About the Origins of Baccarat | Short History
Today, Baccarat is one of the best games in casinos. The game is everywhere in every casino. It’s now even able to be played online at table games and live table games. However, that wasn’t always the case though, as it has been banned, outlawed by casinos, and even secluded from the public.
However, the origins of baccarat are scattered. Different countries claim to be the ones who invented baccarat, it doesn’t matter which country invented it. It only matters that it’s fun for us to play.
Baccarat was initially played with dice, so when did it start being played with cards? And when did it come to America? Was it always this popular?
The Origins of Baccarat
Let’s start with the origins of Baccarat. Who invented the game initially? Some claim that it was derived from the early Chinese game of “Pai Gow,” which was a game made up by the Chinese with the sole purpose of getting the number nine to win. Some claim that it derived from ancient religion in Italy.
Where women used to wager their faith, they would gamble their very lives in this game. It was initially thought that they used tarot cards to decide their faith. If the numbers the women got were 8 or 9, they would be named high priestesses.
They would give up their faith if they got the numbers 6 or 7. However, in the direst of situations, when they rolled anything other than 6 through 9, they had to throw themselves into the sea and drown themselves. Something that barbaric must’ve been done in ancient times.
The French picked up the game in the early 13th century and played with dice. Games in the late 13th century started being played with cards. This was because of Marco Polo, who ventured east. He went to China and learned their woodblock printing technique. He then taught the Europeans who used this early press to make cards.
This was later used to print a multitude of other things. However, this technique was popularized in card games in the late 13th century. This turned many dice games into card games, and from the 14th century onwards, this style of the game was kept.
What the French Did to Baccarat
The French changed the rules of the game and the meaning of the game from baccarat to “Chemin de Fer.” This was the French way of playing the game. In the 19th century, in 1837, King Louis Philip banned gambling in the entire country.
However, this only made the game gain in popularity. Many of the nobles played the game in underground rooms, where they would wager money against others to win lands and gain money. The game was then taken across the Atlantic to South America, where it was again changed. The rules and name changed, and it was called “Punto Banco.”
This was played in many parts of South America, but wasn’t as popular as it was in Argentina, where Tommy Renzoni picked up the game and played with many people on his travel to America.
Baccarat was introduced to America in the early 1900s, and an article was published in the New York Times. Naming it “Baccarat” and “Chemmy,” the latter is the English version of the French game Chemin de Fer.
However, it wasn’t vastly popularized until 1959, when Tommy Renzoni brought “Punto Banco” to Vegas. The game started out gaining headway, but casinos started to lose bank. So many of the casinos banned “Punto Banco” from their establishments.
Only a handful of casinos allowed Baccarat to be played in their casinos and only at specified times. In the 1970s, to be able to play baccarat, a person had to be rich and famous to get a seat. However, since then, it has been dropped from a high-roller game to a mini-game that allows the average Joe to now play. It can be played in casinos and online today and is a great way to try luck.