Baccarat is one of the most popular games at online casinos today, with a rich and long history that goes back more than 500 years. The ancient populace considered the game to be for Aristocrats only.
With the help of casinos and, by extension, online casinos, Baccarat became an international game in no time, reaching even India. Anyone can find out where they can play Baccarat online in India or elsewhere in Asia with just a simple internet search.
In this article, I’ll point out the fascinating history of Baccarat and explain how it became such a popular game all over the world.
History of Baccarat
In the following section, I’ll discuss the Baccarat game throughout the years.
Origin of the Baccarat — Italy
When it comes to Baccarat origin, there are a variety of theories. Some believe it began in France, while others believe it began in Rome, Italy. The Italian story is regarded as an origin because it’s the most popular version and seems to be the most accurate.
Namely, Baccarat originated in Italy in the 1400s.
Falguiere created the game and named it “baccara,” which in Italian means zero because the face cards had a zero value.
Then, Baccarat spread rapidly to France, where the French spelling “Baccarat” originated. As of today, French spelling has become the norm in Europe, Asia, and the rest of the world.
According to legend, Felix created the game based on old Etruscan folklore about a virgin who threw a die with nine sides. There are different versions of the story, with some saying it was a pregnant woman. She became a priestess for every eight or nine she threw. However, if she threw a 6 or 7, she would remain alive but lose all her priestly roles. However, if she throws anything below 6, she’ll drown in the sea.
Baccarat History in France — Chemin de Fer
During the 1800s, Baccarat quickly spread from its birthplace, Italy, to its neighboring country, France. The French called it Chemin de Fer. However, as the name was shortened, many people called the game Chemmy.
During the reign of King Charles VIII, Baccarat became a game for the aristocracy in France. Interestingly, only the nobles and the wealthy people of France could participate in the game with King Charles. For many centuries, the game was popular among the rich and noble in France.
Soon after being brought to France, the game was introduced to England by French travelers. In England, Baccarat was a game for everyone to enjoy, and in a short time, it became wildly played.
After learning how to play the game, Ian Fleming conceived James Bond, a fictional character who loves Baccarat.
Baccarat spread across the ocean to South America and the Caribbean over time. In the early years of Baccarat, it was known as Punto Banco and was adapted in several ways to fit into the local culture. The main change was that the players played only against the house instead of each other. Also, the casinos acted as banks. After a while, the game became known as “American Baccarat.”
After that, Tommy Renzoni introduced the game to Las Vegas, Nevada, in the late 1950s.
In contrast to roulette and slot machines, Baccarat haven’t been played that much among casino gamblers. Due to this, casino owners marketed the game as a game for the select few by setting high minimum bets and hiding the tables in special rooms furnished with posh leather chairs. Thus, the baccarat game attracted additional attention and added to its allure.
Baccarat at Online Casinos
Since the 1990s, the online casino industry has grown rapidly and attracted millions of players.
As one of the most popular casino games in the world, the Baccarat casino game is available at most online casinos, and it’s unlikely that you’ll find one that doesn’t have at least one Baccarat variation in its selection of games.
As a result of the fast connection speed and the latest technology, players can now enjoy sharp graphics and a user-friendly interface regardless of the device they use for playing.
The stakes are typically lower when playing Baccarat online, making it more exciting and joyful.
Baccarat at Brick-and-Mortar Casinos
It’s well known that the Baccarat card game that 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, the French version of Baccarat, Chemin de Fer, also called European Baccarat, was introduced in US casinos.
Initially, the rules were complicated, players acted as bankers, and three dealers were required to be involved in the game.
Due to the high stakes, the game became most popular among wealthy players, while mass players preferred blackjack and roulette. But, after some of the issues were resolved, Baccarat became more popular among regular players.
There were also simplified rules, and three dealers were no longer needed. Instead, players needed to place an initial wager on either the player, the banker, or a “tie.” In addition, all game action was handled by the dealer, and stakes were lowered.
Old vs. New Baccarat
When you think about it, Baccarat has some pretty scary stories. Now that all that has passed, women can play the game without fear of losing their lives.
In Baccarat, throwing a number less than six means you lose. Aside from that, there are differences between how we play Baccarat today and how gamblers used to play it. In spite of this, the majority of the differences that we see in Baccarat today were adopted when the game was introduced to Americans.
Today, Baccarat only has one dealer, and players can place bets against the house, which also acts as the bank.
To sum up, the history of Baccarat goes back to the 1400s, and it was known as Baccara which translates to zero in Italian. A few centuries later, in France, in the 1800s, this game was known as Chemin de Fer or Chemmy.
After being introduced to the players in South America under the name Punto Blanco, the game of Baccarat came to Nevada around the 1850s, with slightly changed rules, and got the name — American Baccarat.
While new variants have emerged in recent years, EZ Baccarat and Super 6 Baccarat have experienced less innovation than others.
Over time, the rules of Baccarat have changed, and now there are various versions of Baccarat that casino game fans can play in land-based or online casinos.
Who was Baccarat made for?
Originally, the game was intended for aristocrats and noblemen, but today many gamblers prefer to play this game, especially high rollers in brick-and-mortar casinos.