The Game of Baccarat – Historical Overview

play Baccarat onlineBaccarat is one of the oldest casino games dating back to the 14th century when it was brought from Italy to France. The name of the game comes from the Italian word “baccarat”, which, translated into English means “zero”. There is a pretty good explanation for the name, though. In Baccarat, all tens, jacks, kings and queens have a zero value. The same applies to any hand that totals zero. For instance, a hand of seven and three makes zero and therefore baccarat.

The most trustworthy historical sources claim that Baccarat derives from the Italian word for zero, but there are some arguments about the origin of the game because the French word “Baccarat” also means zero. According to the most popular version for the origin of Baccarat, it was invented by Felix Falguiere, an avid gambler from Italy. Initially, Baccarat was played with Tarot cards.

King Louis XIV – known as one of the most powerful French rulers, banned all forms of gambling, but instead of decreasing the interest in such kind of games, the prohibition had the opposite effect. Baccarat became even more popular and the French version Chemin de Fer or Chemmy, for short, became widespread.

Although the first records for the game date back to 1400s, it was not until the 19th century when Baccarat started gaining popularity in Europe. Before that, it was mainly popular among the French royalty.

As mentioned above, Baccarat became a commonly played game in Europe in the 19th century and there was a preferred variation in every country. Yet, the interest for the Chemin de Fer variation prevailed in Europe, but according to various sources, the Punto Banco was the most frequently played variation in the UK. Actually it was namely the English variation that became popular in the US as American Baccarat.

Apart from being popular among the French nobility, the game was also widespread among high rollers. It is a well-known fact that the most passionate players were keen on Baccarat and made huge single bets.

As time passed by, a lot of Baccarat versions emerged, and quite a few of them remained popular throughout the years. Some of the most commonly played Baccarat versions include Punto Banco, Baccarat Banquet and Chemin de Fer. All Baccarat variations basically have the same rules, but the way of dealing cards is the thing that sets them apart from one another.

Nowadays, the most popular variations in the US seem to be Punto Banco and Mini Baccarat where players are supposed to bet on one out of three possible outcomes. Mini Baccarat is a popular Baccarat variation for a reason.

The increasing popularity of baccarat led to the invention of Mini Baccarat where the low table limits and simplified rules attracted mass players. Today, one can indulge in a game of Baccarat even if they have an average bankroll size. The big table Baccarat versions usually have pretty high table limits, which makes them a preferred option by the high rollers, while Mini Baccarat tables have more reasonable limits.

As for the online Mini Baccarat games, they follow the American rules. The random number generator is responsible for the fairness of the game and the equal chances of winning of all participants. Some casinos also offer live dealer baccarat games where you interact with a croupier and keep a close eye on how the game action unfolds.

Nowadays, Baccarat can be found in every brick and mortar casino in every part of the globe. Chemin de Fer – the French variation of Baccarat, became popular in England, but this variation went through some change of the rules and today it is known as European Baccarat.

Tommy Renzoni has brought the game to the US and the variation he introduced was a combination of European Baccarat and the aforementioned Chemin de Fer. Despite the small changes in the rules, the game remained appealing to high rollers and players from high social classes.

baccarat table

Baccarat in Brick-And-Mortar Casinos

Baccarat is known as a game that attracts elite players and high rollers. It is among the games that have the lowest house edge of approximately 1%.

The French version of Baccarat – Chemin de Fer, also known as European Baccarat, was introduced in the US casinos in the middle of the 20th century. At first, it had complicated rules and players were supposed to take turns and take the role of a banker. The game also required three dealers to be involved.

The game became mainly popular among wealthy players as the stakes were pretty high for mass players and they preferred the well-known blackjack and roulette variations instead.

Later, these issues were figured out and Baccarat became more affordable to mass players. The rules were also simplified and there was no need for three dealers to run the game. Players had to place an initial bet on the player, banker or a “tie”. The stakes became lower and the dealer was in charge of the entire game action.

brick and mortar casino baccarat

Baccarat Online

Online casino industry emerged in the 1990s and since then, it has been a subject to a rapid development. Gone are the days of the slow computers and troublesome dial-up networks. Things have greatly improved since the dawn of the online gambling sector.

Baccarat is now a widespread game and you can hardly come across a reputable online casino that does not have at least one Baccarat variation in its portfolio.
The fast connection speed as well as the latest technologies enabled players to enjoy sharp graphics and user-friendly interface regardless of the device they use, be it a computer or a smartphone.

In point of fact, playing baccarat online is more beneficial to the player as the stakes are usually lower and there is no need to make a trip to the nearest land-based casino to enjoy your favourite game.

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