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The Rich Yet Mysterious History of Baccarat

Diesen Artickel einschätzen Baccarat is known as a mainstay and go-to game in most casinos. However, did you know it has a rich and rather colorful history? Let's dive into it: Online Bingo Spiele - The Rich Yet Mysterious History of Baccarat

Baccarat is a popular card comparing game that is usually played at casinos. Players can bet on three outcomes; the player’s hand to win, the banker’s hand, or a tie.

There are then no further decisions to be made. The dealer reveals the hands, and the players either win or lose the bet.

Although dealing with the hands is quite complex, baccarat is a simple game for the players, which is part of its appeal. It can be found on the Vegas Strip and some larger local casinos and is also very popular in the East. In fact, at one point, baccarat accounted for over 70 percent of Macau’s gaming revenue.

Not as popular as roulette, baccarat can be difficult to find depending on your location. It is, however, possible to find online baccarat games on casino platforms. They are available around the clock, meaning online baccarat is the most accessible out there. The current most popular form of baccarat that players will find most often online is punto banco. It is played against the house. But it wasn’t always that way.

This article takes a look at the rich and often mysterious history of baccarat.

Possible early origins

Baccarat only comes into recorded history in anything resembling its current form in the last few hundred years. But its origins are likely much more ancient. Like many card games, baccarat potentially evolved from older games.

In this case, baccarat has been linked to the Chinese domino game Pai Gow, which is thousands of years old and also holds many mysteries. The name translates to “make nine,” which was the game's aim. Nine is the highest baccarat score, where the games seem linked.

Baccarat has also been linked to a Roman myth. According to the myth, priestesses worshipping the Goddess Vesta were given dice to roll. The outcome of the roll would determine their fate.

If they rolled an eight or nine, they would be elevated to high priestess status. If they rolled a six or seven, they would be allowed to live. If they rolled lower than a six, they would be forced to walk into the ocean and drown.

It’s a brutal story, but in it, we see a couple of hints of links to baccarat. First, the story points towards fate or chance, which are a factor in all casino games. Second, the numbers eight and nine, which are high baccarat scores.

Baccarat is born

It’s possible that baccarat evolved from Pai Gow, and even that its scoring was based on a Roman myth. But the verifiable birth of baccarat didn’t come until the 15th century when Felix Falguierein invented “baccara,” possibly influenced by earlier games like Macao.

Baccara means zero. It refers to the value of all tens and face cards, which is still true in today’s versions of the game. In baccarat though, players would take turns being the
banker and could bet against each other.

In the late 15th century, baccara traveled from Italy to France, likely with soldiers returning from duty. There, French nobility invented several other versions of the game, including baccarat banque and Chemin de fer.

Baccarat game

Modern history of baccarat

In 1847, Charles Van Tenac documented a full mathematical analysis of baccarat, solidifying its place in history. Whatever happened previously, the mystery ends here, with definitive proof of the game’s existence.

From this point, baccarat goes global. It is first mentioned as being played in America in a New York Times article in 1871. A few years later, in 1886, it is mentioned in the Daily Telegraph in the UK.

Still, baccarat struggled to gain popularity, so much so that it was left out of Western gambling laws of the time. It wasn’t until the 1950s that a new version of baccarat was born and the game would find its place.

Punto banco is born

In the 1950s, the baccarat that we know and love today came out of casinos in Havana, Cuba. Punto banco was born. Unlike in baccarat banque and Chemin de fer, in this version of baccarat, players bet not against each other but against the banker.

This was a great change for casinos, who could now directly take bets from players. It became the standard variation of baccarat adopted by casinos in Europe and on the Vegas strip.

In 1953, James Bond played a baccarat game against Le Chiffre in the original Casino Royal film. This brought a boost of fame to baccarat.

Still, by the 1970s, there were only a handful of baccarat tables on the Strip. Its popularity was overshadowed by other casino table games like roulette and blackjack. That’s why baccarat was marketed as an exclusive, high-roller offering, an image which it still has today.

Baccarat today

Punto Banco is still the version of baccarat played at casinos and online casinos today. It is by far the most popular type of baccarat, so much so that the name “punto banco” is rarely used. Instead, it is simply called “baccarat.”

Live baccarat has grown in popularity over the years, especially in the East but also on the Vegas Strip and beyond. You’ll usually be able to find a baccarat game at a casino.

At online casinos, baccarat has become a staple offering. It is one of the table games that’s nearly always running. Many online casino games will also offer live dealer baccarat.

Baccarat’s history is rich, and it isn’t going anywhere.

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