If you say baccarat, what comes to mind is a French nobleman who carelessly and boastfully gambled away the equivalent of the GDP of a European state, throwing a few large, priceless plaques on the table. Or James Bond, who was a great fan of baccarat. But have you ever wondered where this game comes from?
Have you ever stopped to think about the origins of the term baccarat, who invented it and how it became such a popular casino game? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’ve come to the right place! Here, I’m going to tell you about the history of baccarat, as well as the biggest winnings ever.
The origins of baccarat
Although, according to some historians, baccarat is a French game, the most popular current of thought is that baccarat was born over 500 years ago in Italy. What is certain, birthplace aside is that the game was exclusive to the nobility and the aristocracy at the beginning.
According to other sources, its inventor was Felix Falguiere, or Falguierein, who in the fifteenth century drew up the rules of this card game and called it ‘baccara’, which is ‘zero’ in the medieval language of the time.
It is said that baccarat derives from an ancient Etruscan legend, in which a virgin had to roll a 9-sided die to decide her future:
- If she rolled an 8 or a 9, she would become a priestess;
- If she rolled a 6 or a 7, she would live her life without participating in community or religious life;
- If she rolled a 5 or a lower score, she would be banished and sentenced to death by drowning in the sea.
Not exactly a story with a happy ending, is it?
The Growing Popularity of Online Baccarat
After blackjack, roulette and slot machines, baccarat was one of the first games to make the big leap from land-based casinos to online casinos. Although it remains a niche game, online baccarat has been growing in popularity over the past few years due to a greater awareness among players.
Often, people think that online baccarat is an inaccessible game, with limits too high for the pockets of an ordinary person, or that it is one of those games whose rules are incomprehensible. But here are the two big truths about online baccarat.
1. It is a game for everyone. Perhaps in the early days, baccarat was the preserve of the rich and noble, but today, you can find very low limits thanks to online baccarat.
2. The rules are very simple. You bet on the bank, on the player or on the draw: that’s it! The rest is practically all automatic.
The highest winnings in baccarat history
It is said that the first huge win in the history of baccarat, or at least the first that we know of, occurred in the 1960s at the Sands Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, where the gaming room lost more than $250,000 in one night. It seems that after that day, the casinos changed the rules of the game slightly to increase the house advantage.
In the 1990s, however, billionaire Aiko Kashiwagi took home something like $6 million, earning him the title of the best baccarat player in the world. It must be said that Kashiwagi lost perhaps more, but that’s another story.
The record, however, belongs to a man named Lin Haisan, who in Macau in 2015 won the $13 million jackpot during the World Series Baccarat Championship. Apparently, another Asian won $55 million in a high-stakes session, but there is no official confirmation of this news.