Baccarat, one of the oldest casino games, has been documented in the 14th century when it emerged in France through Italy. The term Baccarat derives from the Italian word "baccarat," which translates to "zero." It pertains to any hand that has a total of zero, for instance, a seven and three hand also equals zero and, consequently, baccarat.

In just 500 years, the game that was documented in 1400 became one of the leading casino games in Europe. It gained significant popularity among the French royalty. At that time, there were numerous versions of the game being played. In Europe, the most popular variation was "the chemin de fer" (translated as "the railway"), while in England, the preferred game was "Punto Banco." Interestingly enough, the English version would later become popular in the United States and South Africa.

Over the years, there have been three iterations of the game that have managed to maintain their popularity. The game variants include "Railway," "The Baccarat Feast," and "PuntoBanco." All these versions share virtually identical rules, with the main difference lying in the way the cards are dealt. The most commonly played variant can be found in US casinos, namely "Puntobanco" and "Mini Baccarat," in which the dealer handles all the cards and players can only bet on one of three possible outcomes.

Nowadays, in the majority of United States casinos, you will only come across mini Baccarat tables. This phenomenon can be attributed to several factors: the regular versions of the game involve significantly higher minimum betting amounts, which is why these tables are strategically placed in corners where the high rollers of the casinos tend to congregate. On the other hand, mini baccarat tables have lower minimum betting amounts, and as a result, they are scattered throughout the casino floor.

Just as the game was a hit among French royalty, it has now become a favorite among casino royalty: the high rollers. The world's biggest gamblers seem to have a fondness for this game, and it is not uncommon for thousands of dollars to change hands during a gaming session. In fact, Baccarat is such a high-stakes game that you might even see losses at the Baccarat tables reflected in the casino's annual business report. It is truly a game for the risk-takers and those who aren't afraid to bet big.

The latest development in the history of baccarat is online baccarat. Online casinos provide mini baccarat tables with American rules. Cards are dealt using a random number generator, which then converts the numbers into graphical images displayed on users' screens. Some online gambling websites also offer live dealer games where you are connected to the dealer via a video feed, and the dealer distributes real cards. While we don't endorse any specific online casinos, in most cases, you can play baccarat online for free, allowing you to learn the game without spending real money.

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