The History of Baccarat

Published on 11 February 2017

Baccarat is a popular and sophisticated casino card game. The game goes as far back as 14th century France, where it was introduced to French society through Italy. The word ‘Baccarat’ stems from the term “Baccara’, which literally translated means ‘Zero’ in Italian. Why zero? The number applies to Baccarat because all Jacks, Queens, Kings and Tens are valued at zero. Additionally, it also refers to hands that result in a zero, which is a loss. The game is credited as been created by Italian gambler Felix Falguerein. In its early stages, the game was played with tarot cards until a 52-card deck was introduced at a later stage. Before modern technology made the game accessible to all, only elites were considered worthy of playing this card game. However, people of middle to lower classes did enjoy the game in places like clubs.

Multiple Variations of Baccarat

Two versions of this game first gained popularity during this time. These two versions were Chemin de Fer and Baccarat a deux tableau, or Baccarat en Banque. Chemin de Fer is French for ‘the railway’, which itself is a metaphor for the fast pace of the game. Baccarat a deux tableau means ‘Baccarat played on two tables’. During this version of the game, three hands are dealt. In Chemin de Fer, two cards are dealt and any number of players can bet against the dealer. Here the winning hand is the hand closest to nine without going over.

American Adaption of Baccarat

Baccarat was brought to America via French and English citizens living in the country. Baccarat initially struggled to appeal to the population as they were enthralled by another card game – Blackjack. People only started taking notice of the game after Cuba adopted the game and renamed it Punto Banco. This variation differs from the original versions and was created by Cuban gambler Tommy Renzioni. The name Punto Banco means the player (Punto) and the dealer (Banco). After a period of time, many other versions of the game was created in America, although the first 3 versions are the ones that stood the test of time, and the most popular choice for casino players. Baccarat was finally introduced to the mainstream casino industry in the late 1950s in Las Vegas casinos by none other than Ol Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.

Baccarat Today

While Baccarat is not as popular as its casino table game counterparts are, it has managed to remain a constant fixture at many land-based and online casinos UK Baccarat is definitely a top-of-mind game when you think about casino card games, and is, to this day, still associated with style and prestige. This exciting game definitely makes learning the rules and strategies worthwhile.

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