Baccarat Games In Michigan

Here’s a number that might surprise you: Baccarat accounts for more than 80% of the money wagered at casinos in Macau, but it’s less than 20% in Las Vegas. Despite that disparity, the game is hugely popular among high rollers and is growing fast in the United States.

So much so, you’ll find baccarat at all three of Detroit’s commercial casinos and an increasing number of tribal casinos across Michigan as well.

The rules are rather simple, the house edge is low, and there’s little doubt most Michigan online casinos will end up hosting some version of the game when they launch.

The difference between baccarat at Michigan online casinos and Michigan land-based casinos is simple: Chips and cards have been replaced by an electronic betting interface and graphics that make it appear as though cards are dealt, while a computerized random number generator determines the outcome of each hand.

In the end, online baccarat is still baccarat and you’ll find everything you need to know about the game in the state of Michigan below.

Is baccarat legal In Michigan?

In 2019, both branches of the Michigan legislature passed online gambling legislation. By the end of the year, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill to make it law.

At the start of 2020, the Michigan Gaming Control Board set about creating rules to govern online casinos in the state and a process for licensing potential operators. A draft of the rules went out to stakeholders in April 2020 and the board began accepting feedback. License applications were made available on the board’s website in May.

The board’s executive director said if certain aspects of Michigan’s rule-making process can be expedited, Michigan online casinos could launch by November 2020.

What we do know for sure is that only Detroit’s three commercial casinos and 23 tribal casinos across the state will be able to procure an online casino license.

Those that do will be able to legally offer online casino games, including baccarat, to anyone 21 years old and over and inside Michigan state lines.

Can you play baccarat online in Michigan?

You can still play online casino games legally in Michigan while you wait for licensed Michigan online casinos to launch.

That’s because of sweepstakes-based online casinos like Chumba Casino.

Chumba hosts a series of online slot games and online table games where you can play with Gold Coins. You can purchase this virtual currency through the Chumba website and while it has no cash value, you will also be awarded Sweeps Coins that do.

You can play Chumba’s slots and table games for Sweeps Coins and then redeem any winnings for real prizes.

Neither the Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins are actually real money. You can’t win cash playing with Gold Coins, and while every Sweeps Coin you have can be redeemed for $1 cash, you can’t actually buy Sweeps Coins themselves.

The only way to get Sweeps Coins is as a gift when you buy Gold Coins, for free through the mail, and for free through Facebook competitions. Since Chumba Casino gives away Sweeps Coins for free and doesn’t sell them, it’s what qualifies playing the games as taking part in a sweepstakes, not gambling.

Unfortunately, Chumba Casino does not host a baccarat game. However, you can legally play all kinds of slots, video poker, blackjack, and online roulette on the site.

Casinos in Michigan that have baccarat

All three of Detroit’s casinos and several of the tribal casinos offer some form of baccarat.

This includes the list of casinos below with plans to launch real-money online casinos in late 2020 or early 2021:

MGM Grand Detroit

  • Address: 1777 Third Ave., Detroit, Michigan
  • Baccarat games: Dragon Bonus Baccarat
  • Owner: MGM
  • Online casino partner: GVC Holdings (BETMGM)

Greektown Casino-Hotel

  • Address: 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit, Michigan
  • Baccarat games: Dragon Bonus Baccarat, Dragon Bonus Commission Free Baccarat, EZ Baccarat
  • Owner: VICI Properties/Penn National Gaming
  • Online casino partner: DraftKings

MotorCity Casino Hotel

  • Address: 2901 Grand River Ave, Detroit, Michigan
  • Baccarat games: Mini-Baccarat (Dragon Side Bet)
  • Owner: Marian Ilitch
  • Online casino partner: Flutter (Fanduel)

Four Winds Casino New Buffalo

  • Address: 11111 Wilson Road, New Buffalo, Michigan
  • Baccarat games: Mini and Midi Baccarat with Dragon Bonus
  • Owner: Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
  • Online casino partner: Scientific Games

Firekeepers Casino and Hotel

  • Address: 11177 E. Michigan Ave., Battle Creek, Michigan
  • Baccarat games: Baccarat
  • Owner: Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi
  • Online casino partner: Scientific Games

Odds/Payback on baccarat in Michigan

The basic baccarat you’ll find inside most Michigan casinos is a simple game. You choose whether to bet on the banker, the player, or a tie. Two cards are dealt to each spot and revealed, either by the dealer or someone who has placed a bet.

