For the majority of Chinese gamblers, the most popular casino game is Baccarat. Those residing on China’s mainland, as well as in Hong Kong, are playing games of Baccarat in Macau. They have their own rituals based on superstition and these rituals are unfamiliar to most other Baccarat players.
During a game of Baccarat in Macau, it is not unusual to see players taking their cards and squeezing them as tightly as possible. Then they slowly lift their cards vertically and glance at the cards before turning them horizontally and glancing at them once more. When players do this they are putting a crease in each of their cards and therefore, the cards are no longer fit to be played with. Though this may sound like cheating to some, casinos in Macau have yet to object. Glancing at their cards quickly helps Chinese players feel a heightened sense of suspense as to mentally prepare themselves for a win.
Another ritual they perform is blowing air on their cards. They do this in the hopes that they can get rid of numbers that will prevent them from winning. At a table game in a Chinese casino a woman chanted “turn it over, turn it over,” while one of the players performed the card blowing ritual.
A Macau Millennium College professor who teaches classes on gambling has stated that most Chinese gamblers do believe in certain superstitions related to the game. He also said that Chinese gamblers feed off of each other’s luck and that it is standard for them to bet with a player that is winning their game and bet against a player that is losing their game.
Chinese Baccarat players are interested in watching out for trends where either the banker or a particular player achieves three straight wins. Those players then bet that the player or banker will win a fourth time and a fifth time. It is traditional for Chinese gamblers to make their way through a casino looking for a table where the trend is happening.
City of Dreams, a casino frequented by Chinese players, went so far as to put computer monitors at each one of their Baccarat game tables so that players would have an easier time finding the tables where this trend was happening. Each computer monitor displays a chart complete with the last 20 to 30 winners at that table listed. Baccarat is so popular at this casino that 70% of the casino floor is occupied by tables where gamblers can play the game.
The majority of the revenue of casinos in Macau comes from Baccarat players. This is most likely due to the fact that Baccarat has the lowest house edge. As a result, gamblers find that their bankroll lasts longer than it would with any other game. In 2008, 86% of the gaming revenue at Macau casinos is credited to the game of Baccarat. The total of the revenue received from Baccarat was $11.8 billion.