Baccarat is a simple game in which players wager on either the Player Hand or Banker Hand, hoping to predict the hand that will come closest to nine. Often found tucked away in high-limit gaming areas, baccarat is popular among Asian gamblers who have made the game one of the most profitable in the world.
While the first century of Baccarat’s existence was marked by financial difficulties, its fortunes turned in 1816 when it began to produce fine lead crystal using techniques developed by English glassmakers. This milky, opaline glass closely resembled porcelain and earned the firm considerable fame among Victorian collectors. In addition, Baccarat’s monumental lighting fixtures exhibited at the Great Exhibitions of the 19th Century (such as Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and F. & C. Osler’s massive candelabra) astonished contemporary observers.
By the mid-19th Century, Charles X of France had become an important customer of the firm, commissioning an extensive glass dinner service for his Tuileries Palace. In 1855, the company won its first gold medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris for a pair of monumental, 90-light standing candelabra. In the following years, the factory would continue to impress audiences and royal patrons throughout Europe and further afield – including in Ottoman Turkey, Portugal, Japan and India.
Unlike games of chance such as real money roulette, baccarat does have an element of logic with set rules and score cards that help players track potential patterns in the shuffle. For new players, playing free baccarat games online offers a risk-free way to build confidence and master basic betting strategies before moving on to play for real money.