Baccarat is one of the most exciting casino table games around. It has a certain mystique to it, evoking images of men in suits and women in elegant evening gowns clad in fine jewelry laying down chips as the dealer deals cards. While it may seem intimidating to play, Baccarat is actually quite easy and requires little more than a basic understanding of the game’s rules and strategy.
The first thing you must understand about Baccarat is that it is a card game that uses eight decks of standard playing cards. The cards are ranked from nine (natural) to one (ace). Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings count as zero points, while the number cards (2-9), as well as the picture or face cards, have their numerical value. The ace is worth one point. The player or banker must add up the points on their hand to determine the winner.
Players place bets on either the Player, Banker, or Tie. Once all bets have been placed, the dealer will deal two cards to the Player and Banker hands. A third card is sometimes dealt if the first two totals are close to each other. The hand with the higher total wins. The game is very simple, and there are only three possible outcomes—a player win, a banker win, or a tie.
During the 19th Century, Baccarat’s strong showings at the Great Exhibitions of that period were enough to attract attention from important patrons around the world. Its glassware was particularly noted for its remarkable prismatic lustre, which caused the pieces to reflect a wide range of colors depending on the angle in which they were viewed.
In the early part of the 19th Century, the company produced milky-colored ‘opaline’ glass vases that featured intricate hand-painted floral decorations and closely resembled fine porcelain. These vases were wildly popular among Victorian collectors. By the end of that decade, Baccarat was producing a variety of elaborate designs and architectural glasswork that was highly sought after. In addition to lighting fixtures and monumental fountains, the company was designing table services and drinkware for royalty. The company’s 1867 ‘Jusivy’ table service, for example, was later commissioned by the restored Bourbon monarch, Charles X. Other designs include its iconic Harcourt wine glasses and the company’s famous ‘Temple of Mercury’ glass sculpture.