Baccarat is one of the oldest card games that can still be found at casinos today. This casino game has a reputation for being very glamorous and is often played in a private room away from the main action, with high stakes wagers being placed by wealthy people. Although baccarat is known for its high stakes, it is actually very easy to learn and play. Baccarat can be played with either a player or banker hand and the game only requires two cards to determine a winner. The objective of the game is to get closer to nine than the other hand, with picture cards and tens worth zero points, and aces worth one point. If the total of the two cards goes over nine, the first digit is dropped and only the second number is used to calculate the score.
The croupier deals the cards from a dealing box, or shoe, and there are from seven to 14 seats for players around a green felt table. A numbered area is marked on the table where bets are placed, and a special space is reserved for the dealer. Players can bet on either the Player or the Banker hand, and the croupier will place their chips in the appropriate betting area. The croupier will then deal two hands of cards, one to the players and another to the banker. The cards are shuffled and eight of the 52-card deck are dealt, with the remaining cards being kept back.
Once the two hands are dealt, it is up to the croupier to decide whether to draw a third card or not. The rules vary slightly depending on where you are playing and the croupier will instruct you on the specifics of the game. In most cases, the croupier will only draw a third card if the player or banker has an 8 or 9. However, the croupier must always keep in mind that the object of the game is to get close to nine without going over.
Alongside the Player and Banker bets, most casino Baccarat games offer a Tie bet that pays out at odds of 8 to 1 against. This bet combines the results of both the Player and Banker hand to give you a greater chance of winning, but is harder to predict than the outcome of the individual hands themselves.
During the 19th Century, Baccarat wowed visitors at the Great Exhibitions of the time with monumental glass structures and lighting fixtures. Its showings at the 1855 Exposition Universelle, in which it exhibited a 24-foot tall glass fountain and the 1867 and 1878 fairs where it displayed its ‘Jusivy’ table service (a set of tableware for the Elysee Palace in Paris) won the company important commissions from royalty across the globe. The firm also produced milky, ‘opaline’ crystal glass that closely resembled fine porcelain and was prized for its prismatic lustre.