Baccarat, or baccarare, is the classic card game of high stakes and prestige. It is played with one to nine cards, with the hand closest to a total of nine points winning. The dealer (or croupier) announces the results, collecting losing bets and paying winning ones. The croupier also enforces the rules of the game.
The game originated in France and Italy, with the name derived from the French and Italian word for zero or nothing. The values assigned to the cards in baccarat are simple: numbers 2-9 are worth their pip value; picture cards, such as Kings, Queens and Jacks, are valued at 0; and all tens are worth zero points. The croupier can also add up the total of the player’s and banker’s hands.
One of the most important tips for new players to remember is that they should only bet on the banker’s hand, as it has a lower house edge (1.09%) than the player’s (1.17%), especially when a 5 percent commission is levied on winning bets. They should also avoid betting on ties, as the house has a 14.4% edge in favor of the casino on this bet.
When Charles X of France visited the Baccarat factory in 1828, he was impressed enough with two glass vases, an ewer and a tea service to commission a large tableware set for Tuileries Palace. This would become the start of a long line of European monarchs, emperors and heads of state who regularly ordered Baccarat products. Baccarat is also famous for its crystal chandeliers, including the huge one that hangs above the ‘Crystal Staircase’ in the entranceway of the Elysee Palace in Paris. The company’s designs also began to take inspiration from Chinese, Japanese and Islamic art.