Baccarat is a casino table game that has the reputation of being a complex card game for sophisticated high-rollers. In reality, however, it is a game of simple betting choices with fairly predictable results. The game’s payout system is straightforward and the chances of winning a player or banker bet are quite high. Unlike blackjack, which is a game of chance, the house edge in Baccarat is relatively low.
There are three possible outcomes to a Baccarat hand- a player win, a banker win or a tie. The game is very easy to play and there are sheets at the table that make it convenient for players to keep track of their score. Baccarat is a very popular casino table game and is available at most Vegas casinos, with the exception of some high-end ones.
Although the game was invented in France, Baccarat is now one of the world’s most popular games and is played in Macau, Singapore, and in many other countries. The popularity of the game is due to its simple rules and the fact that it offers a high return on a bet on either the Player or Banker hand. It is also a game of choice for Asian players who like to bet big.
While there are a few different variations of the game, most baccarat is played with nine-point values for the player and banker hands. The objective is to get closer to nine than the opponent hand. The dealer deals two cards to each hand and whichever one is closest to nine wins. The cards are dealt from a six or eight-deck shoe and all tens, jacks, queens, and kings equal nine points while the Ace equals one. A king and seven equals 14, but the first digit is dropped to arrive at the final number.
During the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century, visitors were dazzled by the huge glass structures, fountains and lighting fixtures designed by Joseph Paxton and F. & C. Osler. But it was the glassware by the French firm of Baccarat that captured the attention of important artistic patrons. In 1855 Baccarat was awarded a gold medal for its ’Jusivy’ table service and in 1867 it created the iconic ‘Harcourt’ wine glass, which is prized for its prismatic lustre (the ability to reflect different colours depending on the angle of the light source).
Baccarat pieces are often engraved with decorative patterns. This can be done using a copper grindstone or acid engraving, which involves covering the glass in bitumen (a tough tar-like substance) to show the negative of the desired pattern and then cutting it with acid that is dripped over the glass. Engraved Baccarat pieces can be very valuable, especially if they are inscribed with the name of a royal or important client. Earlier Baccarat pieces were accompanied by paper labels, but post-1860 pieces will have a scripted laser mark that reads Baccarat.