How to Play Baccarat for Beginners
Like any historical account, the history of Baccarat has its varying versions. Some gambling scholars believe that the inception of the game occurred in Italy, whilst others reason that it was in fact France that contributed to the game’s invention.
This Italian word for the game is Baccara and the French Baccarat, although English speakers, especially the Americans, like to add a ‘t’ sound at the end of it. The correct pronunciation is in fact closest to the Italian spelling of the word: Baccara or phonetically, (bä k -rä ).
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It is interesting to note that all card games, including Baccarat, were invented parallel to the discovery of printing press when Johan Gutenberg printed Tarot cards alongside the ﬁrst Bible. In a deck of Tarot cards the suits were divided according to the diﬀerent classes of society.
The Swords – which later became Spades – were reserved as the suit for nobility, whilst Coins – which became Diamonds – characterized the class of merchants. Clubs represented the serfs, and Cups – which later became Hearts – stood for the church.
The modern version of Baccarat is said to have been invented around the year 1400 by Felix Falguiere, who despite having a French name, was actually Italian. Falguiere was the one who came up with the rules for the game, basing them on Etruscan myth. He called the game Baccara, meaning ‘zero’ in Venetian slang as the face cards and tens were worth zero.
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The diﬀerence between Baccara and modern Baccarat, especially Mini-Baccarat, was that the cards were dealt by four diﬀerent dealers and not just one as it is done today.
The players could also place bets against the other participants as well as the house. Bets in today’s Baccarat versions are placed on the Banker, Player or a Tie.