Published On: Tue, Jan 15th, 2019

History of the Baccarat Game & Its Impact on Modern Gaming

History of the Baccarat Game & Its Impact on Modern Gaming

Baccarat is pretty much the oldest casino game in the market, with rarely any other game boasting the same rich history and tradition. Although it is a mainstay in casinos worldwide, that has not always been the case. Historical literature considers Baccarat as the game of royalty, as French and Italian aristocrats, along with the members of the ruling family were fond of the game in its primitive form. However, it lost its sheen during the period between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. There was a time when pit bosses and dealers were struggling to fill up empty slots at their baccarat tables and had to resort to entertainment, offers, and bonuses to lure gamers into the empty tables.

It wasn’t until the later parts of the 20th century that Baccarat gained popularity among the masses, with several pop culture references making it a highly sought-after table on a casino floor. Despite its royal lineage in Europe, the present-day version of the game has found favor among wealthy Asian gamblers, with several leading casinos from all over the world reporting their highest-ever earnings from their Baccarat tables. The main reason behind the popular casino game baccarat being exposed to high-net-worth-individuals may be due to the fact that it offers the best odds to the players with the lowest house edge, which makes it the least risky option of all games in a casino. In this article, we will take a closer look at the origins and history of Baccarat, and its impact on the modern casino gaming industry.

 

History of the Game

Rumor mills have it that the game was conceived during the 14th and 15th century Europe, where French soldiers returning from their Italian conquests brought the game with them to be played in the French barracks. However, there are conflicting reports about whether the French or the Italians were responsible for inventing the game, as some credit an Italian by the name of Felix Falguierein to be the person responsible for creating the very first version of Baccarat.

Felguierein is supposed to have developed the game from Tarot cards during the 1300s, whereby, the entire concept revolved around the mythical ritual that involved nine gods and a virgin. There are some similarities between modern baccarat and the ritual, where the virgin’s fate was decided by the roll of dice. In the original game, a result of eight or nine will lead to the virgin being crowned as a priestess; a six or seven would forbid the virgin to take part in any religious activities; while a result that was lower than six would require the virgin to sacrifice her life by walking into the ocean. The same concept is used in baccarat, where the dice are replaced by cards, and the value of the cards determine the ultimate winner.

One may argue that Italy was home to several card games that resembled Baccarat, such as Macao and Le Her, which does create a lot of confusion among historians of the concept. However, the modern version of the game was undoubtedly developed in France during the reign of King Charles VIII, which quickly became the most-preferred game among the French nobility. The game continued to gain popularity during Napoleon’s reign, which helped the game to reach other European countries such as England during Napoleon’s expansion.

 

Evolution through the Years

Although there are many theories about the origins of baccarat, the game certainly evolved in France from the late 1450s to the 19th century, where, it even endured a ban on gambling during the rule of Louis Phillip. Underground gambling became more popular during this era, but it was only in 1847 that the game got its first taste of legitimacy in the form of a detailed mathematical analysis performed by Charles Van-Tenac. Van-Tenac outlined a 13-page analysis in his Album des Jeux, where the author covered different mathematical aspects of the game.

There are different versions of the game in circulation around the world, with the Punto Banco Baccarat and Chemin de Fer being the most popular versions. Punto Banco Baccarat, otherwise known as Baccarat en Banque is more popular in the United States and casinos around the world, while Chemin de Fer, or the non-banking version, is popular in Europe and is sometimes known as Nevada Baccarat or railroad Baccarat. As for the name of the game itself, it’s been derived from the French and Italian words that roughly translate to the number zero.

 

Baccarat in Modern Gaming

Baccarat is responsible for being one of the most important sources of profits and cash flow for casinos, where they are usually set in high-limit sections of a casino floor. Despite the influx of high-rollers in the market, regular players are also slowly taking notice of the low house edge and incredible payouts that are on offer. Today, you can bet on a baccarat hand with just 50 cents or a dollar, or better still, web-based casinos offer table limits that start from $0.10.

Casinos are seeing a massive departure from its traditional land-based roots to an online platform, where players have an option to choose any casino worldwide. Smartphones and tablets have also enabled gamblers to access their casino accounts on the move, which has further made the game accessible for those that don’t have access to a local casino. Due to the popularity of web-based gaming apps, developers have started introducing several modern variations of the Baccarat such as the Mini-Baccarat, where players can enjoy faster gameplay, smaller betting options, and generally more manageable table limits.

Online casino reviewers and gambling resources are also improving the way we perceive gaming through an online platform. Websites such as baccarat.net offer an in-depth evaluation of the best online casinos in the market, all the while providing significant insights into how one can play baccarat successfully. Baccarat has certainly evolved into one of the best games in the market and will continue to be a favorite choice for gamblers for the years to come.

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