If you’re looking for a table game with a bit of James Bond-style elegance, Baccarat may be your ticket. From sticky-floor California card rooms to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, this simple and elegant casino game has a loyal following. Baccarat has been around for centuries and is now one of the world’s most popular gambling games. It’s a fun and exciting game to play, and the rules are straightforward.
It’s easy to find Baccarat online and at land-based casinos. Unlike many other casino games, this game offers both a “Player” and a “Banker” betting option. Players bet on either the player or banker, with the goal of having the hand they are betting on come closer to nine than the opposite hand. The cards are dealt face up, and the goal is to have a hand with a total closest to 9. A count of all the pips (clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) determines the score. Face cards count as zero, while aces count as one.
The dealer draws four cards from the shoe. The first two form the Player hand, and the third forms the Banker hand. A 9 is the best result, and a 0 is the worst. When a 0 is drawn, the Banker must draw a second card and decide whether to stand or ask for a third.
Until the middle of the 19th Century, Baccarat was a minor glass manufacturer, producing milky, opaline pieces that closely resembled fine porcelain. It wasn’t until Charles X visited the factory in 1828 that the company gained its first royal commission. He was so impressed with the vases, ewer and tea service he received that he ordered an extensive glass dinner set for his Tuileries Palace.
Baccarat’s success at the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century earned it praise and customers from across Europe. Whether Joseph Paxton’s monumental glass palace, F. & C. Osler’s massive lighting fixtures or Baccarat’s opulent glass fountains and candelabra, contemporary observers wrote of being dazzled by its monumental lighting structures, fountains and sculptures.
In 1855, Baccarat won a gold medal for a pair of opulent, 17.5 foot (5 metres) tall candelabra at Paris’ Exposition Universelle. It would go on to win more awards at the fairs of 1867 and 1878, attracting attention from patrons from as far away as Portugal, Japan and India.
As Baccarat grew in popularity, it also began to dominate the gambling scene in Asia. In fact, Baccarat remains the most popular table game in China. The game’s enduring popularity in the region has even led to the development of its own unique variations like Punto Banco. Despite its long history and global reputation, however, Baccarat’s staying power is still unclear to some. Will the snooty, high-limit game keep its place among Las Vegas’ most iconic casino tables? The answer to this question will depend on how the market’s casino patron base shifts over time. Ultimately, the future of this classic game will be determined by how well it can adapt to changing demographics and the competition from other games.