While there are opposing versions on how the game of baccarat actually started, it is generally believed to have originated in Italy during the latter part of the 15th century. The word “baccarat” was actually derived from the Italian word “baccara” which is the literal translation of the word “zero.” According to a generally accepted account about how it all started, the original variant of the card game used cards which came from the Tarot deck and the first official game of baccarat was organized by Felix Falguierein.
It didn’t take long before the French nobles and aristocrats got wind of this new card game. It was such a big hit in France and this could be one of the main reasons why it is believed to be a card game which was invented in France. It was also during this time that it went through some changes and with the modifications on how it was played in France, the card game also had a name change and was referred to as Chemin de Fer.
Along with the increase in the popularity of baccarat, the card game was also introduced in other cities in Europe and it became a common entertainment fare among soldiers during the First World War. Being a game associated with the rich and the famous, it ultimately reached American soil and up to China in the Far East. With its entry into new territories, the game went through a series of changes and this included the change in its name. From being known as “European Baccarat” in England, it came to be known as the game of “Chemin de Fer” when it was introduced in casinos in major cities in Europe and Punto Banco when it was introduced in the US and the Far East.
Baccarat failed to make a good impression and immediate impact upon its introduction in the US during the early part of the 20th century. It gradually invaded other parts of the continent. In the 1950s, the game had its debut in Argentina when it was played in Mar del Plata casinos. It had an auspicious launch and was well received by Argentina’s elite society. It was also introduced in Cuba and it was during this time that the card game came to be known as Punto Banco. This is the variant of the card game from where American Baccarat was derived, and its main distinction from its European Baccarat is that in the former the bank is entirely under the control of the house.
It is Tommy Renzoni, after closely following the evolution of baccarat in South America, who was responsible for the remarkable comeback of the game of baccarat in the United States. Renzoni was able to seal a deal with the operators of the famed Dune Casino in Las Vegas to showcase the card game in a special event. And this ushered the entry of the American variant of the card game and this is the version of the card game that is played in US based casinos today.
The card game has gone through several modifications as it evolved through the years. Still, if there is one aspect of the card game that has survived these changes and remained intact all through these years, it is the fact the baccarat has remained as the card game of the rich and the famous. It is a highly sophisticated and exclusive card game which is usually reserved for high rollers and rich individuals and it is played in the part of the casino that is usually sectioned off from the main crowd.