If you’ve been anywhere from a sticky-floor California card room to the tuxedo-laden casinos of Monaco, you’ve probably seen baccarat played. But even if you’ve never stepped foot in either of those places, chances are you’ve seen the game in countless films and TV shows. In fact, baccarat is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It’s even featured in the first scene of the 1954 film Dr. No, in which Sean Connery plays a game of the card game against Le Chiffre.
Baccarat is a table game, played between two players and a dealer. The objective is to predict which hand will aquire a total closest to 9. Bets are placed on the player, banker, or tie. Those who correctly wager on a winning player or banker hand qualify for a 1 to 1 payout, while those who wager on a tie are subject to a 5 percent commission.
The game has a number of rules, which are decided by the house, and players can choose whether to place their bets in different areas of the table. Regardless of where you choose to play, a basic understanding of the game will help you win more often than not.
A player can also make additional bets on the game, which have varying pay-outs depending on their outcome. These bets include Super Six, where a player wins if the Banker Hand scores a six. Alternatively, players can also place a Pair Bet, which wins when the Player Hand and Banker Hand produce matching pairs of cards.
Throughout the 19th Century, Baccarat became an increasingly important source of luxury crystal and other fine glassware, earning it a steady stream of royal commissions. At the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the company won its first gold medal with a pair of monumental standing candelabra. These were designed for the Russian tsar Nicholas II, but the items never made it to his home, as the Russian Revolution broke out soon afterwards.
In the 21st Century, Baccarat has continued to prosper, with its glassware being sought by wealthy clients from all over the world. The firm has remained in operation for more than 250 years, and many of its original pieces – both decorative and functional – are highly prized collectors’ items today.
The popularity of the game has spawned numerous variations, including mini-baccarat, where a smaller table is used and the cards are dealt face down rather than being dealt in the usual manner. The game is also a staple in high-end casino floors, with the big tables reserved for those willing to stake substantial sums of money. It is also a popular choice for private parties, with a number of casino websites offering baccarat tables for low and high-rollers alike.