The Basics of Baccarat
Baccarat is one of the most exciting areas of any casino, but it is important that players understand the rules and etiquette of the game. This includes following certain behavioural rules that help to avoid mistakes and keep the game enjoyable for everyone. There are also a number of betting strategies that can be used to increase winnings and limit losses.
To begin playing baccarat, the player must first place their bet. They can choose between betting on the Banker, the Player, or a Tie. Once the bet has been placed, the dealer deals two cards to both the Banker and the Player. The aim is to get a total closest to nine. If the Banker or the Player’s total is a nine, the hand is won. If neither hand is a nine, further cards are drawn to determine the winner.
In baccarat, the ace card equals one point and the ten, jack, queen, and king cards equal their face value. This is different to other casino card games where the ace and ten cards have no value at all. The goal of baccarat is to have the best hand in which the player can win. The Banker and the Player hands are dealt from a six or eight deck shoe. Unlike other casino card games, the number 13 is not used in the game, and the numbers 4 (which are often associated with death) and 5 are not used either.
While a winning Banker hand will qualify for a 1 to 1 payout, those who correctly predict a winning Player hand will receive twice their stake. A winning tie bet is worth 9:1 payouts, but these are subject to a 5% commission which reduces the odds of this wager. Some casinos offer unique side bets for baccarat, which can have high payouts but may have low odds of landing and a high house edge.
Aside from the opulent tableware and lighting fixtures Baccarat was renowned for in the 19th Century, it also produced glass which was considered to be of the highest quality. These pieces were exhibited at the great exhibitions of the time, including Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and F. & C. Osler’s monumental chandeliers, and were coveted by important artistic patrons from around the world.
In the mid-19th Century, the company’s output broadened in both decorative style and technique, and Baccarat started to produce vases which closely resembled porcelain in both appearance and texture. These milky ’opaline’ glass vessels became particularly popular among Victorian collectors and were known as ‘Baccarat glass’.
The 19th Century saw a number of Baccarat’s most spectacular pieces created, including monumental fountains and lighting fixtures for major exhibitions and royal occasions. It was at this time that the firm began to attract the attention of the restored Bourbon monarchy, and its production of glassware for the palaces of France and beyond truly took off. In 1855, the factory wowed contemporary observers with its 17.5 foot (5 metres) tall candelabra at Paris’ Exposition Universelle.