How Have Casino Games like Baccarat Evolved Over the Years?
Sometimes we take casino games for granted. After all, many of them have been popular for centuries, so it’s reasonable to think we enjoy the best versions after years of polishing rules and gameplay. In fact, Baccarat is one of the oldest casino games that we still enjoy today.
However, you’ll be surprised to know the many ways in which many casino games, not just Baccarat, have evolved and continue to do so. This is both exciting and problematic. People who are used to the same game can find trying new variants or versions daunting, but it can be a breath of fresh air for a stale game.
In this article, we’ll focus on Baccarat, but the same concepts apply to several other casino games.
A Look at Baccarat’s Convoluted Timeline
There have been significant changes throughout the history of Baccarat. While its place of origin is uncertain, some claim it started in France. In fact, a French manuscript between 1328 and 1341 makes the first written mention of playing cards, which wasn’t unrelated to Baccarat but showed the activity was known even back then.
If we follow the most accepted version of Baccarat’s origins, Felix Falguiere is said to have invented Baccarat using Tarot cards in the 1400s. It has a picturesque story, too. Legend says Falguiere created the game based on Etruscan folklore.
In this myth, a woman threw dice; if she got an 8 or 9, she became a priestess. She lost all chances at priesthood if she got a 6 or 7. If the values were lower than 6, she would be sentenced to death by drowning.
Whether this is real or not, we’ll probably never know for sure. What we do know is that Baccarat became extremely popular, and it was named Chemin de Fer in France in the 1800s. In this version, when the bank loses a round, the player acting as banker changes.
Even though in “The Official Rules of Card Games Hoyle Up to Date” from 1911, Baccarat and Chemin de Fer are listed as separate games. Whether rules were different for both is a matter of discussion.
Apparently, references to the baccarat game in the document mentioned above take into account the Punto Banco version, which is the most popular one today. In this version, the casino is always the banker and you can bet on yourself, the banker or a tie.
As you can see, there are a lot of conflicting details surrounding Baccarat and how it developed into what we know today. This is because, for a long time, casino games were marginal or even outlawed, so this problem can be found in many other casino games.
Many Variants Developed
While the hazy history of baccarat became clearer in the 20th century, it doesn’t mean it stopped evolving. In fact, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has approved at least 24 baccarat variations so far. This happens every time a casino game becomes popular and when games are played for a long time in different places with slightly altered rules.
Besides Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Punto Banco, you can find other popular variants across online and real-life casinos. One of them is Baccarat Banque, which is common in Europe. Three decks are used in this case, and you can act as the banker. If you take this role, you can only bet on the banker’s side.
Another popular choice is 3-card Baccarat. This is played with a single deck with some rule variations highlighting getting three face cards. These give the highest payout.
Last but not least, mini Baccarat is a very common iteration, and it simply is a smaller version of the original table. In this case, up to seven gamblers can play, and it generally has lower betting limits.
Online Casinos Further Evolved Games
If natural evolution wasn’t enough, online casinos and their software developers took it to the next level. With iGaming, you can find many iterations of Baccarat and other games such as roulette, blackjack, poker and more.
These are based on algorithms called RNGs which determine the outcome with fairness. Developers can also tweak these virtual games to offer new gameplay mechanics, side bets or any kind of innovations.
However, perhaps an even more important milestone was achieved when live casinos entered the scene. These casinos offer real dealers and live HD streaming, so you feel almost like you’re at a physical casino. This brought yet another wave of innovation in games.
You can find titles like XXXTreme Lighting Roulette which, besides the typical roulette rules, offers you the chance to multiply your bet up to 2000 times. The same creativity in developing new rules happens with Baccarat and other casino games. For example, in 2022, Bac Bo was developed, which mixes Baccarat and dice.
As you can see, Baccarat and other casino games have come a long way since the middle ages. Rules, cards and other elements all changed throughout history, but the fun factor never did.