The winning hand is the one closest to nine and the banker and player hit or stand based on house rules and the current value of the two cards in the hand.

The Return to Player (RTP) is 98.94% on banker bets, 98.76% on player bets, and 85.6% on ties.

Several tweaked versions of standard baccarat are also played at Michigan casinos, including:

Dragon Bonus Baccarat

Dragon Bonus Baccarat is the most common form of baccarat played in land-based casinos.

There is a 5% commission charged on all winning banker bets. Plus, there is a Dragon Bonus side bet that pays various odds on natural wins and non-natural wins by 4 points or more.

The RTP on Dragon Bonus Baccarat is 98.94% on banker bets, 98.76% on player bets, and 85.6% on ties.

However, the Dragon Bonus almost doubles the house edge on player bets and drops the RTP to just 90.63% for banker bets.

Commission Free Baccarat

Commission Free Baccarat, or No-Commission Baccarat, is basic baccarat with no 5% commission charged on winning banker bets.

Sounds great, but, unfortunately, there is a catch: You only get paid half your bet when the banker makes a Natural 8.

That drops the RTP on banker bets to 95.94%.

The RTP is still 98.76% on player bets and 85.6% on ties, which means player bets are best in this version of the game. Plus, standard baccarat and the 98.94% RTP on banker bets is preferable, despite the commission.

EZ Baccarat

EZ Baccarat is standard baccarat. The difference is banker bets pay even money and it’s a push if the banker wins with a three-card seven.

Side bets are also available including the Dragon 7 that pays 40:1 when the banker hits a three-card seven and Panda 8 that pays 25:1 when the player makes a three-card eight.

The RTP on EZ Baccarat is 98.98%. However, the RTP on Dragon 7 side bets is 92.39% and it is 89.81% on Panda 8.

Mini and Midi Baccarat

The difference between midi-baccarat, mini-baccarat and baccarat is the size of the table.

Midi-baccarat is played on a table with nine spots, mini-baccarat tables feature seven spots and baccarat tables have 14.

Normally, players can handle the cards playing baccarat, but not with midi- or mini-baccarat.

The table minimums are often lower on midi- or mini-baccarat tables as well.

Online baccarat

The baccarat games you see in most Michigan casinos translates easily online. As a result, most of the versions of the game listed above will make the transition to online casinos.

There may also be Live Dealer Baccarat online in Michigan. This is basically Dragon Bonus Baccarat dealt live and simulcast online with an online betting interface.

Michigan-specific rules for baccarat

The basic rules for baccarat in Michigan are the same as they are at casinos all around the world.

However, the fact baccarat is the favorite game of many in the high-roller community suggests the loose betting limits at Detroit casinos may be of specific interest to players.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board’s rules for casino gaming allow Detroit casinos to set limits as high or low as they want on baccarat bets.

The table limits are set and submitted to the board and they must be clearly posted at the table. However, casinos are free to change the minimum and maximum wagers as they see fit. All that’s required is the posting of a new sign and that all current players are informed.

That means a high roller can walk into a Detroit casino and ask to play baccarat for limits well beyond what is normally played. As long as the casino lets the current baccarat players know, they are free to increase the limit for this player and others.

Baccarat basics

Unless you’re a high roller from Macau, a fan of the early James Bond films, or work as a casino and gaming writer, the game of baccarat may be unfamiliar to you.

It’s way more popular in the Asian casino community than it is here in the US. But while it seems complicated, it really isn’t.

In fact, baccarat is as simple as it gets. You bet on the player, banker, or a tie, and for the most part, the dealer and the cards do all the work. There is no decision to make after you bet. Whether the dealer or player hits or stands is all decided by standard rules.

