Baccarat is one of the world’s oldest casino games and it can trace its roots all way back to the 1400s in France. The name “baccarat” is actually Italian and quite literally means, zero- a reference to the fact that in the game, tens, jacks, queens, and kings, have a value of such. It also is a reference to the fact that a hand such as seven and three has a value of zero- or in other words, baccarat.
One of the oldest games
Whilst the game is 700 years old, it took around 500 years for it to gain the popularity that it enjoys today. Nowadays in 2017, it is one of the premier casino games in not just Europe, but the world. Thanks to the internet, players no longer have to go to a casino or specialist place, they can play away to their heart’s content on a mobile device or computer. If you want to try playing this ancient and exciting game yourself, you can play baccarat online here. Whilst the game was once very popular with French royalty, it is now enjoyed by individuals from all walks of life.
The problem was that Baccarat was at one time, overshadowed by another popular game; blackjack. It was only after it saw a surge in popularity in Cuba, where it was called Punto Banco (which later became North American blackjack) and became one of the most popular games in the world. The Cuban responsible for its increasing popularity was a professional gambler called Tommy Renzioni and the name he gave it referred to the two main participants in the game the dealer (banco) and the player (punto). After it spread to the US other versions of the game were developed but the original Cuban style game prevailed as the most popular. When it came to the game being introduced to the gambling halls of Las Vegas, it was all down to a very famous man- Frank Sinatra. Not only an extremely talented singer, dancer and actor, Sinatra was also known for being a very prolific and successful gambler who often frequented some of the world’s largest and most glitzy casinos!
Over the last few hundred years, several different variations of the game have developed, some that are more popular than others. These include Baccarat Chiming de Far, Baccarat Banquet, and Punto Banco. These three variations have almost identical rules, but the main difference is the way in which the cards are dealt. The most popular version that you will find in a casino- online or otherwise- is mini baccarat/punto banco. This is where the dealer deals the whole pack of cards and the players have the chance to bet on just one of three possible outcomes. One reason for their popularity is that as a small table game, it means that it has smaller minimum bets so is more accessible for all- this means they are very popular and the type you are most likely to find in a regular land casino.
That said, nowadays when you see players playing, it is not uncommon to see millions of dollars change hands on the tables. In fact, it is such a popular game for high rollers and so much money can be won or lost on the game that it is not unusual to see these events reflected in the casino annual business reports!
Baccarat and the future
The most recent development in the world of baccarat is of course the prevalence of online gambling that has brought this wonderful game to a whole new generation of players. This time, the cards are dealt by a random number generator and beautiful graphics and sound effects have revolutionised the gaming experience. Some casinos even offer a live dealer option where players can interact with a real dealer who deals in real time.
Baccarat is one of the most glamorous and exciting games you can play in a casino- be in online or traditional bricks and mortar. Of course, its recent surge in popularity is predominantly down to the popularity of the internet and the fact that a new generation of gamblers have been introduced to the games that are available. The best way to find out is to try it for yourself, so what are you waiting for?