If you’re looking for a game with a bit of James Bond flair, Baccarat is the one. This casino table game is easy to play and has only three possible outcomes: a player win, banker win, or tie. It has a long history and is played in tuxedo-laden casinos around the world. You can also see it in many of Las Vegas’ world-class shows, and in the climactic scene of the 2007 movie Rush Hour 3.
There are from seven to 14 seats for players at the table. Each has a betting area where they place chips to bet on either the Player, Banker, or Tie. The goal is to have a hand that, when all the pips (the dots on a playing card that represent clubs, diamonds, hearts, and spades) are added up, comes closest to nine. Picture cards and Tens count for zero points, while the number and ace each count as one point. The best hand wins.
The history of Baccarat goes back 250 years to a glass workshop in the small town of Baccarat, located in eastern France. The glassware created by the factory impressed Charles X of France so much that he commissioned an extensive set of table services and drinkware to be designed for his home at the Tuileries Palace. This is when the company really began to flourish, and it would go on to impress a long list of French monarchs and Emperors as well as win gold medals at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in the mid-19th Century.
Throughout the centuries, Baccarat glassware has been decorated in a variety of ways. Often the pieces will be engraved, with a pattern cut into the surface of the glass with a copper grindstone or etching it with acid. In some cases, the glass will be covered in a substance like bitumen which acts as a negative to the intended design, and then dipped into acid to cut away at the uncovered parts of the surface. In some cases the pieces may be gilded, where gold powder is applied and fused to the surface.
There are also times when the glassware is simply etched with the name of the piece or brand, and in other instances the word Baccarat will be engraved into the surface. Baccarat has also trademarked its name, and pre-1860 items with the original paper label still attached are rare. Nowadays, most Baccarat glassware has a scripted laser-etched mark that reads “Baccarat.” This is one of the reasons why it has become such a popular choice among Asian high rollers in particular.