If you’re looking for a table game with few complexities and plenty of James Bond-style gambling fun, Baccarat is your best bet. With only three possible outcomes—player win, banker win or tie—baccarat has one of the lowest house edges in a casino and players can expect to earn a 1:1 payout on player and banker bets. A third bet, on the tie, offers a much higher return but also has a much greater house edge—over 14 percent.
A round of baccarat begins with the dealer dealing two cards to the banker hand and then to the player hand (sometimes a third card is dealt to both hands). The goal is for each side to guess which hand is closest to nine points. The cards are ranked from ace to ten with the ace equaling one point, the king equaling zero and the 10s equaling zero. In the offline version of the game, the cards are dealt from a standard 52-card deck that has been shuffled together. Online, a shortened version of the game is played with six or eight decks.
The company’s early success would attract aristocratic patrons from Europe but its strong showings in the great exhibitions of the 19th Century, like 1867’s Exposition Universelle in Paris and the 1878 exhibition in Dolmbahce Palace, home of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul, would help Baccarat build its reputation worldwide. Its prestigious clientele would eventually include royal houses and dignitaries in the United States, Japan, Turkey, Portugal and India.