For many people Baccarat conjures images of high stakes, sophisticated patrons like James Bond and the table game being played in a darkened area blocked off from other casino action. In reality, this classic card game was first played in medieval Italy and has evolved into a number of variants including punto banco, chemmy and baccarat banque that are now played by players from all over the world.
The simplest way to describe Baccarat is that it’s a card game that is all about luck. Players bet on the Player hand, Banker hand or a Tie and the dealer does all the rest. The objective is to get as close to nine as possible without going over. The cards are compared and the winning hand is determined based on the total value of the two. If the total is higher than 9 then only the second digit of the score counts. For example, an eight and a seven equals 15.
One of the reasons why baccarat is such a popular casino game is because it’s very easy to learn. Unlike other games of chance, there are only three wagers that can be placed, and the house edge on both the Banker and the Player hands is relatively low at around 1.2 percent. A third bet on a tie is also available, but this pays out at odds of 8 to 1 and has a much larger house edge of over 14 percent.
Baccarat is also a very fast game to play. Once the players have placed their bets, a deck of cards is dealt to the Player and the Banker. A player can ask the banker for a third card, and if the Player or Banker hand is closer to nine, a winner will be declared. If neither hand is a winner, the game continues with another round.
The game is played with a large, eight-sided card table and the banker stands to the right of the players. The table is divided into two halves and the players sit around the tables to the left and right of the banker. The banker deals the cards, and players place their bets against the banker rather than against each other.
In the United States, baccarat is usually played for small bets using real cash – $100 bills are scattered on the table. In Europe, the game is more often played for large bets using oblong chips.
The company’s success at the great exhibitions of the 19th Century would bring it significant international recognition and customers from Ottoman Turkey, Portugal, Japan and India as well as from France, where it was commissioned to design table services and glassware. In particular, it was responsible for the 1867 ‘Jusivy’ table service that was displayed at the Exposition Universelle in Paris. The design would go on to be used in the Dolmbahce Palace, the residence of the Turkish Sultan in Istanbul. The company is still in business today and produces a wide range of decorative glassware.