Baccarat is one of those exciting card games that seems to exude sophistication. It evokes images of high-rollers in tuxedos and women in posh evening dresses laying down chips as the dealer distributes cards. But don’t let this game’s mystique intimidate you-baccarat is actually quite simple to learn and play.

The first step to playing baccarat is to understand the game’s rules and how the game is played. The game’s basic principle is that whoever wins the hand with the highest total number of points will win the round. The player and the banker each get two cards dealt from a six or eight deck shoe, and the winning hand is determined by which is closest to 9. The ace equals 1, and the 10, jack, queen and king cards are worth their face value.

In the 19th Century, Baccarat became famous for its elaborately decorated glass vases and chandeliers. The firm’s designs were based on Chinese rock crystal carvings, and the pieces closely resembled porcelain in both form and decoration. This style reached its peak with the firm’s monumental ‘opaline’ glass vases, which were highly sought after by Victorian collectors.

Baccarat’s early reputation for quality led to its being commissioned to produce numerous large-scale chandeliers, including the ‘Crystal Staircase’ at the Palace of Versailles. In 1828 Charles X of France visited the company and was so impressed with its work that he ordered a set of glass vases, an ewer, and a tea service to be crafted for the palace. Baccarat won its first gold medal for a pair of monumental candelabra at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris.