Las Vegas may come to mind first when thinking of gambling destinations, but the Chinese special administrative region of Macau has far surpassed it in gaming revenue. With over 30 casinos in operation, Macau offers countless opportunities to try your luck at popular Asian and Western table games. From baccarat to blackjack to Sic Bo, here’s your guide to experiencing the exciting world of Macau casino games.
Macau Casino Games
By far the most popular game in Macau casinos, baccarat has simple rules and fast action that draws crowds. Players bet on either the “Player” or “Banker” hand, and the closest to 9 wins. With dealers handling the cards, the gameplay is low pressure for players. Baccarat tables in high limit rooms frequently see wagers in the millions of Hong Kong dollars. Mini baccarat and live dealer options have lower minimums, making the game accessible to all bankrolls. Luck plays a major role, but baccarat’s suspense keeps players coming back.
Blackjack provides better odds than most Macau table games and familiar rules for Westerners. The goal is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. Getting an ace and 10-point card (blackjack) pays 3-2 odds. Newer varieties like Spanish 21 and Double Exposure blackjack offer twists on the classic. Blackjack tables are busiest later at night when baccarat slows down. Just beware of continuous shuffle machines reshuffling after each hand, which removes card counting advantage.
Nothing represents casino elegance quite like roulette, with its instantly recognizable spinning wheel and ball. Players can bet on a single number, color, even/odd and more, with different payouts per bet. Like baccarat, outcome is pure chance, but the excitement of watching the wheel is contagious. American tables with 00 and European single 0 wheels are both available. Place an inside bet on your lucky number and watch the wheel spin!
Meaning “dice pair” this fast-paced Asian dice game has grown popular in Macau for its simplicity. Players wager on the outcome of three dice shaken in a cage and revealed on the table. Payouts range from 1:1 for small and big bets to 180:1 for hitting specific triple dice combinations. With each shake taking under a minute, Sic Bo generates lots of wagering action. Newbies should start with even money wagers until grasping all the combos. It’s engaging fun!
Fan tan dates back centuries in China, relying on simple betting on dice totals under 10. A dealer shakes four dice under a bowl, then reveals the sum. Players bet whether the total will be under or over seven. Next, the dealer removes dice sequentially in groups to reach a final dice count between one and four. Players bet on the final dice count as well. It’s less intimidating than other Macau games, and provides relaxed, community-style gambling.
Stud Poker and Macau casino games
For card game aficionados, casinos like MGM Macau casino, Wynn and StarWorld offer table games of Caribbean Stud and Three Card poker. In Caribbean Stud, players are dealt five cards to try making the best poker hand against the dealer’s hand. Three Card poker plays with only three cards, with optional bets on making a high hand or low hand. With familiar poker hands and optional side bets, Stud poker games are approachable for novice gamblers while still exciting.
Pai Gow Tiles
Using a set of 32 Chinese dominoes or “tiles”, Pai Gow dates back centuries as a game of skill, strategy and chance. Players are dealt four tiles to form two hands – a two-tile high hand and two-tile low hand. You win by making two hands stronger than the dealer’s. With hand rankings to master, Pai Gow offers a cerebral challenge combining luck, strategy and superstition. Gambling traditionalists consider Pai Gow the epitome of Asia gambling culture.
Slots and Electronic Tables Macau casino
While table games reign supreme in Macau, casinos still provide ample slot machines and electronic table games. Popular slots with Asian themes draw crowds along with progressive jackpots. Electronic versions of baccarat, roulette and sic bo allow low minimum bets along with video game-like features. The flashing lights and sounds provide an energetic contrast to the often subdued atmosphere at live tables. Budget players can stretch their gambling dollars at the machines too.
Horse racing remains hugely popular in Hong Kong, with off-track betting centers available around Macau casino. Jockey Club centers like MJC Ka I and MJC Kam Pek let you wager on live simulcast races from Hong Kong tracks. Surrounded by fellow horse racing enthusiasts, it’s an immersive experience combining sports betting and socializing. Mark your betting slips, grab a drink, and cheer your picks down the home stretch.
Visiting Macau casinos provides the chance to experience ancient Chinese games rarely found elsewhere. But you’ll also find familiar favorites like baccarat and blackjack with modern twists. Next time you’re feeling lucky, venture beyond slots to one of Macau’s table games and try your hand!