Here’s how it works in seven easy steps, as described by Wiki-How:

There are only three possible outcomes in a hand of baccarat: The player wins, the banker wins, or it’s a tie. Start with that knowledge and begin by:

  • Choosing to bet on either of the two hands: The banker’s hand or the player’s hand. You can bet on either, or if you think the two will tie. Although, the odds of a tie are slim. Bets must be placed on either the player or banker spots before the cards are dealt.
  • Two cards are dealt to each of the player and banker boxes on the table. The first card to the player box and the second to the banker box and so on until there are four cards out there.
  • The dealer reveals the point total of both hands. Tens and face cards are worth zero. All other cards are worth the value on the face. If the two-card total is more than 10, the second digit is used. For example, a nine and a six total 15, making the hand value five points. The winner is the hand that totals closest to nine.
  • If the two-card total is eight or nine for either the player or the banker it is considered a natural win and the game ends.
  • If there is no natural win, the dealer determines first whether the player gets a third card by looking at the total. The player stands on six or seven and draws a third card on zero to five.
  • The dealer then determines whether the banker gets a third card. If the player stands, the banker draws a third card on zero to five and stands on six or seven. However, if the player draws, the banker also draws or stands according to the value of the player’s third card. If the player’s third card is:
    • an ace, nine, 10 or face-card, the banker draws when he has a zero to three and stands with four to seven.
    • an eight, the banker draws when he has zero to two and stands with three to seven
    • A six or seven, the banker draws when he has zero to six and stands with a seven
    • a four or five, the banker draws when he has zero to five and stands with a six or seven
    • a two or three, the banker draws when he has zero to four and stands with a five, six, or seven
  • The dealer calculates the winning hand once all cards are dealt. The winning hand is the one closest to nine. In the event of a tie, bets on the tie are the only winner. In standard versions of the game, the house charges a commission on winning banker’s hands.

Baccarat strategy and tips

Baccarat is really a simple game. You have no decisions except what to bet on and luck does all the heavy lifting.

That said, some of these basic baccarat tips might help you win more often than not:

Don’t be intimidated

Baccarat is harder to find than it is to play. Not every Michigan casino offers it and it’s not everywhere online either. But that doesn’t mean you should be intimidated by the game. Inexperienced players can play a demo version of the game online to get familiar with how it works. Pus, a quick look at the rules will reveal just how simple a game baccarat actually is.

Don’t be afraid of a game with one of the lowest house edges you’ll find in any casino, because you’re leaving an opportunity to win behind if you are. The basic baccarat RTP is 98.94% on banker bets, 98.76% on player bets, and 85.6% on tie. These are hard numbers to beat and shouldn’t scare anyone.

Bank on it

The banker hand wins 45.8% of the time on a single-deck baccarat game compared to 44.6% for the player. Once again, the basic baccarat RTP is 98.94% on banker bets and 98.76% on player bets, meaning the banker bet pays better over time.

There’s no guarantee any baccarat bet will win, but playing the banker is playing the odds.

Count cards

It’s not easy, but you can count cards playing baccarat to help increase your edge. It’s not an exact science but it’s worth a try. The trick is to look for an exposed card when the dealer is setting up a shoe. If you can do this, and count where in the shoe it will land according to the standard cut, you may know what card is coming next.

Use a system

Just like basic blackjack strategy, many people find small edges in baccarat using proven betting systems.

Positive or negative progression systems can work. Positive progression systems involve increasing your bet every time you win and reducing it when you lose. It’s all about playing with the house’s money.

Negative progressions are the opposite and involve increasing your bet with every loss. This works based on the idea you won’t lose enough hands in a row to deplete your bankroll or reach the table limit first.

Manage your money

Betting within a budget is a good idea no matter what your game of choice may be. Set limits on the total you’re willing to lose and stick to it. Never chase your losses and live to fight on another day. Have fun, stay in control of yourself and manage your money effectively to avoid going broke gambling.

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