Baccarat, also known as Punto Banco, is a casino card game that is played for high stakes and can be found in the big money areas of European and Nevada casinos. It is a simple game to play; players only need to bet on whether they think the Player or Banker hand will be closer to 9 than the opposite hand. The Dealer does all the work and follows a set of rules to determine when the third card will be drawn, so there are few decisions for players to make other than which side to bet on and how much to wager.
There are from seven to 14 seats for players and a dealer’s area at the table. The cards are dealt one at a time to the player’s right and left and a third hand is dealt to the Banker. Each hand is dealt three cards and the points are calculated based on a combination of the two hand’s total and the value of each individual card. Picture cards and Tens count as zero, Aces count as 1, and all other cards are worth their pip value. The goal of a player’s or Banker’s hand is to get close to nine without going over, with the Player hand scoring as much as possible and the Banker hand winning if it scores the most.
The game is popular for its elegant feel and the fact that it does not require any technical skill. It has long been a favorite of royalty and the wealthy and it can be played with as little as $20-$25 per hand. In addition to the traditional Player and Banker bets, a Tie bet is available, but it has a higher house edge and pays out at 8 to 1 instead of the player or banker’s 1:1 payouts.
Often, Baccarat glassware is engraved with designs using either a copper grindstone or acid. The former is achieved by cutting a pattern into the surface of the glass, while the latter involves covering the glass in bitumen (a tough tar-like material), showing the negative of the intended design on the inside and then dipping it in acid which cuts away at the uncovered part of the glass. This technique gives the etched patterns their characteristic milky hues and can give the glass an almost porcelain-like quality.
In the early 19th Century, Baccarat made a name for itself with its magnificent glassware, including the famous ‘Jusivy’ table service that was designed for the Exposition Universelle in 1867 and later used by the Emperor of France. The company was responsible for designing some of the most iconic wine glasses and is still celebrated today for its stunning glassware. It was founded in 1764 in the town of Baccarat in eastern France and the glass produced there is characterized by its clarity, pale opalescence and delicate blue, green or red hues. Baccarat also produced large vases and chandeliers in its heyday, which were highly sought after by Victorian collectors.