Live Baccarat History
Baccarat is a casino card game that is known to have existed for over five hundred years. While its exact origins are unclear, it is believed to have been brought into France from Italy during the reign of Charles VIII of France, who ruled between 1483 and 1498. There are several different versions of the game, with the most popular being Punto Baccarat, also known as 'North American Baccarat'.
North American Baccarat
This is a grossly simplified version of the game, that requires little or no skill on the part of the player, as they are simply betting on one of two hands over which they have no control. More complex versions of the game, such as baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque (also known as baccarat a deux tableaux), put the player in charge of their hand, allowing them to make choices, which introduces an element of skill into the game.
The game of punto banco baccarat is popular with high stakes players, due in no small part to its simplicity, its whimsical nature, and the fast pace of play. The game of baccarat has also been featured in many novels, films, and television programmes over the years.
Moments of Fame
Perhaps the most famous example is that of James Bond, who is found playing the game in a number of the original novels, and some of the film adaptations. It played a crucial role in the plot of the original Casino Royale novel from 1953, although it was replaced by Texas Hold 'Em poker in the recent Daniel Craig adaptation, due to the huge popularity of that game at the time. However, Bond is seen playing baccarat in the film versions of Dr. No, Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only, GoldenEye, and the unofficial spoof version of Casino Royale from the 1960s.
In the Beatles film 'A Hard Day's Night', Paul McCartney's screen grandfather, played by Wilfred Bramble (who went on to play Albert Steptoe in Steptoe and Son), uses an invitation intended for Ringo to get into a posh new casino. He spends most of his time playing baccarat, winning a large amount of money in the process, but soon lands himself in hot water by running up a huge bill at the bar. Baccarat has also been used as a plot device in television serials such as Mission Impossible, The Saint, and Star Trek Deep Space 9.
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