One of the oldest games still played, Baccarat is has an interesting history dating back hundreds of years. According to much of the written Baccarat history, the game dates back to 1490AD and its’ name comes from the Italian word for ‘zero’. There are two interesting stories of how the game was invented, with one of them being based on mythology and the other about an Italian gambler.
The mythology behind Baccarat history is about a blonde virgin who was to perform an old Etruscan ritual with nine gods waiting anxiously for her fate to be revealed. The gods waited on their tiptoes while the virgin rolled a nine sided die. Once the die landed, her fate was set. Depending on the number that the die landed on, she would have one of three different fates. Landing on the 8 or the 9 would mean the virgin would become a priestess. If the die landed on the 6 or the 7 she would be outcast by the church and banned from all religious activities from that day on. The virgins fate was not so good if the die were to land on any number lower than a 6, because it would mean that her fate was to walk into the sea and parish.
There is question as to whether the game was first created in Italy or France. The most traditionally believed origin of บาคาร่า is that it was invented by an Italian gambler, Felix Falguirerein in 1490 AD using a deck of Tarot cards. Tarot cards have long used to predict a persons fate and the four suits of the Tarot were the basis of the four suites the decks of cards used today.
During the early years of Baccarat the game was only played by nobleman and was played in secrecy because it was illegal. After France realized how much money was changing hands, they made it legal and started taxing the winnings. The tax was then used to develop poor areas of the country. Around the time Napoleon held rule of France Baccarat was once again made illegal but after Napoleon’s reign ended the game was legalized again and began being played in casinos.
Baccarat was an extremely popular game and people all over Europe starting playing and the popularity spread outside of Europe. South America was the first area west of the Atlantic Ocean where Baccarat was played.
Late in the 1950s an Americanized version of Baccarat was introduced by Tommy Renzoni. This new version was a combination of the European Baccarat and the French ‘Chermin de fer’. The Dunes Casino in Las Vegas quickly picked up the game. Due to the scope of the original version, Mini Baccarat came about and is what you now see being played in American casinos.