Baccarat is one of the most glamorous casino games. It is played on a special table in a separate alcove from the main casino action and it can be very high-stakes. This makes it a risky game for smaller operators and a reason why many do not offer it. However, there is a market for baccarat and with the right strategy it can be very profitable.
Baccarat was first played in the 1400s and was popular with royalty. In the early 19th Century it became the most popular table game in European casinos. It is a simple card game where players place wagers on either the Banker, the Player or a Tie. The winner is the hand closest to a total of nine points.
The croupier deals the cards from a dealing shoe. Eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and the croupier draws cards from the shoe one at a time until the total of the player’s bet is determined. Player and Banker bets are made in numbered areas on the large Baccarat table. The Player must draw a third card on a total of 6 or 7 and must stay on a 0-4 score. The Banker must draw on a 0-4 score and stand on a 6-9. The tens and picture cards have a value of zero; 2’s through 9’s are worth their numerical values; and aces have a value of one.
After each hand is dealt, the croupier announces the result. If the Player wins, he or she receives a payout of 1:1 (player bets pay out at 1:1; banker bets pay out at 8 to 1.) If the Banker wins, the bettor pays the casino a commission of 5% on the winning bet. If the Banker and Player tie, the bets to both are returned to the players.
A Tie is a very rare event and when it occurs the bets on the Banker and the Player are returned to them. The bets on the Tie pay out 9 chips to the bettor for every 1 chip wagered. This is why the bettor must be very careful when placing a bet on a Tie.
Baccarat’s strong showing at the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century (in 1855 with a massive glass fountain and in 1867 and 1878 with elaborate drinkware) caught the attention of important patrons from Portugal to Japan and even India. The firm would go on to win a number of royal commissions in the later part of the century, supplying furniture, lighting fixtures and table services for palaces across Europe. Its products were known for their elegance of both decorative style and technique, as well as their durability and quality. This combination of beauty and function is what has kept Baccarat at the forefront of luxury crystal production for more than 250 years. The range of Baccarat’s designs is vast and varied in both decoration and size. This is illustrated by a few pieces from the company’s extensive archives, some of which have been displayed at G2E.