Out of all the games found at a casino, baccarat is certainly the one that is considered the most prestigious and exclusive. There are several reasons for this, but mainly because baccarat has always been seen as a game with a grand reputation and rich European history that makes it worthy of special attention, and, in some cases, a roped off area on the casino floor. Players thus can’t be blamed for thinking that baccarat is a complex game to learn, and yet – if the truth be told – baccarat is probably the simplest game to learn in any casino setting.
The objective of baccarat is to obtain a two or three hand of cards, with the total of these cards being nearer to the number nine than the banker’s hand of cards. All cards in baccarat maintain their own face value, except for the ace that is worth one and royal cards that are worth zero. Players bet which of the two sides – the banker (banco) or the player (punto) – reach closest to nine or whether the two sides tie. Other than placing their bets, players’ involvement in this game doesn’t go much more beyond this point and they are free to sit back and enjoy baccarat.
Baccarat is believed to have originated from an ancient Etruscan ritual and revived by Felix Falguiere during the Middle Ages. The game was transformed into a wagering pastime using tarot cards. Baccarat is probably named for the Italian slang word meaning zero. By the 1500’s baccarat was wildly popular among the French and Italian nobility, until it made its way to the English courts, South America and finally to American shores. US casino owners realized that to increase baccarat’s popularity among local players, they would need to make it more accessible and so ‘mini-baccarat’ was invented, with easier rules and less pomp.
With the advent of the online casino industry in the mid-1990s, baccarat successfully made a transition to the internet and is now considered one of the most popular games at online casino sites. Millions of players across the globe have been introduced to this game because of the marvels of the internet, and the game is played at various levels and in dozens of languages thanks to multilingual software. Baccarat players from around the world regularly get together to chat and play the game. Baccarat is even more popular due to the fact that players needn’t dress up and try to fit into what was once considered an exclusive game.
One of the most popular aspects of online baccarat is in the form of baccarat tournaments. Good players have an instant edge to the game and many experts find baccarat tournaments immensely profitable. Baccarat tournaments usually come with an entry fee but nothing quite beats the fun and excitement of participating in an event such as this and standing in line to win a substantial prize pool.
While baccarat is obviously a game of chance and no actual strategy exists in order to beat the odds, there are still certain things that players can do to minimize their losses. Baccarat is a simple, classic game, shrouded in a veil of splendor and exclusivity and yet readily available at any online casino site. It is no wonder then that this game is so much in demand among gamblers!