Baccarat is one of the most popular casino games and it’s easy to see why: the game has a low house edge and winning banker hands occur more often than losing ones. Despite its simplicity, there are some nuances to the rules and strategy that players should be aware of before they play.
Baccarat was founded in 1764 in eastern France. The workshop was established to manufacture glass ware, but quickly expanded into other artistic mediums, including sculpture and jewellery.
In the 19th Century, Baccarat produced a number of monumental lighting fixtures for palaces and exhibitions. The company also experimented with designs inspired by Chinese, Japanese and Islamic art. The company became increasingly international, with Asian demand for its work bringing it into contact with foreign artists and designers.
Among the most notable creations of the factory in the late 19th Century were Baccarat’s glass vases. These milky, ‘opaline’ vases were designed to resemble fine porcelain and were hugely popular with Victorian collectors.
The earliest references to the game appear in Duckett’s Dictionnaire de la conversation et de la lecture (1867), although it’s not clear what the word baccara actually means. It’s sometimes speculated that it’s a calque from Italian, but no evidence has been found to support this hypothesis. Regardless of its origins, the name has stuck. The game itself is based on simple principles, with a player’s goal being to beat the dealer’s hand by getting as close to nine as possible.