Baccarat – A Brief History


Baccarat is a game that is well-known to many gamblers. It is a simple game with only three bets that can be made. This makes it much simpler than games such as blackjack or roulette, which have numerous bets. This is why many players prefer to play baccarat.

Baccarat has a long history and is still an admired brand today. It has been around for over 250 years. During this time it has created a wide range of items in varying styles and techniques. Some of its most famous pieces were produced during the 19th Century when it received commissions from important patrons.

This was due to a series of strong showings at the major Great Exhibitions in the period. Visitors to these events were often dazzled by the monumental glass structures, fountains and lighting fixtures that were on display – such as Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and F. & C. Osler’s giant chandeliers – and Baccarat’s performances were no exception. The firm would win medals at the 1855, 1867 and 1878 exhibitions with spectacular works such as its ‘Temple of Mercury’ glass fountain and its ‘Jusivy’ table service (designed for the 1867 Exposition Universelle). This success brought Baccarat admirers from further afield and it would soon be creating furnishings for the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul and producing glasses for the Russian Tsar Nicholas II.

One of Baccarat’s earliest and best known designs was its Harcourt glass, first commissioned in 1841. This thick, short-stemmed wine glass was renowned for its prismatic lustre and could reflect a wide range of colours depending on the angle of the light hitting it. This effect gave the piece its distinctive beauty and it became a favourite with many high-society drinkers.

Another cherished Baccarat design was its ‘chemin de fer’ baccarat tables. These large tables were designed for use with the ‘chemin de fer’ version of the game which is played at traditional casinos and was favoured by the rich and powerful. This version of baccarat has slightly different rules from the more familiar ‘punto banco’ form which is played in card rooms and tuxedo-laden casinos.

The aim of baccarat is to predict which hand, Player or Banker, will acquire a total that is closest to nine. This can be done by betting on either the Player or Banker hand, or on a tie. Baccarat also features a special third-card rule which determines when it is appropriate for the Banker to draw a third card.

The house edge in baccarat is very low – it’s about the same as a coin flip. This is because a Banker win is very likely and the Player side only has a tiny advantage. However, the Tie bet has a 14.1 percent edge in favor of the casino. Therefore, intelligent players avoid making this bet. Baccarat can be a very profitable game when played correctly.