If you have ever visited a casino in any part of the world, from sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, you’ve probably seen baccarat being played. It’s a game that’s regarded as being elegant, sophisticated, and even somewhat glamorous. But despite the trappings, it’s a simple game to play and, in fact, one of the easiest of all casino games to master. Baccarat has a much lower house edge than blackjack or roulette, which makes it a more profitable option for many players.
Baccarat is a game that uses only eight decks of cards, and the goal is to have your hand – either the Player’s or the Banker’s – be the best when all the pips (the dots that indicate club, diamond, heart, and spade) are added up. The number of pips determines the value of the hand, with the 9 being the highest. All other cards count as their face values.
The firm made a name for itself in the 19th Century with monumental lighting fixtures for exhibitions and royalty across the globe. In 1855, it astonished audiences at the Paris Exposition Universelle with a 17.5 foot (5 metres) tall candelabra that was completed in a green-tinted crystal glass that contemporary observers dubbed ‘malachite’.
Charles X, the King of France, would become a significant customer of the factory, acquiring a dinner service and other pieces for his Tuileries Palace in 1828. His visit was the first of many from European monarchs and emperors who came to patronize the firm’s creations.
Baccarat was also responsible for developing some of the most iconic wine glasses of the 19th Century. The company patented the ’Harcourt glass’ in 1841, which was prized for its prismatic lustre that allowed it to reflect a range of colors depending on where the light struck it.
In the same period, Baccarat’s decorator Jean-Francois Robert pioneered a method of decorating opaque glass vases with enamel colorings. These vases, known as ‘opaline’ glass, closely resembled fine porcelain and became enormously popular with Victorian collectors.
Baccarat is played in a special area of the casino that is blocked off from the rest of the action. In American casinos, the game is usually played for big stakes, with $100 bills spread around, while in Europe the tables are used for high-denomination chips. Baccarat is a fast-paced game with only three possible outcomes for each round – a Player win, a Banker win, or a tie. The game’s simplicity and lack of skill requirements make it a perfect choice for beginners, but there are strategies that can help seasoned players improve their results. The most popular is the Martingale system, which involves progressively adjusting your bet size until you win. This strategy can be applied to most casino games, including poker and roulette, but it’s especially effective when playing baccarat. For more information, check out this baccarat strategy guide. The best way to learn baccarat is to practice. Find a site that offers free games and try out different betting limits until you find the one that works for you.