similarities can make it easier for beginners and seasoned players to decide which table game is right for them and where they would rather be taking their chances.

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