History of Baccarat

While baccarat has long been known as a game for the famous and well-to-do, recent changes have made the game accessible to everyone, regardless of their social status or amount of wealth.

The Origins of Baccarat

The game of baccarat originated during the Middle Ages in Europe, though its exact country of origin is still unknown. The word 'baccarat' is derived from the Italian word for zero, so the game is often thought to have originated in Italy; French historians often argue this theory, however. In the beginning, the game was played with Tarot cards instead of the standard 52-card decks that are used today.

Baccarat and the Church

While the game of baccarat was growing in popularity among European countries, the Church found fault in the way the game was played and declared it the work of the Devil. Tarot cards were first used by Italian Felix Galguiere; it is thought that the basis for the game were the nine Etruscan gods. In early game variations, players were required to roll dice in order to determine the fate of the 'woman' since the Etruscan gods demanded the sacrificing of a blond virgin.

Evolution into Modern Baccarat

The Tarot cards were replaced for standard decks and the game evolved into more modern baccarat around the year 1500. The game was illegal at this time but still wildly popular. Because of this, the government eventually legalized the game but taxed it to the point that it became difficult for the average person to afford. This is why the game became notorious as being exclusive to the rich and famous; they were the only class that could afford the high taxes. Eventually, sometime around the early 1800s, the game made its way into the United States and was popularized by bricks-and-mortar casinos. The introduction of online baccarat made the game accessible by everyone.

The history of baccarat is rich and full of tales of royalty, evil deeds and migration. Today, the game is only known as a standard casino game and is enjoyed by all kinds of people, regardless of their wealth or social standing.