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Baccarat: The History
Baccarat is the most sophisticated and upscale game at the casinos. Remember James Bond with the two beautiful girls hanging over the table while he rakes in a pile of chips of 10,000 or more. This is baccarat, simple to master, fun and easy to play.
To keep baccarat the game of high rollers, the casino generally puts the baccarat tables in their own room or behind velvet ropes. The dealers are dressed in tuxedos with a couple of girls dressed in evening gowns with low cut necklines.
What makes this simple game so appealing? That’s a question only the player can answer. Some say they love the simplicity of the game, others play because of the really low house edge and still others enjoy the James Bond affect with its sense of elegance and high stakes. One thing you will always hear is baccarat is a highly profitable game for the casino.
It is commonly accepted that the Italians invented baccarat and it was introduced in France during the reign of Charles VIII, who ruled from 1483 to 1498. The term baccarat in both Italian and French means “Zero” and was originally played with a Tarot deck. In medieval France, the game was popular with the French nobility, and it eventually evolved into “Chemin de Fer”, a variation that is stil played today. The game then migrated to England, where it underwent further development, and “European baccarat” emerged. Baccarat first spread to South America from England and eventually up to Cuba. Baccarat came to America through the casinos of Havana and was introduced in Vegas in the 1950’s. The game became more popular in Las Vegas largely through the efforts of Frank Sinatra who was co-owner of the Sands at the time. The game at that time was exclusively targeted to high rollers. In more recent years many US casinos are offering mini baccarat with lower steaks and played on a standard blackjack shaped table.
The baccarat table has three positions that you can place your bets on, player, banker and tie. The term player does not refer to you the gambling customer and banker does not refer to the house, they are simply an option on which gamblers can place their bets.
It is an unusual game in that any score of ten is worth zero or baccarat. Nine is the highest score that you can achieve. Two face cards would have a score of zero and a nine and six would not equal 15, but 5, you drop the leading digit. A nine and ace equal zero, with the ace counting as one. Only two cards are dealt to the player (gambler), on some occasions three cards, the hand with the highest count closer to 9 or 9 wins the bet. The tie bet is won when both hands are equal. This tie bet usually pays a multiple of the bet.
There are 3 accepted variations of baccarat: BaccaratChemin de Fer (railway), Baccarat Banque (or a deux tableau) and Punto Banco (North American baccarat). Punto Banco is played in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Mini baccarat is becoming very popular because of the lower stakes. It is essentially the same game as Punto Banco, but played on a table similar to a blackjack table. Baccarat and mini baccarat can be found at most casinos across the United States and Canada. Most online casinos have baccarat and it is very popular with because of the fast pace and the chance to win big bucks.
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