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Brief History of Baccarat

For many decades, baccarat has been known as a game that was only affordable by the well-to-do. These days, however, that stereotype has been put on the back burner due to the emergence of the game in online venues.

The Origins of Baccarat

Though the exact origin of baccarat is unknown, most historians date the game back to Europe--likely France of Italy--during the Middle Ages. In the beginning, baccarat was not played with 52-card decks as it is today. Instead, Tarot cards were used in their place; this was likely done for religious reasons. As such, religious groups had some issues with the game and stated that it was the work of the Devil--and so were the people who played the game.

The Evolution

A few centuries later, around the year 1500, baccarat was known as the game of choice for royalty and aristocracy as taxes placed on the game put it out of the reach of the average person. It eventually evolved into one of the game versions known today as Chemin de Fer. During the reign of Napoleon, the game began to lose some of its popularity when it was again outlawed by government officials. This was the way of baccarat until the early 1900s, when the game began to show up in casinos along the French Riviera.

Current Baccarat

The version of baccarat that is played in the United States today is a variation of the version that was introduced in the 1900s. Though there have been a few rule changes along the way, it is still played with a 52-card deck. Believe it or not, baccarat was played in Florida and New York at racetracks and other venues before it ever made its way to the casinos of Las Vegas.

The history of baccarat is one that is steeped with religious and political troubles but despite these issues, the desires of the players won consistently enough that the game of baccarat is now legal and available in dozens of countries around the world.