The History of Baccarat

Some claim this game has been here for ages, others say it's only a century old. The history of Baccarat is quite confusing, with various sources claiming different things. Only a few things are known for sure. It was popular among French noblemen, was brought to England in the second half of the XIX century, and took quite a long time to become popular around the world. So, let’s dive into the possible origins of the Baccarat.

Origins of Baccarat

Origins of Baccarat

Though born from the same womb as Blackjack and Pontoon, Baccarat is rather a new game in gambling history. The history of the Baccarat game is quite convoluted. The mentioning of this game first appeared in British newspapers in the 1800s, but that doesn’t mean that the game originated in the XIX century. This gives a lot of space for speculation about the origins of the game and how old it is.

But, mostly, gambling historians agree that Baccarat is more likely the descent of the card game known as Basset, which came to France from Italy in the XV century. It quickly became the favorite game of the French nobility. The game’s rules changed with time, and Basset transformed into Baccarat. In the 1860s, the game was brought to England where it enjoyed even more success, before finally reaching the other side of the Atlantic several decades later.

Baccarat’s Rules and Versions

Nowadays, Baccarat is played pretty much all around the globe, in different versions with slightly different rules in different territories. For example, the European version is played, guess where? Right across Europe, except France and England, where the French version, which is called “Chemin de fer” (Iron Path), is highly popular. The North American variant, known as “American Baccarat” or “Punto Banco” (Player Banker), and its lower-stake version “Mini-Baccarat” is a mix of European and French versions.

Despite the number of variations, all in all, Baccarat is a game played with a few decks of cards that are dealt to the player and the dealer, or banker in the American version. Baccarat’s main goal is to score total points closest to 9 and not exceed it.

The bets can be placed on both the player and the dealer. Bets on the tie are possible as well. When the bets are made, each side is dealt two cards.

There are basic rules that determine how the numbers are counted in Baccarat. The court cards count as zero. If the points total is over 10 the left-hand digit drops 10 points. It goes the following way, if the initial digit was 18 it turns 8, 16 turns 6, and so on. If your hand is worth both 8 and 9, while the opponent’s hand is worth less, you’re winning.

There are some cases in Baccarat when the third card is dealt. In the case of the player, everything is simple, when the player’s total is 5, he is dealt another card.

The rules that determine when the banker can draw another card are wider. Everything depends on the player’s total, except in the case when the banker’s hand digit is 2, he can take another card regardless of the player’s hand.

All other cases depend on the dealer’s hand (D.H.) total and the player’s third card (P.T. C.):

  • D.H. 3 – P.T. C. 8
  • D.H. 4 – P.T.C. 0, 1, 8 or 9
  • D.H. 5 – P.T.C. 4, 5, 6 or 7
  • D.H. 6 – P.T.C. 6 or 7

The dealer stands when his hand total is 7.

Baccarat’s Rules and Versions

Baccarat’s Bets and Payouts

There are 3 ways of betting in Baccarat. Bets can be placed on the banker, on the player, or on a tie. If you win betting on the player, your payout will be 1/1, i.e. you get winning that corresponds to your stake, and you get back your stake itself.

The payout will be quite the same when betting on the banker, but because of the statistical edge the banker has over the players, you’ll have to pay a 5% commission off your winnings.

You can bet on a tie as well but beware. While betting on a tie payout stands for 8/1 or in some cases 9/1, according to a sad statistic only 14% of gamblers are lucky enough to win.

8 Deck Baccarat odds and payouts
Baccarat Common bets: Odds, Payouts & house Edge – 8 Deck
Bet Odds Payout House Edge %
Banker Bet 46% 0.95:1 1.06
Player Bet 44.62% 1:1 1.26
Tie Bet 9.52% 8:1 14.34

Where to Play Baccarat Online?

Now, after going through the history of Baccarat and its rules, you may wonder where you can play it. As with the land-based casinos, Baccarat is presented in almost every online gambling venue. The only thing you need to do is to pick the right one to play at. Checking out the independent reviews, customers’ testimonials, and casino licenses will help you make your choice. Afterward, go straight ahead into enjoying this exciting card game.

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