For many people, baccarat is seen as a glamorous casino game reserved for high rollers or sophisticated and suave patrons like James Bond. However, the game is a simple one that anyone can play. Moreover, it offers some of the lowest house edges in the casino, meaning that you are far more likely to make a profit playing baccarat than you are on a slot machine or roulette table.
Baccarat was first commissioned to design table services and drinkware by the French crown in the 19th Century, and this is where it became most famous for its creations. The firm’s most famous designs include the 1867 ’Jusivy’ table service and the 1841 ’Harcourt’ wine glass, both of which are prized for their ‘prismatic lustre’, a quality that causes the glass to reflect a wide range of colours depending on how it is positioned in relation to a light source.
In its most basic form, the game of baccarat is played with either eight or six cards being dealt to each player and banker. The winning hand is the one that comes closest to nine, with a nine being the best possible score. The scoring system is based on the pips, which are the dots on each card that represent its value (clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades). A nine is worth 9 points, while a seven is worth 7 points.
Bets can be placed on either the player’s or banker’s hand, or a tie, and payouts are awarded according to the outcome of each round. Those who correctly bet on a winning banker hand will qualify for a 1 to 1 payout, while those who wager on a winning player’s hand will receive a payout of 95% of their stake. In addition, if the winning hand is a tie the bettor will be paid out at 8 to 1. Score sheets are often available at live baccarat tables to help players keep track of the results.
It is worth noting that the banker’s hand has a tiny advantage over the player’s, due to the fact that it is dealt second in each round. This is why the game has such a low house edge, even though the chances of winning are almost as good as tossing a coin.
While the earliest descriptions of baccarat mention only Punto Banco, later references also mention a form of the game known as ’Baccarat en Banque’ and a variant called ‘Chemin de Fer’. The latter of these two games is the most commonly encountered in casinos today. The name ’baccarat banque’ is still used in some places to refer to Baccarat en banco, but most modern casino sites offer the more common Punto Banco games. The ‘baccarat en banque’ games may be referred to as ‘Baccarat à deux tableaux’ in some places.