Baccarat (pronounced bah-kah-rah) is an elegant casino game that can be played for high stakes. It seems intimidating to many average players but it’s actually one of the easiest games in the casino to play. Unlike some other casino games that require a lot of technical skill, Baccarat is an easy game to learn, and the house edge is one of the lowest in the casino.
The first step in playing Baccarat is to place your chips on the Player, Banker or Tie bets. Each bet has different payouts and the odds of each are calculated differently. The payouts are: 1:1 for a winning Banker hand, 1-to-1 for a winning Player hand and 8:1 for a winning Tie.
After you’ve placed your bets, the dealer will deal two cards to each of the hands. The first player to make a wager on the Player Hand will receive the initial two cards, while the second card is dealt to the Banker Hand. The Player and Banker hands are then analyzed to determine the winner. Often times, the Player Hand will need a third card and it’s up to the Caller whether or not the Banker needs to draw a card.
Unlike other casino games that use cards with numerical values, in baccarat the numbers have no significance and only the total of the hand is important. A nine-card hand has the highest value, while a seven-card and an eight-card have a lower total. In addition, the number 13 is considered unlucky in baccarat, and so it is sometimes omitted from the deck of cards.
Baccarat’s 19th Century glassware was renowned for its prismatic lustre, an iridescence that reflects a range of colours depending on how the light hits it. Many of the firm’s most iconic pieces were designed for the Great Exhibitions of the era and its monumental lighting fixtures wowed contemporary observers.
One of Baccarat’s greatest achievements in the 19th Century was a set of tableware commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III and King Louis-Philippe of France. Known as the ‘Jusivy’ service, this opulent tableware was made for the 1867 Exposition Universelle and now resides in the Elysee Palace in Paris. During this period Baccarat also crafted many of the most coveted wine glasses in history, including its famous Harcourt glass. This thick, short-stemmed glass was initially commissioned by King Louis-Philippe of France and became prized for its ability to reflect a variety of colours when it is viewed from different angles.