One of the oldest games still played, Baccarat is has an interesting history dating back hundreds of years. According to much of the written Baccarat history, the game dates back to 1490AD and its’ name comes from the Italian word for ‘zero’. There are two interesting stories of how the game was invented, with one of them being based on mythology and the other about an Italian gambler.
The mythology behind Baccarat
The mythology behind Baccarat history is about a blonde virgin who was to perform an old Etruscan ritual with nine gods waiting anxiously for her fate to be revealed. The gods waited on their tiptoes while the virgin rolled a nine sided die. Once the die landed, her fate was set. Landing on the 8 or the 9 would mean the virgin would become a priestess. If the die landed on the 6 or the 7 she would be outcast by the church and banned from all religious activities from that day on. The virgin’s fate was not so good if the die were to land on any number lower than a 6, because it would mean that her fate was to walk into the sea and parish.
During the early years of Baccarat the game was only played by nobleman and was played in secrecy because it was illegal. After France realized how much money was changing hands, they made it legal and started taxing the winnings. The tax was then used to develop poor areas of the country. Around the time Napoleon held rule of France Baccarat was once again made illegal but after Napoleon’s reign ended the game was legalized again and began being played in casinos.
Baccarat was an extremely popular game and people all over Europe starting playing and the popularity spread outside of Europe. South America was the first area west of the Atlantic Ocean where Baccarat was played.