Baccarat is one of the most exclusive games in the casino, and you can see this clearly in the way baccarat tables are arranged in the casino floor— set apart from the the rest of the gaming tables that cater to most of the casino goers by red velvet ropes. The dealers are all in tuxes and those who play must be ready to loose insane amounts of money in just one game. Definitely not a game that the average gambler can play.
“Baccarat” is the Italian and French word for zero. It is still a matter of dispute who really invented the game. The most popular version is that an Italian named Felix Falguierein was the first person who played the game, and that he played using a deck of tarot cards.
A popular myth says that the game stemmed from an ancient Etruscan ritual to determine that fate of young virgin girls. In this ritual, a young , blond virgin is surrounded by old temple priests. They will do a die toss, and the results of the toss will determine whether the virgin lived or died.
If the toss resulted to a 9 or a 10, then that meant that the girl was to become a priestess and live in the temple. If the toss was a 6 or a 7 , that meant that she can live but can no longer participate in any temple activities. If the toss resulted to a number less than 6, that meant that she had to die by drowning in the sea.
The game came to France in the late 1400s. It was a favorite of the nobility as the game “chemin de fer’ and was very popular, although very illegal. Due to its popularity, the government decided to sanction the game, and used the proceeds to help the poor.
Napoleon stopped the game when he came to power. When it agian became a legal activity casinos started to spring up all over France.
At the same time baccarat was also gaining a wide following in England. The game’s popularity was partly attributed to the fact that the rich and famous loved the game, especially Queen Victoria’s son.
The fancy dress code and the air of mystery contributed to the game’s success. It soon came to America, although not welcomed as heartily as it had been in other countries. It became more popular in Cuba, attaining its rightful place in Cuba’s most prestigious hotels.
Baccarat came back to the US due to efforts of a big shot casino exec from Las Vegas. He opened baccarat tables in the Sands, and now you can find baccarat in almost all the biggest hotels in Las Vegas, were high rollers flock to win or lose insane amounts of money in every game.