The game of baccarat is one of the oldest casino games. It was first
documented as early as the 1400’s when it appeared in France
via Italy. The name baccarat is in fact derived from the Italian word
“baccarat” which quite simply means zero. This refers
to the fact that all tens, jacks, queens and kings have a value of
zero. It also refers to any hand that has a total od zero so for instance
a hand of seven and three also equals zero and therefore baccarat.
While the game was first noted in the 1400’s it took
over 500 years to become one of the premier casino games in Europe.
In particular the game was popular among the French royalty. At
this point there were several versions being played. In Europe the
chemin de fer variation was the most popular while in England punto
banco was the game of choice. Interestingly enough it was the English
version that would make its way to the US via South America.
Over the years there have been three versions of the game that
have remained popular. These are baccarat chiming de far, baccarat
banquet and punto banco. All versions use virtually identical sets
of rules with the major difference being how the cards are dealt.
The most widespread version you will find today in casinos in the
US is punto banco or mini baccarat were the dealer deals all of
the cards and the players just bet on one of the three outcomes.
Today in most casinos in the United States you will most often
only find mini baccarat tables. This is for several reasons. The
big table versions almost always have high minimum bets so tend
to be tucked away in the high roller sections of the casinos. The
mini baccarat tables have much lower limits so are quite widespread
across casino floors.
Much like the game was popular with the French nobility it is now
one of the most popular games among the casino royalty - the high
rollers. The world biggest gamblers all seem to love the game and
it is not uncommon for millions of dollars to change hands in session.
In fact baccarat is such a big bettors game that occasionaly you
will see the losses at the baccarat tables reflected in casino annual
The most recent development in baccarat history is online baccarat.
Online casinos offer mini baccarat tables using the standard American
rules. The cards are dealt using a random number generator or RNG
and displayed as graphics on your screen. Some online gambling sites
also offer LIVE dealers where you are connected to a video link
of a real dealer dealing cards. While we don’t recommend any
particular online casinos you can in most cases play baccarat for
free so they offer a great way to learn the game without spending