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The History of Baccarat
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 bissiness reports.

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 any money.