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The History of Baccarat

Baccarat is considered to be one of the oldest casino games still played today. Although, like many other games, its exact history is clouded in some mystery, Baccarat remains a popular form of amusement, and is now a popular computer game in the form of online baccarat.

The Medieval Origins of Baccarat

There is a medieval legend that suggests that the origins of the Baccarat game lie in on an old ritual. In this ancient ceremony, nine gods prayed to a blond virgin and waited for her to throw a nine-sided die. Her fate would be decided by the number shown on the die. If she threw an 8 or 9, she would become a priestess. If her throw revealed a 6 or a 7, she would be prohibited from future religious activities. If the roll of her die showed the number of 5 or below, she would have to walk into the sea.

Some believe that this attractive game developed into a game based on Tarot cards, which is said to have been played in Italy around the year 1490. The rather unusual name, Baccarat, stems from the Italian "bacara" meaning zero. This is reflected in the value of zero connected with the royal face cards and the number ten cards in the game of Baccarat.

Baccarat in Europe

The Baccarat game spread to France in the late 15th century, changing its name to "Baccarat en Banque" and later on to "Chemin de Fer" (French for 'railway'). In the latter game, the casino does not act as the banker. The players take turns in acting as banker and place bets among themselves. The game "Chemin de Fer" was played by the aristocracy in France and became very fashionable. Once it reached England, the game also became very popular, and the updated English version became known as "European Baccarat".

Baccarat has also been known to be a game for which high stakes are played. In 1990, Akio Kashiwagi, known as the "Warrior", played Baccarat at the Trump Plaza casino in Atlantic City. The Warrior made his place in Baccarat history by winning over $6 million, while betting $200,000 a hand at Baccarat. He made the mistake of returning a few months later to try his hand once again at Baccarat. The second time, after a week of playing, he left after losing almost 10 million dollars.

The game of Baccarat has a simple objective. A player may bet on their choice of two hands on the table: either that of the player or the banker. The winning baccarat hand is the one which is closer to nine. There are limits and high stakes for playing the classic casino Baccarat. Versions of the same game may also be enjoyed with lower stakes in Mini Baccarat and online Baccarat. Mini Baccarat has the same rules as American Baccarat, although the betting limits are not as high. In the classic game of Baccarat, the players themselves pass the role of playing 'banker' with each game. In Mini Baccarat, the dealer always remains the Banker.

Baccarat in the Online Casino

Following Baccarat's popularity at casinos around the globe, it appears only natural that the next big step in Baccarat history would be for this game to become a success online as well. Today, the game of Baccarat is featured at many of the best online casino sites. You can play Baccarat online with wagers as low as one credit (i.e., one dollar, one Euro, or one pound) or as high as 500 credits, so online Baccarat is definitely a game that appeals to people of all budgets and all lifestyles.

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