Is Baccarat the New Black(jack)?

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I think I’ve found my new hero.  David G. Schwartz as his Twitter profile @unlvgaming reads ‘Directs the Center for Gaming Research , gaming & hospitality editor for . Reigning Trippie Awards Person of the Year, 5-time NPA award-winner.’

As I continue to practice and improve my blackjack play I’m also looking to learn more about the gaming industry as a whole.  I’m fascinated by the combination of marketing and analytics that go into maximizing revenues while providing an exciting experience.

The most recent stat I came across from the UNLV gaming research department was about the declining value of blackjack to casinos. According to this study blackjack has dropped from 80% of casino tables games in 1985 to approximately 55% in 2013.  Even more shocking is that baccarat has taken over the top revenue generating spot for casinos while the percent of revenue from blackjack dropped from nearly 60% to less than 30% over the same period.

So is Baccarat the new Black(jack) – I know I know it sounds like a real corny Carrie Bradshaw Sex and The City intro, but the question is interesting.  Based on these stats I’d say that blackjack may be in trouble, especially outside of the U.S.  In Macau baccarat is the primary game that built the city much like blackjack built Las Vegas.

But in the U.S., as Lee Corso would say, ‘Not So Fast My Friend’ – could you imagine movies like The Hangover, Swingers, or Oceans 11 using baccarat instead of blackjack as their primary visual when setting the scene at a casino.  Blackjack is casino gambling to most Americans.  They may not understand the odds or exactly how to play, but 21, double-down, splitting Aces & 8s and winner winner chicken dinner are all common themes most Americans immediately associate with casinos.

My new hero may have identified an increasing trend towards baccarat and other table games at casinos, but I’ve still got my money on blackjack.  My game of choice might see a slow decline, but I’m betting that there is still some life left in the game.

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