Today, baccarat is one of the most popular games in casinos all over America and Macau. In French, the word "Baccara" means “zero," referencing the value of 10 and face cards. Ironically, baccarat creates greater revenue swings than any other table game. And, while no one disputes baccarat's rich heritage, it’s history is a bit of a mystery. What is certain is that American Gambler and Casino Boss Tommy Renzoni discovered “Punto Banco” in Cuba. The Cubans adopted it from the Argentinians, and the French version, Chemin de Fer, was nicknamed “Chimney” when it debuted in 1958 at the Sands Las Vegas. It’s this modern version of baccarat that we know and play today at casinos like Bitcoin Casino.
Legend has it, French nobility was responsible for baccarat’s popularity, adopting the game from soldiers returning from the 1490s Italian conflicts instigated by the French King Charles VIII. The French tell tales of two forms of baccarat being in vogue while Napoleon was sacking Europe; a banking game called Baccarat en Banque (Baccarat Deux Tableaux) and Baccarat Chemin de Fer, a non-banking version. The words “Chemin de Fer” mean “iron way” or “railway,” symbolizing the action of the shoe moving around the table to different players. In 1911, “Baccarat en Banque” was described by The Official Rules of Card Games Hoyle - Up to Date, simply as “baccarat," and the book makes a clear distinction between Baccarat and Chemin de Fer, always listing them separately.
The true origins of modern baccarat are probably lost to history, but the first time the game (spelled Baccara) was mentioned in print was in 1847 in Charles Van-Tenac’s “Album des jeux.” Volume 1 of Hoyle’s Official Rules of Card Games published in 1989 describes Baccarat as having a direct relationship with Vingt-et-un, French for “21.” Unfortunately, the written record that would document the origins and evolution of the game is incomplete. Italy takes credit for being the game’s birthplace sometime during the 13th and 14th centuries, while crediting Felix Falguiere for the game’s modern form derived from another popular early Italian card game called “Macao” in the 15th Century. Macao (no relation to the Chinese Special Administrative Region and gaming mecca) is often referred to as “Italian Baccarat.” In 1967, G. TH. Guilbaud’s theory in Les problemes de la stastistique suggested Le Her, another fixed-number game seeking the highest possible point total, was the actual predecessor to baccarat. Game theory analysts Deloche and Oguer agree. In 1959, the gambling industry changed forever when Tommy Renzoni brought Punto Banco, a new version of baccarat, from post-Castro Cuba via Argentina to Las Vegas. It’s this modern version of baccarat that we know and play today.
The history of baccarat wouldn’t be complete without a reference to Bond, James Bond, and the iconic casino scene featuring Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in the 1962 British spy film “Dr. No.” Chemin de Fer is the sexy game favored by the fictional secret agent. In numerous novels by Ian Fleming, Bond plays baccarat. Most notable was his 1953 debut Casino Royale, in which the entire plot revolves around a baccarat game between Bond and SMERSH operative Le Chiffre. The unabridged version of the novel actually includes a primer for readers unfamiliar with the game. Other Bond films that feature baccarat include Thunderball, Casino Royale, For Your Eyes Only, and GoldenEye.
Baccarat is played with six decks. Live tables can accommodate up to 14 players. For superstitious reasons, the seat number 13 is omitted and the number 15 is substituted. No matter online or live, it’s you against the banker. You can place your bet on the player, banker, a tie, or any combination of the three. This are no other betting rounds. If you bet on a tie and win, you get paid 9 to 1. One hand is dealt to the player and one to the dealer. The player goes first. The best score is nine and the lowest is zero. The object is to beat the dealer by scoring 9 or closest to it.
RANKS: In baccarat, the suit of the card has no bearing on value.
• Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings are worth zero.
• Aces have a value of one.
• Deuce through nine are face value.
• The values of the cards are added. The sums of ten are subtracted. For instance, a 4 and 8 equal 2. A king and 7 equal 7.