Baccarat is a glamorous game that has attracted high rollers for centuries. Unlike blackjack, where players make a series of decisions in each hand, baccarat is played with a fixed set of rules. Dealers deal cards from a dealing box, called a shoe, and the game ends when one hand comes closer to nine than the other. Unlike other casino games, baccarat has a relatively low house edge of just over two percent. But that doesn’t mean the game is easy to win – it takes practice and discipline. Here are some tips to help you play baccarat the right way and avoid making common mistakes that will cost you money.
During the 19th Century Baccarat became renowned for its spectacular lighting fixtures and monumental glassware. At the 1855 Exposition Universelle, it won its first medal for a pair of enormous candelabra. Its milky, ‘opaline’ glass vases, often featuring hand-painted floral decorations, closely resembled fine porcelain and were hugely popular with Victorian collectors.
It was during this period that Charles X, restored Bourbon monarch and patron of the arts, visited the factory. Impressed by the quality of the two vases, an ewer and a tea service he saw there, he commissioned a table service for his Tuileries Palace. This was the beginning of a long line of French royalty, Emperors and heads of state commissioning glassware from the company.
Baccarat’s table services incorporated decorative styles and techniques drawn from the Middle East, India, China and Japan. They were designed to be both functional and beautiful, reflecting the aristocratic tastes of their customers. Baccarat also adapted its techniques to the needs of contemporary society, producing simpler forms that were cheaper to produce and more readily available.
During a baccarat game, eight 52-card packs are shuffled together and dealt by the croupier from a box called a ‘shoe’. A very large table is used, with six seats on either side of the banker (who only banks the game and does not participate in any other manner). The table is covered in green felt, with numbered areas to indicate where bets are placed. Baccarat games are typically played for a minimum of $100 per hand. Bets can be placed on the player, the banker, or a tie.
The only decision you must make in baccarat before the cards are dealt is whether to bet on your hand winning, the banker’s hand winning or a tie. After you’ve made your bet, the dealer will take care of everything else. Unless you’re a professional gambler, patterns recognition in baccarat is nonsense – it’s a form of the gambler’s fallacy and anyone who claims to be able to recognize patterns in baccarat is lying. The only way to beat the house is to use good stake management, following bank streaks and always ensuring that you’re not gambling beyond your means. For this reason, a sensible limit of 10 units for each wager and a complete break is the best policy to follow.