One of the entertaining casino games of our times, baccarat, has a very interesting past. The origin of the game can be traced back to hundreds of years back to around 1490 AD. According to historians, the name baccarat means zero in Italian. There is some confusion regarding the history of baccarat – while one of the theories has a mythological background, the other talks about an Italian gambler.
According to mythology, a virgin was supposed to perform an Etruscan ritual for nine gods in order for her fate to be revealed to her. She was supposed to roll a unique nine sided dice and the results would dictate her fate. If the dice landed on the numbers 8 or 9, the virgin would go on to become a priestess; if the numbers were 6 or 7, she would be banned from all religious activities and would be considered an outcaste by the church and if it landed on any number below 6 she would have to die.
However, according to the other theory, the more practical one, the game was invented by Felix Falguirerein, an Italian gambler, in 1490 AD. It is said during that time he used tarot cards to play the game. However, still today there are certain confusions as to whether the game actually originated in France or Italy.
During its early years, baccarat was played by the high rollers, rich and noble of the society. During that time gambling was considered an illegal activity and was banned as a result of which the games were always played in secrecy. In France, the game was made legal only after the rulers realized how much monetary transaction was taking place because of the game and began to tax the winnings; these taxes were used for the benefit of the poor. During the Napoleon’s reign, the game was declared illegal again but immediately after his reign, it was legalized and began to be played in casinos.
Overtime baccarat became extremely popular in Europe and began to spread to other parts of the world to the Americas. It was in 1950s that the Americanized baccarat was first introduced by Tommy Renzoni. The Americanized version contained elements of both European baccarat and French Chermin de fer. Soon, the game made its apearence in the popular Las Vegas casinos. To make the game more popular, an easier version, Mini baccarat was introduced which is now found in almost all casinos. Now, owing to the advancement of technology, this popular game is also available online.Tags : History