Baccarat is a glamorous game of chance, with men in tuxedos and women in posh evening gowns putting down chips as the dealer distributes cards. But despite its mystique, this is an easy-to-learn casino game that is played in many casinos across the globe. In fact, baccarat generates more win than any other table game for Macau and Singapore casinos, and it also accounts for 18 percent of the total win at Strip Las Vegas casinos.
The game is a simple one, with three betting options: Banker, Player, and Tie. Two cards are dealt to the Banker hand and the Player hand, and whichever of the hands is closest to nine wins. A third card may be drawn, but the players aren’t involved in making this decision and only know if either of the first two hands have a third. The game was originally played with the Player’s and Banker’s two hands hidden from each other, so draw decisions were made only on the basis of the first two cards.
When a round of baccarat is played, the Banker and the Player sit in opposite spaces on the table. Each of these spaces is marked with a distinctive sign for their respective role, indicating the betting area. The game is usually played in an area of the casino reserved for high-rollers, with tuxedoed dealers. The game has become less exclusive over time, and is now frequently offered on the regular casino floor, with lower minimum bets than in high limit areas.
The glassmakers of Baccarat are well-known for their production of luxury crystal, and the company’s name is synonymous with quality. The firm was founded in the 17th Century by the Bishop of Orleans, Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency, who sought to establish a prestigious artistic workshop. Early production included windows, mirrors and items of tableware.
At the turn of the 19th Century, the company’s glasswork caught the eye of the restored Bourbon monarch Charles X, who commissioned an extensive glass dinner service for his Tuileries Palace. This would start a long line of French monarchs, Emperors and heads of state commissioning Baccarat furniture, ornaments and glassware.
A key development for the firm was the arrival of new techniques in glass production, including the use of lead. This allowed Baccarat to produce clearer, more brilliantly colored crystal. By the end of the 19th Century, the company was producing some of the most sophisticated and beautiful glassware in Europe.
The raw ingredients of Baccarat are heated in furnaces that can reach temperatures of 1500 degrees Celsius. The molten glass is then blown or pulled into a shape, and then decorated. This decoration may include engraving, etching, cutting, and painting. In addition to these traditional methods, Baccarat glassmakers are known for their expertise with the prismatic lustre technique, which allows a glass piece to reflect a range of colors depending on its position and direction relative to a light source. Decorative glass pieces from the factory are still prized today.