Baccarat is, without any doubt, one of the most appreciated casino games today. But mostly online. And it has a deep and ancestral history spanning over 500 years. Back then, the game was only reserved to aristocrats.
With the help of casinos and, consequently, online casinos, baccarat quickly became an international game, reaching the four corners of the world. No need to scroll for hours on the Internet to find a live dealer baccarat online casino.
In this article, let’s discover together the fascinating history of baccarat and see how it became such a beloved game all over the world.
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Game Made In Italy
There are many theories regarding the origin of baccarat. Some believe the game originated in France, while others believe it originated in Rome, Italy. The Italian story is considered the most plausible one because it is the most spread version and seems to be the most accurate.
Namely, baccarat originated in Italy in the 1400s.
Felix Falguiere, a gambler of the 15th century, created the game and called it “baccarat”, which means “zero” in Italian, because the face cards had zero value.
Then baccarat quickly spread to France, where the spelling “baccarat” actually originated. Nowadays, French pronunciation has become the norm in Europe, Asia and the rest of the world.
According to the legend, Falguiere designed the past time based on an old Etruscan folklore about a maiden who threw a nine-sided die. There is more than one tale of this story. In some, they say that it was a pregnant woman. She became a priestess on a roll of 8 or 9. However, if she rolls a 6 or 7, she survives but loses all of her priestly roles. And, if she rolls anything below 6, she will drown in the sea.
History of Baccarat in France: Chemin de Fer
During the 1800s, baccarat quickly spread from Italy, where it originated, to the neighboring country, France. The French people rebaptized it -Chemin de Fer-. However, since the name has been shortened, many people have called the game Chemmy.
During the reign of King Charles VIII, baccarat became a game for the upper class in France. Interestingly, only the nobles and rich people of the kingdom could take part in the game with King Charles. For many centuries, the game has been popular among the French aristocracy.
Shortly after being brought to France, the game was imported to England by French travelers. In England, baccarat was a game for everyone, and in a short time everyone began to play it.
After learning how to play the game, Ian Fleming created the famous character, James Bond. A fictional gentleman spy who loves baccarat.
When Fleming wrote the novels, it was an immensely enjoyed game. It is then not a coincidence that he had his creation to gamble baccarat.
Most famously, we meet Bond playing Chemin de Fer in the first Dr. No film. This game is slightly different from standard baccarat. One of the players is a banker, and along the way, this role changes counterclockwise. Like other variants of baccarat, the player tries to hit as many eights or nines as possible in order to win. Since chemin de fer is often played in native French, it is not surprising that Fleming felt it should be a signature game for its cosmopolitan nature.
Over time, baccarat navigated the oceans to reach South America and the Caribbean. In the early years, baccarat was known as Punto Banco and has been adapted in several ways to fit into the local culture. The main change was that the players only played versus the casino. But never against each other. In addition, casinos acted as banks. After a while, the game became the “American Baccarat”.
Following this, Tommy Renzoni, who later wrote a book about the game, brought Baccarat to Las Vegas, Nevada in the late 1950s.
Unlike roulette and slots, baccarat was not as popular among casino players. Because of this, the casino owners promoted the game as a game for the elite.
It set high minimum bets and hid the tables in special rooms furnished with plush leather chairs. Thus, the game of baccarat has grabbed further attention and added to its appeal.
Baccarat At Online Casinos
Since the 1990s, the online casino industry has grown rapidly and has attracted millions of players.
As one of the most enjoyed casino entertainment in the world, the Baccarat game is available at most online casinos and it is unlikely that you will find one that does not have at least one variation of Baccarat in its range of games.
Thanks to high internet speeds and the latest technology, players can now enjoy beautiful graphics and a user-friendly interface no matter what device they use to play.
The stakes are generally lower when playing baccarat online, which makes it more exciting and fun.
Baccarat At Regular Casinos
It is well known that the card game baccarat attracts high rollers. The house edge is approximately 1%, making it one of the games with the lowest house edge.
In the middle of the 20th century, Chemin de Fer, the French version, also called European baccarat, was introduced to US casinos.
Initially, the rules were complicated, the players acted as bankers, and the game required the participation of three dealers.
Due to the high stakes, the game became the most popular among wealthy players, while the general mass of players preferred blackjack and roulette. But after some problems were solved, baccarat became more appreciated among regular players.
The rules were also simplified and three dealers were no longer needed. Instead, players needed to place an initial bet on either the player, the banker, or “tie”. In addition, all game actions were controlled by the dealer, and the stakes were reduced.
Old and New Baccarat
Baccarat’s story started with a scary legend. Now that all this is over, women can play this game without fear of losing their lives.
But some parts of the legend are anchored in the game. In baccarat, getting a number less than six means you’ve lost. Also, there are differences between how we play baccarat today and how players used to play the game in the past. Despite this, most of the differences we see in baccarat today were embraced when the game arrived in the US.
Today, baccarat has only one dealer and players can bet against the house that also acts as the pot.