Baccarat – A Brief History

Baccarat is a card game that pits the ‘Player’ and ‘Banker’ against each other. The aim is to predict which hand will come closest to nine points. In addition to wagering on whether the Player or Banker will win, players can also place a side bet known as the Dragon Bonus. The Dragon bonus bet pays out up to 30 to 1. Unlike most casino games, baccarat is hands-off and the decisions are made by the dealer.

The early 19th Century saw Baccarat’s production broaden in both style and techniques. Its strong showings at the great exhibitions of that period – and especially at the 1867 Paris Exposition Universelle, where the company displayed its famous ‘Jusivy’ table service – would earn it customers from beyond Europe. Baccarat would go on to design monumental chandeliers for the Ottoman Sultans and the Shah of Persia, including the famous 157-light one that hangs above the entranceway of Dolmbahce Palace in Istanbul.

Baccarat’s popularity in the East prompted it to open a showroom in Bombay, which brought the company into contact with the growing market for Asian art. This, in turn, would influence the Baccarat’s own designs as the company began to incorporate elements of Chinese and Japanese art into its work. Until around 1860, Baccarat did not mark its products in any way; even after that date it only started to use a trademark in the form of a paper label attached to each piece. Today, most Baccarat pieces bear a laser-etched ‘Baccarat’ mark.