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People That Make a Living Playing Baccarat

Gambling is a practice that dates back to the oldest human civilizations. For as long as we’ve been around, we’ve been staking our possessions, or cash, on games of chance. The games may have changed, but people’s passion for gambling continues to grow.

Once cards reached Europe, gambling attained a whole new level of success. Various card games developed throughout the Renaissance and well into the Enlightenment. Today, many of the most popular casino card games trace back to the 1400s-1600s.

Baccarat – A History

Baccarat is no exception. The earliest sources trace the game to the 15th century. Records suggest that soldiers from France learned of the game during their tenure in the Italian Wars. The game quickly became a huge success, and by the 19th century, it was already a standard gambling game played by thousands.

Today, baccarat remains a staple of casinos, both land-based and online. It is trendy in the live casino market. For the uninitiated, live casinos use streaming technology to broadcast a dealer in real-time, so players can interact from the chat and feel like they are playing face-to-face.

Blackjack, roulette, and baccarat have greatly benefited from live casinos. Certainly, live baccarat online casino games are some of the most popular products at gambling sites. The game itself is a popular hobby. However, what of those who want to turn it into something more than a hobby?

Professional Baccarat Players

For most, baccarat, and casino games in general, are a fun hobby. A way to pass the time or relieve some stress. However, some have taken their passion for the game to the next level. There are people out there who’ve dedicated their lives to studying the game and improving their strategy. These are people who earn their paycheck solely from playing baccarat.

We know that there have been rare instances of people making millions of dollars from gambling, like this man who won 188 million playing the lotto. However, is it possible to achieve the same success with baccarat? Are there strategies that can help players improve? Can anybody make millions of dollars from studying the game? Well, the following three people prove that it is, indeed, possible.

Phil Ivey

Many might know Phil Ivey from his appearances at the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour. Indeed, many folks might consider him one of the best poker players today. He has won several notable poker tournaments, both land-based and online. But, few know that Ivey is also quite the prolific baccarat player.

According to some statistics, Ivey has made millions playing baccarat. Some experts question these claims and believe that the millions are a figure combining his poker and Baccarat earnings. However, whatever the case, Ivey has done quite well for himself as a baccarat player.

Cheung Yin “Kelly” Sun

Phil Ivey’s baccarat partner of sorts is second on our list. As she is known, Kelly Sun has long been called the “Baccarat Queen” in the gambling community. From a young age, she showed an interest in gambling and reportedly lost around $20 million of her father’s money at a casino.

Kelly has come a long way since then. She has become a prolific gambler, supposedly learning her skills during her tenure in prison. As the Baccarat Queen, she is believed to have won thousands of dollars playing the game. Of course, she has also been accused of cheating, much like her partner Ivey, on several occasions.

Despite the allegations, Kelly Sun remains an icon in the gambling world. So much so that in 2020, a film based on her life was announced. Reportedly, The Baccarat Machine will star Awkwafina and look at the lows and peaks in Cheung Yin Sun’s life as a pro gambler.

Akio Kashiwagi

Akio Kashiwagi was known as one of the wealthiest people in Japan. However, despite his successful businesses, Kashiwagi was not known to save money like most wealthy people. He lived an extravagant, eccentric lifestyle, frequently gambling large sums of money in casinos worldwide.

One of his most notable gambles happened in 1990 in Darwin, Australia. Mr. Kashiwagi wagered a sum that led to him winning $22 million. This incident made him famous in the gambling world and eventually led to his feud with then-businessman and now former US president Donald Trump.

Akio Kashiwagi’s hijinks led to him being marked as a “whale,” somebody who frequents casinos and wagers large sums of cash. Though he passed away in the 1990s, he remains one of the most iconic figures in baccarat and gambling.


How popular is baccarat?

Baccarat is easily one of the most popular online and land-based casinos.

Can I wager on baccarat online?

Yes, many online gambling websites feature baccarat. You can play against a live dealer or an AI dealer.

Are there people who make money by playing baccarat?

There are some. Though professional baccarat players are less numerous than pro poker or blackjack players, some play the game professionally.

Can you count cards in Baccarat?

Yes. However, casinos often look down upon counting cards and could even land players in legal trouble. It is best to avoid doing so.

Is it possible to become a pro player?

It is possible. However, it isn’t very probable that most people will succeed.