Baccarat – An Easy Casino Game With Low House Odds


Baccarat (pronounced bah-cah-rah) is an easy casino game that’s fun to play and offers some of the lowest house odds in the whole lot of casino games. The game is often portrayed as a serious, elegant, and even intimidating one in movies – Sean Connery plays it to perfection in the James Bond movies – but, for those who know how to play baccarat, it is a very simple and slow-paced game with no strategy required.

In fact, baccarat is a very old game, first played in the 1400s in Italy and France. However, it was not until the 19th Century that baccarat’s popularity rose in Europe, thanks to French royalty and the advent of casinos. When gambling became legalized in France, baccarat became one of the most popular games in European casinos.

At the end of the 19th Century, Baccarat’s production began to broaden, in both style and techniques. The factory’s early glassware featured elaborately sculpted animals and figures in a milky, opaline, or green-tinted crystal which contemporary observers called ‘malachite’. These items were hugely popular with Victorian collectors.

Other items were more grand and luxurious, like the monumental lighting fixtures and tableware Baccarat produced for exhibitions and palaces across the globe. For example, the firm wowed audiences at Paris’ Exposition Universelle in 1867 with a gigantic lead crystal fountain, and in 1878 with a glass ‘Temple of Mercury’ for the Dolmbahce palace in Istanbul, Turkey.

Baccarat’s success at these and other major exhibitions in the late 19th Century earned it customers from far afield, including Ottoman Turkey, Portugal, Japan, and China. This era also saw the first appearance of the engraved Baccarat mark on pieces of glassware. Prior to this, the company only offered paper labels on its products, and items with these original labels are now extremely rare.

The engraved mark on a piece of Baccarat glassware shows the date it was made and, in some cases, the name or initials of the engraver. The engraving itself is accomplished by cutting a design into the surface of the glass using either copper grindstones or acid. The engraver then covers the resulting cut-out with bitumen, a thick tar-like material. The engraved part is then dipped in acid, which cuts away the bitumen and leaves the desired pattern.

Baccarat’s engraved marks have become one of its signatures, and are a testament to the skill and dedication of its artisans. This reputation for quality has helped to keep the company in business even after it was forced to close during World War II. Today, the Baccarat brand continues to be renowned, and its pieces can be found in museums and private collections around the world.