Casino Capitals of the World: Playing Baccarat in Macau
Macau: the Monte Carlo of the Orient. In 2006, Macau beat Las Vegas as the number one gambling destination in the world, establishing itself as the ultimate casino destination. Whilst Vegas is regularly pushed into the spotlight, featured in movies, TV shows and documentaries, Macau somehow manages to keep a relatively low profile in comparison. So what goes on inside the walls of casinos in Macau? How can you get the most out of your Macau experience?
Baccarat in Macau
Whilst all of your favourite online casino games can be played in many a Macau casino, baccarat is the main attraction for Chinese gamblers and tourists alike. It’s estimated that baccarat was responsible for more than 91% of Macau’s casino income for the first three quarters of 2014. Punto Banco is typically the baccarat game of choice and you’ll find that many VIP players will indulge in high stakes baccarat games.
You won’t be stuck for a casino that provides baccarat tables in Macau - it’s thought that at least half of the tables in every Macau casino are dominated by baccarat. Unlike Las Vegas, where gamblers go for a good time, baccarat players in Macau will display a much more serious demeanour that you probably won't find anywhere else in the world.
First and foremost, playing baccarat in Macau is a cultural experience that no other casino capital can provide. As covered in our 7 Surprising Baccarat Rituals and Superstitions blog, you’ll witness the highly superstitious nature of the Chinese baccarat player, and various weird and wonderful rituals being performed at the table. From the infamous baccarat card squeeze to the destruction of ‘unlucky’ hands, there’s plenty of fascinating sights to enjoy in the casinos of Macau. No nonsense players will come equipped with a pen and paper, ensuring they never miss the result of a single round, which will be eagerly recorded across numerous baccarat road maps. You’re unlikely to see this in the West, or but not on the same scale as you would in Macau - it’s a really unique experience. Even the most rational of player will enjoy the air of superstition that surrounds the baccarat table, and may even want to get involved themselves. Baccarat in Macau really is a spectacle - expect to see rows of tables full to the brim, and people crowding around a player who appears to be experiencing a winning streak.
In the West, baccarat is often confined to the high limit areas of the casino. It’s much more accessible in Macau, as it takes up more tables than any other game. Baccarat fans are bound to appreciate being able to play with different betting limits regardless of the size of their bankroll, but that doesn’t mean high stakes baccarat isn’t huge in Macau - the reality is quite the opposite. VIP areas offer very high betting limits, but even if they aren’t within your budget, you can often have a look around and see for yourself why Macau is the world’s highest earning gambling destination.
Where to Play
While it’s true that there’s plenty of baccarat tables to be found, but the more well-known Macau casinos are most likely at the top of any traveller’s list. From luxurious VIP rooms to popular variations of the game, these casinos have it all. Macau offers so many top-quality casinos, but we’ve whittled it down to three of our favourites, based on decor, prestige, games offered and reputation.
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If you can’t make it all the way to Macau just yet, you can play a range of premium Live Baccarat right here at 21.co.uk just enter the Live Casino lobby, on your desktop, mobile or tablet. You can even experience the quirky card squeezing ritual in the entertaining Live Baccarat Squeeze, which allows players to switch between camera angles so they never have to miss out on a single second of the action.
The Sands Macao casino is designed to accommodate VIPs, which big money baccarat players frequent its high stakes areas. Situated in the heart of the Macau peninsula, it’s right in the thick of one of the casino capitals. Featuring over 23,000 square metres of gaming space, plus 20-metre high ceilings, this is the place to be. There’s over 200 tables, many of which offer baccarat, plus over 1000 of most popular slot machines if you fancy a change.
A visit to the Galaxy Waldo casino if worth it for sightseeing alone, with decor that embodies luxury. The Premium Baccarat Room caters to players looking for a superior baccarat experience. This is one of the more expensive casinos in Macau, but still caters to a range of budgets with semi-private VIP rooms, too. You won’t see many Westernm gamblers here, so if it’s an authentic baccarat experience you’re seeking, this is the place for you.
The Emperor Palace, situated within the Grand Emperor hotel, exudes opulence across its six floors of gaming space. You’ll know you’re in for a high-end casino experience as soon as you pull up at the entrance - there’s an antique gold carriage just in front of the doors and guards dressed head to toe in royal red military uniforms. The Diamond VIP zone can be found on the sixth floor which is where big money baccarat is played, but with five other floors to explore, you’re sure to find a table.
Even though Macau has its own currency, casinos will only accept Hong Kong Dollars (HKD). This is due to the fact that locals very rarely visit casinos, and government employees are even banned from gambling in them. The majority of gamblers in Macau are therefore from Hong Kong or mainland China, so make sure you’re prepared before you arrive.
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