Macau and the Chinese phenomenon are increasingly becoming destinations for every lover of casino games who would like to try their luck, and bankrolls at big fortune. Most of the high-rollers venturing out here are lovers of baccarat. Almost every penny of the colossal $38 million in gambling revenue that the place raked in last year had come from the regal card game. Unlike its counterpart in Las Vegas, the casino industry in this town at the Chinese periphery is still fond of Baccarat, the game James Bond loved the most. The big earning Chinese folk would take nothing less than the chance to win big or lose, equally big.
Introduced into China’s casinos by Sociedade de Turismo e Diversoes de Macao (STDM), the only casino concessionaire in Macau for four decades, Baccarat is, on all accounts, the most popular game and is on average the reason behind 85% of Macau’s total gaming revenue. Also, it is supposed to have a very low house edge and the degree of fairness is held to be very high by the archetypal Chinese fraternity. Superstition and beliefs govern the faith with which the Chinese play it in Macau.
China and the Current State of Baccarat
There are rituals in order to increase the chances of winning the game even though it is held to be a highly simple game. Baccarat’s associations with China go back a long way if the history of gambling in the country is taken up, when a game known as Keno was introduced over three thousand years ago in the country. Being the only place in China where gambling is legal, hordes of aspirants flock to the self-governing outpost every year. Macau’s popularity and connection with Baccarat is set to increase further, with companies of the likes of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. to come up with a wave of new resorts in a couple of years’ time. Even though severe crackdowns are being planned against criminal elements that have taken the fad a little too seriously, this does not deter top-notch Chinese players from taking the game passionately, albeit in the spirit of the game. Techniques and adaptations of the original tricks are continuously getting discovered. Even though there is a healthy production of decks, equipment isn’t falling short anytime soon.
China’s Baccarat Gamblers on Foreign Shores
The last seven years have seen the doubling of Chinese players in Las Vegas, the pioneer casino industry hotspot. Despite making only little fraction of the near 40 million people visiting the place every year, the Chinese have shown what it means to bet large. It is Baccarat that is bringing the men from the land of the dragon riches in distant lands. There are special services that the Chinese high rollers enjoy here, and play using the money they’ve made from the house. It is common knowledge here that they make good use of the clean tricks they’ve developed back home, like craftily peeking at the cards by squeezing the cards tightly between their fingers. Even the superstition looks like good tactic when these men from the orient blow at the cards in a bid to blow away bad numbers, such is the influence of the winnings they take away. Another of such uncanny rituals is to bet with a player when they win and against them otherwise. This comes from the fact that they do not like to overlook the luck that the others might have.
Studies and analyses on gambling’s connection with the Asian self and psychology reveal that it is essentially linked to the appetite of the ego, and is great food for self-esteem. The innate human desire to get without having spent is true, however, not entirely so in the Chinese context, where financial reasons trounce pure greed as the motive to play Baccarat.