Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games and one of the most glamorous. From sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, this elegant game has captivated players for centuries. It has even inspired the work of some world-renowned artists.
Despite its high stakes, baccarat is actually a fairly simple game. Players place wagers on either the banker hand, the player hand, or a tie. The goal is to correctly predict which of the two hands will have a total closest to nine. Two cards are dealt to each hand from a six- or eight-deck shoe. Occasionally, a third card is drawn. The banker and player hands both pay off eight to one, but the tie bet pays off only seven to one, so most serious players stick with the banker or player bets.
The house edge for baccarat is relatively low, at about 1.2% on banker bets and just over 2% on player bets. A third bet, the tie, has a much higher house edge (over 14 percent) and is rarely played by serious gamblers. This makes baccarat an ideal casino game for beginners who want to test their mettle and get the hang of the rules without risking their money.
Many baccarat enthusiasts enjoy playing the game with friends or family members, and online baccarat is an excellent option for those who can’t make it to a live game. The rules are essentially the same, and players can adjust their bet limits easily with the help of a menu button on the screen. Online baccarat is also a great choice for those who want to practice their skills before trying out the game with real cash.
Before baccarat was mass-produced, each piece of glassware was hand-blown and worked into its final form by skilled artisans. The process takes a month to reach full heat, and the resulting molten glass is shaped into component shapes. These pieces are then joined together to form the finished baccarat tableware. The result is a piece of art that is as beautiful to behold as it is functional.
During the 18th Century, Charles X of France became so impressed by the Baccarat glassware that he commissioned an extensive glass dinner service for the Tuileries Palace. This started a long line of French kings, emperors and heads of state commissioning Baccarat’s exquisite pieces. The factory became so renowned that they were able to attract clients from all over the world. In the 19th Century, Baccarat began using a trademark on its products. This originally took the form of a paper label, but now the glasses contain a scripted laser-etched mark that reads “Baccarat.” These marks are easily recognizable by collectors and are highly valuable. In some cases, a vintage Baccarat glass can sell for millions of dollars.