Baccarat is a firm favorite at online and land-based casinos, and is believed to have been around since the late 1400s! Its origin isn’t certain, although it is estimated that the game emerged from either France or Italy, with the name ‘Baccarat’ being the Italian term for zero. Baccarat has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a form of entertainment for French soldiers who were returning from battle in Italy.
Today, you can find Baccarat on online casinos, where it is present in a variety of forms. It’s included in many sites’ live casino games, where you can play the game virtually, with a professionally trained dealer. If you’re a fan of Baccarat, then read on, as we reveal three interesting facts that you may not have known about the game.
Punto Banco – A Cuban variant of the game
Baccarat’s popularity surged when it traveled across the Atlantic Ocean and hit Cuba, where it was known as Punto Banco. The game was influenced by the vibrant Cuban culture, evolving into American Baccarat.
The game was later adopted widely by American casinos and became ‘Mini Baccarat’, which other than a few minor adaptations, followed the main rules of the original game of Baccarat. However, among all the variants of Baccarat, this version was the easiest to play and is still present on online casinos, making it the perfect choice for a beginner who wants to start playing the game.
Baccarat in the movies
The luxurious, romantic nature of Baccarat has seen it feature many times on the big screen. Its most memorable appearance would probably be in the James Bond films, played by Agent 007 himself. Sean Connery is seen playing Chemin de Fer, an old version of the game when he visits a classic casino. It goes without saying that Bond won this round of Baccarat.
Interestingly, Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series was an avid player of Baccarat. Much of the ideas that were used in his writing were inspired by his love for gambling and his experiences in his local casinos.
Rush Hour 3 also features Chemin de Fer, and is played by Chris Rock’s character in a Paris casino. The scene depicts the character thinking that he had won the game but then realizing that he had received a less-than-desirable hand. It just goes to show, even in the movies, Lady Luck needs to be on your side in order to come out on top.
The meaning of the name Baccarat
Many casino games, like Blackjack, for example, take their name from the most valuable hand that you can hold, however, Baccarat takes a different route. The name Baccarat, as previously mentioned, is derived from the old Italian word for zero. The word, therefore, represents the worst possible hand that you could possess.
When the game entered France, the pronunciation of the name changed, meaning that the accurate pronunciation of the game is not ‘Baccarat’ but rather, ‘Baccarah’, omitting the letter t. So, if you ever find yourself in a French casino playing the illustrious game, adjust your pronunciation – it might just earn you some credit with the French players.