is the age-old classic casino card game well-loved by several enthusiasts worldwide. Basically, this card game is a simple guessing game. Easy to learn, it is about betting which hand out of the two that are dealt – the Banker’s hand or the Player’s hand – would win. A winning hand produces the highest points out of the possible nine points.
Published statistics that baccarat players, particularly those playing in the Sin City, Las Vegas, won over $604 million in 2020, while the game’s house winnings were $643 million. Staggering figures! These have made baccarat the second-biggest money maker game in the world. They also tell us a lot about the popularity of this casino card game.
Interestingly enough, some of these players have already transitioned to playing baccarat online. Yes, the Internet version of this game is quite huge nowadays. With online baccarat, players need not spend time traveling to the location that hosts the game since they can at least play and enjoy the game even when at home. More so, there are more games available to have fun with.
For those who have been playing baccarat for so long, are you not curious about the story of this fantastic game? Knowing this can kind of boost the excitement of playing baccarat, right? So, in this discussion, you will relive the fascinating history behind baccarat. Let’s get to it.
The Mesmerizing History Of Baccarat
Origins As A Chinese Game And Ancient Roman Rituals?
The official recorded history of baccarat pegs it as a game that started somewhere between the 13th and 15th centuries, but there are interesting accounts that say it has origins as a Chinese game and even as an ancient Roman ritual way before those centuries.
According to one historical account, baccarat may have originated as some non-card games like the Chinese Pai Gow game, played using tiles instead of cards. The Chinese really love tile games – think of mahjong.
But these historians associated baccarat with this old Chinese game because of the translation of “Pai Gow,” which means “make nine,” and nine being baccarat’s best score.
Another historical presumption, also based on the game’s score of nine, traces its roots to a ritual from the ancient Roman civilization in which vestal virgins cast dice to find out their destiny.
Rolling an eight and a nine meant their fate was to become a high priestess. Rolling a six or seven meant that her vestal virginity would have to be revoked, while rolling with the rest of the numbers told her that her fate would be to walk into the sea and drown.
Again, those facts above are merely presumptions. The closest origins of today’s game would be when the renowned merchant and explorer Marco Polo returned to Italy from his expeditions.
Origins In Italy
The most official origin of baccarat is that it was created in Italy during the 15th century by a man named Felix Falguiere or Falguierein. This man called the game “baccara,” another Italian word meaning “zero,” since all the 10s and face cards were worth zero. Later on, the name transitioned to “baccarat,” which is French and has since been adopted globally.
The original baccarat game, however, was played slightly differently from how it is played today. During that time, four dealers dealt the cards, each player possessed the opportunity to be the banker, and those players could place bets versus other players and versus the house.
Nowadays, baccarat only has one dealer, bets are mostly placed versus the house, and the house is also the banker.
‘Chemin De Fer’
If baccarat were a person, they would be a traveler. From Italy, this game was transported to
neighboring France. There, it was known as “Chemin de Fer” or “Chemmy.” (We took a look at Google Translate to find out that “chemin de fer” is French for “railroad.”)
The game had been a favorite of King Charles VIII and the noblemen around him. If the Internet had existed at that time, baccarat would be viral. The game soon became a rage amongst the French aristocracy and remained that way for many centuries.
Furthermore, baccarat also reached the shores of England. In that country, Ian Fleming, the famous suspense-fiction novelist, learned how to play it and created James Bond, whose favorite game is baccarat.
Migrating To The Americas
Over the years, baccarat also migrated transatlantic toward South America and the Caribbean region. There, the game was called Punto Banco and seeped into the local culture in several ways.
Some of the game’s mechanics also changed. The players only played against the house instead of against each other. Also, the casinos acted as bankers instead of the individual players as bankers. This type of baccarat eventually became known as “American Baccarat.” Then, in the late 1950s, a man named Tommy Renzoni brought baccarat to the Sands casino in Las Vegas.
The Rise Of Online Baccarat
Time indeed flies fast, and soon after, baccarat has also become an online game with the advent of the Internet. In the 2010s, baccarat was one of the biggest casino games quickly adopted online. Today, it is just typical that both big and small internet casino businesses offer live dealer games to players on desktops and mobile devices.
Aside from this convenience, online baccarat games also offer better banking options, increasing the chances of players winning big money. Moreover, they also can enjoy more bonuses, awards, and perks, not to mention that the online just improves daily.