The Long History of Baccarat

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There is controversy over the exact origins of the game of Baccarat. The name Baccarat is derived from the French meaning for the Italian word “baccara” which means “zero”. The game is named such due to the zero value that is attributed to all ten and face cards in the game.


It is most commonly believed that the game originated in Italy in the Middle Ages. It is believed that Felix Falguiere, a gambler, developed the game. It is also believed that the game may have come from an Etruscan ritual to the nine gods which involved the rolling of a nine-sided die and the use of tarot cards. During the Franco-Italian war in the late 15th century, soldiers of King Charles VIII are thought to have brought the game to France. The game was originally played by French nobility, but it did later filter down to the other classes. There is also a close similarity between blackjack and baccarat and this has led to the belief among some people that the game of baccarat was derived from blackjack.


The Spread of Baccarat


Chemin de Fer is the French variation of baccarat. This game first spread to other regions in Europe where the rules were adapted and the game became known as European baccarat. European baccarat first spread to South America.  The game arrived in the US in the 1910s where it was played in New York in illegal casinos; however it did not become popular as players preferred the similar game of blackjack. In the 1950s, the Cuban government closed casinos in Havana and Tommy Renzoni, who was running a baccarat hole in Havana at the time, brought a variation of the game to the US. Renzoni’s game was a blend of European baccarat and Chemin de Fer. The game was first found in the Dunes Casino in Las Vegas where it gained in popularity and can now be found at land-based and online casinos around the world. There are slight variations between the games in different countries, although the basic premises remain the same. Baccarat is known as Punto Banco in the US and as Baccarat en Banque in Europe, while it remains known as Chemin de Fer in France and Spain.


Baccarat Today


The game of baccarat is now popular around the world and different variations of the game are available. It has traditionally been a game that has attracted high rollers, although it has become more common among all players. More recently, the variation of mini baccarat was invented.

 

 

The game is similar to regular baccarat and is most related to the American version of the game. Differences in the rules include the lack of the passing of the shoe, lower table limits and only one dealer. Only the dealer deals the cards, not the players. In addition, the game is played on smaller tables than the regular larger sized baccarat tables. Mini baccarat is generally the variation of the game that is played at online casinos. Online casinos have made the game even more popular, making it accessible to a huge audience with all sizes of bankroll. The game is no longer considered to be exclusive to the nobility, although despite the low table limits that are available, the game is still very popular among the high rollers of online casinos. Live dealer baccarat games are also growing in popularity, offering an online game with live dealers that are viewed in real time via webcam technology. Not all online casinos offer live dealer games, but among those that do, live dealer baccarat is almost always available.

 

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