Baccarat is believed to be the most popular card game in Asia. From China and Hong Kong to Vietnam and Thailand, the game is played everywhere. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reasons for Baccarat’s popularity across the continent, but there are some theories that seem to be on the right track.
For example, Macau is famous for its large number of luxurious casinos. This environment recalls early days of Baccarat, when it was a favoured game of French nobility. The European origin of the game is a likely reason for Baccarat’s popularity in Macau, due to the fact that Macau is a former Portuguese colony.
So, this explains how Baccarat first arrived and gained popularity in Asia, but why does it stay popular today? Perhaps it is the snowball effect: the initial popularity boom kept rolling until Baccarat became a part of the Asian gambling culture.
It is said that Baccarat in Asia has evolved to the point where there’s a strict honour code attached to it. The so-called big better – the gambler placing the largest bets – is usually allowed to bet first. If he bets on Banker, the other players follow him with their bets. Betting on Player in such circumstances is regarded as a breach of etiquette. Of course, players are technically allowed to break these unwritten rules, but it will earn them a lot of glares!
Another aspect is the slowness of the game. It seems that a lot of Asian gamblers like to dramatically wait for the last moment to place their bets, building the tension and making the game more exciting.
We can conclude that these elements have added a special flavour to Baccarat as it is played in Asia, fortifying further its status in the gambling community.