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Baccarat: Big in Japan
Baccarat is an iconic casino game that you can find at many casinos around the world - it’s especially popular in Asian countries. Macau, the biggest gambling hot spot in Asia, once generated about 90% of their revenue from Baccarat. A noticeable feature of Asian casinos is that the majority of floor-space is occupied by baccarat tables - it is telling how much the game attracts people there.

However the game is not only popular in Asian countries but other regions too. As a matter of fact, baccarat was invented in Italy - its name is actually Italian for ‘Zero’. In James Bond movies 007 is sometimes seen playing Baccarat, - this has certainly boosted its popularity in the past.

Japan has also been influenced by the cultural impact of baccarat. However the games have been treated slightly differently in the country.

Illegal gambling with Baccarat in Japan

First of all, Japan is the biggest and smallest fan of gambling. In other words, most Japanese people enjoy limited legal gambling. But their choices are supposed to be limited. Officially any type of casino game is banned. So when it comes to revenue in the casino business, it should be zero (however, there will be land-based casinos projected in the near future). But like everywhere else, there are certain people who try to find a way to do things outside of the law. Yes, illegal casinos do exist in Japan and attract many people. And they often host baccarat there. Therefore people might feel skeptical about baccarat. On the surface then, baccarat is not very well-known, with some people not even knowing how to play. But others are extremely familiar with the game.

Why is Baccarat popular in Japan?

Regardless of its legality, baccarat is still a popular game in Japan and there are reasons for this. The first logical reason would be its simplicity. You only need to predict who is going to be closer to 9, the player or the banker. You can also bet on a draw, which happens with very low chances. Even if it happens when you are not betting on a draw, you would normally get your money back. So you don’t get bothered by it. The second reason is that Baccarat offers one of the highest pay-out rates of all casino games. This is pretty appealing as everyone wants to win more and more money with less risk of losing any. In addition to these two logical reasons, there is one more element that really entertains people in baccarat: the “squeeze”. This describes the slow release of cards. Although it has nothing to do with the results and doesn’t change the chances of winning, people enjoy the anticipation, especially when there’s a crowd around the table watching high-roller players.

Can you play Baccarat illegally in Japan?

As mentioned, land-based casinos (illegal casinos) are illegal hence playing baccarat there would be illegal. Yet there are two options for you to play. One is completely safe and the other is gray so the accountability is on you. The first totally legal place to play baccarat is at Casino Bars in Japan. THere, you don’t actually bet with your money but you can instead exchange the chips you earn with drinks. This is absolutely legal and allows you to enjoy the game with much less pressure on your shoulders. The second choice is to play at online casinos. Due to its uncertain status in Japan, it can be illegal sometimes, especially after the police department published this warning: “playing at online casinos is a crime”. New restrictions can be introduced anytime soon, defining online casinos as illegal or at least regulating the industry with stricter rules.

One thing is for sure about baccarat in Japan- that regardless of the laws and regulations relating to baccarat in Japan, people always find a way to enjoy “The King of Casino”.

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