What Is Baccarat?


Baccarat is a card game which can be found in the high stakes sections of many European and Nevada casinos. The game was first played in mid 19th Century France, and has a glamorous image which has helped it to remain popular. Players can place bets on the Banker, Player, or Tie, and the dealer deals two cards to each hand, with whichever comes closest to nine being the winner. The game is played from a dealing shoe, with the cards being dealt in order from six to eight decks. All cards are worth their face value, and Aces equal one.

In the early days of Baccarat, the factory’s production was limited to windows and mirrors, but in 1857 the company had a breakthrough when it won a prize for its tableware at the Paris Exposition Universelle. From this point the production of Baccarat glassware grew, and the firm was soon known for its quality and elegance.

The company’s most famous design of this period was the ‘Jusivy’ service which was produced for the 1867 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This deluxe tableware, which remains in use at the Elysee Palace today, was created using the finest crystal, and had an impact which extended well beyond the exhibition itself. In 1841 the firm designed what would become one of the most iconic wine glasses of the 19th Century – the Harcourt glass, which is prized for its ability to reflect colours in different ways depending on where it is positioned.

Although the game is played for large sums of money, the betting tables are surrounded by walls and blocked off from the rest of the casino action, providing an air of exclusivity for those lucky enough to be seated at a table. In American casinos, the game is often played with real cash, while in Europe it tends to be a low-denomination chip game.

There is no strategy in baccarat, other than placing a bet, and the game is not affected by previous rounds. This lack of influence by the player makes baccarat ideal for beginners, but it can also make the game boring for more experienced players who are looking for an edge.

One technique which some players use to try and reduce the house edge is called ‘edge sorting’. This involves looking for patterns in previous rounds to try and predict which hand will win, but it is not illegal and can be done without changing the rules of the game. A gambler called Phil Ivey won around $10 million from two casinos using this method, but he was forced to pay back the winnings when they were discovered. Players should be wary of attempting this, and should only bet the maximum amount they can afford to lose. They should also be sure to check the terms and conditions of a casino’s baccarat policy before they begin playing. The baccarat rules can vary slightly from one casino to the next, so it’s always best to double-check before you start betting cash.