The game of baccarat is one of the most popular in casino gaming. Its popularity is due to its ease of play, which can be mastered by a novice with just slight experience. The game also exhibits a sense of glamor and sophistication that appeals to players of all backgrounds and income levels. You can find baccarat tables in sticky-floor California card rooms as well as tuxedo-laden casinos in Monaco, and it’s even featured in the first scene of the James Bond movie ’ Casino Royale.’
The rules of the game are straightforward, and there are only three possible outcomes in each round: the Player, Banker or a Tie. Before the cards are dealt, each player must place a bet on which hand they think will have the highest total value after all the cards have been played out. The simplest bet is to bet on the Banker, which pays out 9 points, but there are other bets available.
In order to win, a hand must have a final digit closer to nine than any other. This is achieved by adding up the pips (the dots on a playing card that represent spades, hearts, clubs and diamonds) to the point values of each player’s and the dealer’s cards. Face cards count as zero and aces count as 1. Once all the hands have been played out, whichever is closest to 9 wins.
Traditionally, the game was played with popular medieval tarot cards. However, as it spread, the game adopted a more conventional format and was known as Chemin de Fer – or ‘baccarat on rails’ in French. This was a reference to the fact that the game could be taken anywhere, from the train station to the casinos.
Baccarat has always been a highly respected brand, and its early showings at the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century saw it attract admirers from around the world. This included visitors from Portugal to Japan and India.
Charles X of France was one of Baccarat’s earliest customers, commissioning an extensive glass dinner service for his Tuileries palace in 1828. At the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris, Baccarat won its first medal for a pair of monumental, 90-light standing candelabras.
Baccarat has long been the preserve of high-rollers, but in recent years it has become more accessible to players from all walks of life. You can now play baccarat in most casinos and even online. But before you decide to sit down at a table, it’s important to know the game and how it works. The most important thing to remember is not to get carried away. Baccarat can be addictive, so decide in advance how much you want to spend and treat it as an evening out instead of a cash-out. And don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and a stylish outfit!