Baccarat is a game that’s often portrayed as a glamorous casino card game. It’s played on a special table, often in a separate room away from the casino floor, and players can wager large amounts of money on either the Banker hand or the Player hand winning. However, the game does have a House edge – and understanding this is the key to playing the game effectively.
The game is based on a fixed set of rules and, for the most part, there are only three outcomes: a Banker win, a Player win or a tie. Two cards are dealt to each of the Banker and Player hands and, sometimes, a third card is drawn. Whichever hand has a total closer to nine wins and is paid out. There are also several side bets which can be placed but these generally cost more than the Banker and Player bets.
When the game first appeared in casinos it was called ‘baccara’ (the name was later changed to ‘baccarat’) and it became one of the most popular games in the French gambling salons. However, it didn’t make it into casinos in the United States until the late 1990s.
Baccarat is best known for its crystal glassware. During the 19th Century Baccarat produced a wide range of perfectly clear, lustrous works of heavy lead-based crystal. The company’s best known designs included the 1867 ‘Jusivy’ table service, designed for the Exposition Universelle, and its celebrated Harcourt glass, which was commissioned in 1841.