Baccarat is a casino game that’s easy to learn and offers some of the best odds in the room. It is a simple game of pure chance where the player bets on which hand out of two dealt will win – the banker’s or the player’s. The winner is the hand whose total, when all the pips are added up (cards, plus the nine), is closest to 9.
This is a great casino game for new players to get started because there is little strategy involved. A winning bet on either the banker or the player will pay out a high percentage of the stake – 95% in fact. A tie bet, which pays out 8-to-1, is also an option – but the odds on this are significantly lower. Baccarat is played all around the world and it’s even featured in some of the most prestigious films of all time, including James Bond, where Sean Connery plays the game.
Despite the posh and sophisticated image portrayed by the game in the movies, it’s actually one of the easiest casino games to play. This is partly because it’s slow-paced, requires no skill and has some of the lowest house edges in Las Vegas. It’s no wonder that Ian Fleming took a liking to it and immortalised the game in his world famous character James Bond.
The history of baccarat goes back to the early 19th Century. The first recorded mention of the game is in an 1847 book called Album des jeux de hasard et de combinaisons by Charles Van-Tenac. There is no contemporary evidence to suggest that the game existed before this point, and it would be well into the 20th Century before Baccarat gained any major international popularity.
It was in the late 19th Century that Baccarat’s output would start to really take off, with its production of glass becoming more diversified both in style and technique. Its success at the major fairs of the era, including the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle and the 1878 World Fair in London, helped it gain customers from all over the world, particularly in Ottoman Turkey, Japan and Portugal.
Baccarat produced a series of opulent lamps for the exhibitions, with many being completed in a milky-coloured glass that was known as ‘opaline’ and resembled fine porcelain. This was a popular style with Victorian collectors, who would often have their pieces decorated with hand-painted flowers or other motifs.
Baccarat also produced a range of opulent table services and drinkware. It won a number of awards for these at the various fairs, with Charles X commissioning a Baccarat glass dinner service that consisted of vases, ewers, tea and water sets. The company’s successes at the exhibitions of this era helped it to secure further commissions from French royalty, and its work went on to be admired across the world.