Baccarat (pronounced b-kr-t), in French and Italian, is a casino card game. It is based on blackjack but played with cards rather than dice. The game is played with a standard deck of 52 cards and can be played either online or offline.
Baccarat is one of the most popular games in casinos around the world and has a long history of being a favourite amongst high rollers, celebrities and even royalty! The game was originally developed in Italy and soon became a popular pastime for the French aristocracy.
In the first version of baccarat, four dealers dealt cards and players could place bets against each other and against the house. These days there is just one dealer and bets are usually placed against the house.
The player and banker receive two cards each. The player may choose to stand pat or draw a third card. If the player stands pat, he is considered to have a natural hand and his total must be no more than six or seven.
Once the cards have been dealt, both the banker and the player must compare their hands. The winning hand is the one that has the closest number of points to nine.
There are a few variants of baccarat, including Punto Banco and Chemin de Fer, where the rules are slightly different. In punto banco the player must make a ‘call’ when his hand is zero, while in chemin de fer the player can decide to take a third card.
Another variation is called ‘Baccarat a deux tableaux’ and involves the first two cards being kept secret from both players. This gives the player more freedom of choice, but in most cases this will lead to a worse outcome for the player and the house.
The best betting strategy in Baccarat is to play on the Banker and avoid the Tie bet. This is because there are only so many chances of hitting the tie and you will have to pay a commission to the casino for this bet.
You must also be aware that you can’t win if both the Player and the Banker have the same points, so you should always be aware of this. If this is the case then you can lose the money you’ve put down, but if they are both a tie then you will win.
There are several types of baccarat, the most popular being Punto Banco and Baccarat a deux tableaux. These are both games of chance and although they can offer some degree of strategy, it is impossible to beat the House edge in either of these.
In the older versions of baccarat, there was a lot of freedom for the players to decide how they wanted to play their hands. This was mainly because the decisions were not fully standardized, and so many people found it more exciting to play with all the cards face up.
Baccarat was also a big business in glassware, with some very impressive examples of its work appearing in Great Exhibitions throughout the 19th Century. In 1855, for example, Baccarat produced a 17.5 foot tall candelabra at the Paris Exposition Universelle and it was very popular with visitors to the exhibition. In the same year, Baccarat also designed a series of milky ‘opaline’ glasses which closely resembled fine porcelain and were hugely popular with Victorian collectors.