Baccarat is a casino game played with cards. It is a game of chance with a house edge of around 1 percent. It is often played in casinos but also in a number of other venues. Various variants of the game are popular, including punto banco and baccarat chemin de fer (railway baccarat).
Baccarat was first introduced to France in 1764 by King Louis XV, who founded it in his home town of Baccarat in the Lorraine region of Eastern France. Initially producing windows, mirrors and tableware, the company expanded to include monumental glassware in the 19th Century.
Today, Baccarat still produces high-quality luxury glassware. The company’s 21st Century designs are influenced by the dialogue between heritage and modernity, and many of the firm’s most iconic pieces of glassware remain in production.
One of the most distinctive features of Baccarat is the use of engraved patterns on the surface of the glass. This can be achieved by either cutting the glass using a stone or copper grindstone, or by acid engraving. The resulting glassware is highly coveted by collectors, and is often sold at auctions.
In the 19th century, Baccarat made some of the most stunning vases and crystal wares in Europe, many of which were displayed at the Great Exhibitions. Its milky ‘opaline’ glass vases were reminiscent of fine porcelain and were incredibly popular among Victorian collectors.
The firm also produced opulent chandeliers, which were a favourite of the French royal household. In 1855, Baccarat exhibited a candelabra at the Paris Exposition Universelle which was 17.5 feet (5 metres) tall. Its opulent lighting fixtures were also displayed at the Paris fairs of 1867 and 1878, where they were particularly well received by contemporary audiences.
As well as its renowned glassware, the company also makes windows, mirrors and lampshades. These products are designed in its Paris studio, and crafted in the workshops in St Louis, France, which have been in operation since the 18th century.
Its vases were often decorated with delicate hand-painted floral designs that closely resembled fine porcelain. They were also often gilded or engraved with gold powder.
While opulent vases are the most common form of Baccarat glassware, a variety of other pieces can be found. Some of these are engraved, while others are shaped by a mould.
During the 19th century, Baccarat won several medals at the prestigious Paris Exposition Universelle. Its displays of opulent chandeliers, candelabras and lampshade were so impressive that they earned the company many customers from far and wide.
In the 20th century, Baccarat’s glassware was exported to the United States and Canada. The company’s most famous designs can be seen at the Baccarat Museum in Paris, and its most acclaimed pieces of glassware are also on display at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
A baccarat player can use a strategy called the 1-3-2-6 system to stretch their bankroll across multiple games and prevent them from making large bets on losing streaks. This strategy is a reinvention of the original system, which involves betting two units per round. It is a highly effective strategy and can help reduce the house edge.