Baccarat is a table game that is easy for beginners to learn and offers some James Bond-style gambling action. It is one of the most popular casino games in Las Vegas, with players wagering on either the Bank hand or the Player hand, or a tie. The objective is to predict which hand will acquire a total that is closest to nine, which is dealt from a six- or eight-deck shoe. Occasionally, both the Bank and Player hands are dealt a third card, which may alter the outcome. All cards count as their face value – an Ace equals one, a Queen equals nine and a King equals ten – and the winner is the hand that gets closer to nine.
The history of Baccarat dates back to the mid-18th Century when the Bishop of Orleans, Louis-Joseph de Laval-Montmorency, established a prestigious artistic workshop in his diocese. Initially, the factory specialised in window and mirror production. However, it was not until the 19th Century that the range of the company’s products expanded significantly in both decorative style and techniques.
As a result of the strong showings at the Great Exhibitions of the period, Baccarat quickly earned an international reputation. The firm won medals for its monumental glass fountains, lighting fixtures and even a temple-like glass ’Temple of Mercury’ at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle, and its displays continued to impress visitors throughout the rest of the world – from Ottoman Turkey to Portugal, Japan and India.
In addition to its spectacular designs, Baccarat is also famous for the quality of its production and craftsmanship. Each piece of glassware must pass rigorous inspection by a team of highly trained specialists before it can be sold. A wide variety of techniques are used for decorating Baccarat pieces, including acid engraving and sand-blasting. Many pieces will be gilded, and some will be decorated with precious stones.
Baccarat is often associated with luxury, but the game can be played at all levels of play. The minimum bet is typically a dollar, with higher stakes available for those who wish to make larger wagers. As with most casino games, the house has a built-in edge over the players and it is important for players to practice good money management. Using a doubling strategy and setting a maximum amount to spend per session (followed by a complete break) are recommended strategies.
The game is popular among high rollers and celebrity guests, and a number of famous players have made their mark in the world of baccarat. Hollywood actor Pierce Brosnan is one of the most famous to do so, winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2007 for his performance in the film, The World Is Not Enough, in which he plays the role of James Carter, a professional gambler. He won again in 2008, this time for his work in the movie, The International.