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What is Baccarat?


Baccarat is a casino game where you can bet on either the Banker or Player to win. A number of side bets can also be placed. The game is a popular one at many online casinos and can be found in the big money section of most European and Nevada casinos. Baccarat is a very simple game and is often played for high stakes.

In a typical round of baccarat the cards are dealt to a Player hand and a Banker hand. You can place a bet on which hand you think will have the highest total. The Player and Banker hands are both ranked in order of their value with 9 being the best possible score. If a Player or Banker hand have a total of 8 or 9, the hand is a ‘natural’ and wins. If the first two hands have a total of 10 or 11, they are called ‘Banco’ and a tie is a draw.

The word ‘baccarat’ is actually derived from the Italian word for zero, adopted when the game spread to France and became known as ‘baccarat en banque’. The game itself is based on an Etruscan legend of a virgin who threw a die to determine her fate. If she threw an 8, she was elevated to the status of a priestess, but if she threw a 6 or lower, she would be banished from all future religious and community events.

When Charles X of France visited the Baccarat factory in 1828 and was presented with a pair of glass vases, an ewer, a tea service and a water set he was so impressed that he commissioned a large glass dinner service for the Tuileries Palace. This started a long tradition of French monarchs, Emperors and heads of state commissioning glassware from the company.

At the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century Baccarat produced pieces which drew the attention of important contemporary patrons from across Europe. Their 1855 ‘Jusivy’ table service and the 1867 ‘Baccarat’ design were both hailed for their prismatic lustre, an optical effect where the glass reflects a range of colours depending on the angle from which it is viewed.

Like many casino games there are many different strategies that players employ when playing baccarat. However, there are a few things to bear in mind before you sit down to play. First and foremost, calculate how much you are willing to risk. Baccarat can be a very volatile game and it is easy to lose more than you have put down on the table. It is often the case that the newbie who wanders into the table and simply wants to have fun has more luck than the seasoned vet who grimly places bet after bet and over-thinks the hand.