Baccarat is up there with the best-known casino games of all time. The game follows a simple set of rules, and this accessibility helped it to spread across North America in the 20th Century.
Recently, thanks to the rise of online casinos and technology that has enhanced the game, baccarat is attracting more players than ever before. It looks set to continue this impressive rise in the future.
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What are the Rules of Baccarat?
Baccarat is one of the easiest casino games for players to get the hang of. Players simply have to bet on the outcome of the game, with three possibilities available. They can stake on the banker to win, the player to win, or the tie.
Despite it sounding so straightforward, there are some other aspects of baccarat that players need to know about. There are detailed online guides that provide information about the game, including some of the side bets on offer. These include the Player Pair and the Banker Pair.
A video about how to play baccarat
One of the most important things to know when playing baccarat is the values of the different cards. Each number card is worth its stated value except 10, which is zero. Aces are worth one point, while jacks, queens and kings are all zero.
If the total of the two cards exceeds ten, you subtract ten to get the real total. This means that the total hand values range between zero and nine. For example, if a player received an eight and a seven, the total would be five because you subtract ten first. If a player receives two tens, the total hand value would be zero.
Players have a chance to bet on the outcome of the baccarat game before the cards have been dealt. After everyone’s placed their bets, the action commences, and the dealer gives two cards to the player’s hand and the banker’s hand.
If either player has a hand totaling eight or nine, it’s called a natural and the round is over. If neither person has a natural, the player may have a chance to draw one more card to attempt to improve their hand.
That happens if their total hand value is worth five or less. If it’s six or seven, they must stand. If the banker’s total is two or less, they must take another card.
There are other instances that the banker may be forced to take another card, but this depends on the value of their own hand and the value of the player’s third card.
How Did Baccarat Expand Across North America?
Baccarat has a long and rich history that can be traced all the way back to 15th-century Italy. According to some sources, French people played the game during the Italian Wars and then introduced it to people in their home country soon after.
The card game began to gain widespread recognition throughout the 19th Century, particularly with the French nobility. Many other casino games began to gain attention in the European country at this time, with roulette and blackjack also having roots in the country. When casino games began to spread to the United States, baccarat was one of the offerings that migrated.
When baccarat first turned up on American shores, it was played in the gambling halls of New Orleans. It was the game of choice for high-roller businesspeople who loved betting on the flip of a coin.
Because it didn’t require much skill to play, people could focus on their bets and the rush involved with waiting to see if they’d won. This helped the game spread rapidly throughout the USA and then on to Canada. It was particularly popular in Quebec in the early days.
James Bond is also famous for having an affection for baccarat. Thanks to the notoriety of the famous spy from Ian Fleming’s legendary novels, many people heard of the game this way.
In more recent Bond film adaptations, 007 has been more prone to playing Texas Hold’em poker. But in some of the earlier Eon Productions offerings, the spy could often be seen playing baccarat. This gave the game a more elite and exclusive feel and may have encouraged viewers to try it out.
James Bond playing baccarat in Casino Royale (1967)
Why is Baccarat So Popular in 2023?
There are various reasons why baccarat has boomed in popularity and become one of the most popular casino games in 2023. The internet has been a massive help, and since the game was digitalized there have been many developments with additional pieces of technology.
Live streaming has been one of the best things for the game, as this has allowed people at home to feel as if they are playing at real tables.
There are now countless live versions of baccarat to choose from. They come in varying themes to appeal to a diverse range of players, and some modern options also have special features like animations and multipliers.
Emerging technology is likely to make baccarat even more widespread over the next few years. The game has evolved in various ways in its long history and looks set to advance further when virtual reality comes to the fore.
VR is expected to be a mainstream piece of gear by 2030 when the technology has become too incredible for people to ignore. It may have brain-computer interfaces by this point, which allow people to simply think to activate actions.
Online casinos will incorporate this new tech as they always do, which will lead to immersive gambling experiences for people at home. Table games like baccarat and blackjack will benefit greatly from this, as it will allow players to feel as if they are sitting across from the dealer.
Baccarat is an iconic game that’s finally getting the recognition it deserves thanks to online casinos. Technology is constantly improving the playing experience, and it is likely to get even better when VR becomes a household item.