Baccarat is a casino game that has a certain mystique to it. It conjures images of high-rollers in opulent casinos, men in tuxedos and women in posh evening gowns laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. But don’t let the game’s mystique scare you away — it is an easy and fun game to play and one that can be enjoyed by players of all skill levels.
The game was first introduced to Europe in the late 18th Century and became popular among the elites. Initially, the game was played in private clubs such as Watier’s in London, and it caught the attention of Beau Brummell. He recommended the game to his friends and was so impressed by it that he established the Compagnie des Cristalleries de Baccarat.
It was at this point that the firm began to prosper and its work would go on to impress the visitors to the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century, including Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and F. & C. Osler’s magnificent chandeliers. The company’s strong showings at these exhibitions would earn it customers from as far afield as Ottoman Turkey and Portugal.
During a game of baccarat, players place wagers on either the player hand winning, the banker’s hand winning or a tie. The winner is determined by whose total is closest to nine, which is achieved when two cards add up to a number such as an 8 and a 7. A third card may be dealt to a player or banker if the initial total is less than 9.
While the game may seem complicated at first, it is actually very simple. After a round of betting, the dealer will announce the result. If the player hand wins, the bettor will receive a 1:1 payout. If the banker’s hand wins, the bettor will have to pay a 5% commission to the house. If the tie bet is won, the bettor will receive a payout of 9:1.
In addition to placing wagers on player or banker win, Baccarat also offers a variety of side bets. These bets, which differ by establishment and platform, are placed before the game begins. They typically offer higher odds than those on a player or banker win.
While there are many different Baccarat side bets available, the most popular is a pair bet. This bet wagers that the player and banker will have identical cards on the deal, and pays 11:1 odds. In addition to the pair bet, there are a number of other side bets that can be made, but they are generally less profitable.