From Italy, baccarat moved to neighboring France, where it was known as Chemin de Fer. The game was a favorite of King Charles VIII and the noblemen who surrounded him. Baccarat soon became the rage among the French aristocracy, and remained so for several centuries.
Baccarat also caught on across the channel in England. It was there that Ian Fleming learned how to play baccarat and created the world's most famous (albeit fictional) baccarat player, James Bond.
Over the course of time, the game of baccarat migrated across the ocean to South America and the Caribbean. In Cuba, baccarat was known as Punto Banco and was adapted to the local culture in many ways. One of the main changes was that the players played against the house only, and not against each other. Also, the casinos acted as the bank; the privilege was not passed to the individual players. This type of baccarat became known as "American Baccarat."
Then, in the late 1950s, just around the time that the Castro government was closing the Havana casinos, Tommy Renzoni brought the game to the Sands casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Baccarat never caught on among the casino gambling public the way casino games
like roulette and the slot machines did. But the casino owners didn't care. They marketed baccarat as a game for the select few, set high minimum bets, and hid the baccarat tables in special rooms, appointed in posh leather chairs, hidden from the public by velvet curtains. Naturally, this only brought additional attention and added to the allure of the baccarat game.
Throughout the centuries, and in all the countries in which it was introduced, baccarat was known as a game for aristocrats. The high betting requirements and the secluded baccarat rooms meant that, while many people enjoyed watching James Bond play baccarat in the movies, few people actually played the game themselves.
All of that changed with the creation of the online casino in the 1990s. With low betting minimums, and with no travel or hotel expenses, online baccarat
was accessible to anybody who enjoyed playing a good card game. Today, in the latest chapter of baccarat history, thousands of people are discovering the joy of playing baccarat online
. Why not try it yourself?