When you think of casino table games, you probably don’t immediately envision Let It Ride or Caribbean Stud. Instead, you most likely think of the classics, such as baccarat, blackjack, and roulette.
These games have remained popular for centuries. That said, casinos like sticking with a proven formula and offering them in abundance.
But why exactly are the same casino games popular year after year? I’ll answer this question by discussing the exact factors that make these classics stay on top.
What Are the Most Popular Table Games?
The most popular table games can differ based on the region. For example, Macau and Singapore feature plenty of traditional Asian gambling games, such as mahjong and sic bo. Generally speaking, though, the tried-and-true table games include baccarat, blackjack, and roulette.
You could also include craps in this list. However, much like mahjong and sic bo, craps is more of a North American favorite than anything.
Real money blackjack is widely featured in European and North American casinos. It offers a strategic element and low house edge that many gamblers love.
Roulette is a classy casino game that’s found in gambling establishments worldwide. It comes in multiple variations, including American, European, and French roulette.
The big reason why the casino games discussed above have remained popular for centuries is due to their history. These games boast lengthy histories that have contributed to their successes. They’ve each been around for centuries and don’t appear to be going anywhere.
Baccarat traces its roots back to Etruscan religious ceremonies. Communities would toss a nine-sided dice to determine if a virgin was worthy of becoming a priestess.
She would earn this honor if an eight or nine was rolled. She’d be banished from the community if a six or seven came up. The virgin would have to drown herself at sea if the result where a one through five.
Roulette got its start when Roman soldiers wagered on sections of spinning wagon wheels. It first graced casinos in 1796, when Paris started offering roulette wheels.
Blackjack’s earliest form goes back to the 15th century, when a game called Trentuno (Italian for 31) was born. The latter eventually turned into what we know now as blackjack.
These Games Evolved to Their Current Forms
None of the classic casino table games got to where they are today by staying the same. After all, no modern gambler would bet on spinning wagon wheels or dice made out of sheep knuckles.
The latter refers to the Etruscan’s baccarat-style ceremony that determined the fate of a virgin priestess. Now, it has a complex scoring system and is a favorite among high rollers.
Blackjack was a rudimentary card game when it first started in Italian gambling houses. Today, it features some of the most in-depth strategy in the casino.
Roulette was far from having its polished wheel and felted tabletop in Ancient Roman times. It didn’t come close to its current form until entering Parisian casinos in the late 18th century.
As you can see, the most popular table games have had a long time to evolve. They didn’t just suddenly start with the perfect blend of entertaining gameplay and fair rules.
Success Breeds More Success
Gamblers walk into casinos expecting to see plenty of baccarat, blackjack, and roulette tables. They may even seek variations of these games, such as how blackjack offers variants such as Switch, Spanish 21, Super Fun 21, and more.
Of course, there are always going to be gamblers who enjoy alternatives to the classics. Three-Card Poker, Let It Ride, and video poker are all relatively modern inventions that offer a breather from the norm.
But casinos can only supply these alternatives to a certain degree. They have the most success with time-honored games, which is why they feature so much roulette, baccarat, and blackjack action.
Again, certain table games also enjoy lots of regional popularity. If you visit Macau, for example, you’re going to see plenty of sic bo and mahjong tables.
Craps tables are abundant in US and Canadian casinos. Therefore, you’ll find this game in greater supply when in North America.
Why Do New Table Games Struggle?
Sometimes, it feels like casinos only care about slot machines, roulette, and a few other table games. But this isn’t actually the case.
The casino gambling market actively seeks new games that can become hits. They want to ensure that players have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of fun games.
Some of the new inventions are clear-cut winners. Caribbean Stud, Let It Ride, and Three-Card Poker all came about in the 1990s and have since become successes.
But for every Three-Card Poker, there are dozens or even hundreds of failures. Unproven games must first go through market testing before going mainstream.
A casino can’t just roll out dozens of tables for something that’s yet to catch on. They instead need to experiment and decide if they’ll purchase the rights to a game from the inventor.
It’s hard drawing players away from the baccarat and blackjack tables. Gamblers usually overlook anything new and stick to what they’re familiar with.
The inventors themselves also take considerable risk when developing a new game. They have to pay for lawyers and patent fees before ever getting a chance to introduce the games.
An inventor could easily sink six figures into the endeavor. Even after such a significant investment, their game could fail to catch on at casinos.
This brings me to another point in that gambling establishments don’t have to pay licensing fees for baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. They do, however, need to pay those who develop new games. This is yet another reason why they prefer sticking with the classics.
You might think that casino games that have been around for hundreds of years would become stale after a while. But the fixtures only seem to be gaining popularity.
Specifically, baccarat, blackjack, and roulette just keep on rolling. They’ve been refined to a point where they offer a great mixture of intriguing gameplay and player-friendly odds.
Of course, Three-Card Poker, Let It Ride, and Caribbean Stud show that newer entries can also become popular. Each has earned its space on gambling floors and serves as a fun alternative.
However, roulette, blackjack, and baccarat don’t look to fade away anytime soon. They collectively rule the table games scene and look to continue doing so into the foreseeable future.