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History of Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games and its history dates back to hundreds of years to around 1490 A.D. It has a very interesting history – one based on mythology and the other based on an Italian gambler. The name baccarat is supposed to have been originated from the word for ‘zero’ in Italian.

According to mythology, a virgin was supposed to perform an ancient ritual with nine gods so as to determine her fate. She had to roll a nine sided die and depending on which number the die landed on, her fate would be decided. If the die landed on the numbers 9 or 8, she would become a priestess, she would become an outcaste and not allowed to perform any religious duties if it landed on 6 or 7 and if it landed on any other number lesser than 6 then she would have to go into the ocean and die.

Though there are certain confusions regard the fact whether baccarat was first invented in France or Italy, most people believe it was invented by Felix Falguirerein, an Italian gambler. He used a deck of tarot card where the four suits of the cards resembled the four suits in a modern deck of cards.

In the initial years this game was played secretly by the noble and rich men because it was illegal. However, the French made changes in the game and gave it the name Chemin de Fer. In this version the players could control the bank. But as the game began to spread north and in Britain, this rule was gradually done away with. It became very popular with the people quickly and as the European version of the game came, new rules were made; the bank went under the control of the casinos.

In Argentina it gained popularity in wealthy South American casinos. In Cuba it was known as Punto Banco and the rules of the game underwent another set of changes and finally reached North America. It was here that the players no longer played against each other but the casino. It was a person called Tommy Renzino who introduced the game to the casinos in Las Vegas which made the game popular. But baccarat has an air of exclusivity because of which it can sometimes be intimidating. It was because of this it has not gained as much popularity as the other casino games but is a much favored game among the high rolling players.

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