Baccarat, also known as bacarat or baccara, is a card game played in casinos using a deck of cards and featuring a swift outcome. The French version of the word, "baccara," which means "zero," is ironic considering that zero is the worst hand in the game. The game's origin is subject to debate due to the word itself having French and Italian connotations. However, it is believed that the game originated in the Middle Ages, involving these two countries. It is thought that a man named Felix Falguierein invented the game. According to ancient stories, baccarat was based on an Etruscan belief in nine gods, who awaited a fair-haired virgin to throw a nine-sided object that would determine her fate. These same stories mentioned that if an eight or a nine was the result, the virgin would become a priestess; if a six or a seven was thrown, she would not be allowed to participate in religious events, and if any number was below six, she would perish while walking into the sea.

It all began with the invasion of Italy by the French King Charles VIII in the 15th century, in a conflict that lasted for 67 years. During this period, the evolution of baccarat took place, as it is believed that it was during this time that the game originated and later migrated to France, from where it spread to England and the rest of the world. Baccarat is a game of sophistication and immense popularity, enjoyed by both the French royalty and immortalized in James Bond movies.

There are three variations of the baccarat game: "punto blanco" (or American baccarat), "baccarat chemin de fer," and "baccarat banque" (or "à deux tableaux"). Punto blanco is a game of chance with no skill involved, where each player's move is determined by the cards they receive. In baccarat chemin de fer and baccarat banque, on the other hand, both players (player and house) can make choices, which allows for experience and competence to come into play. Despite this, the odds of winning are in favor of the house, with a house edge of no less than 1 percent.

Baccarat is essentially a card comparison game between two hands: the player's hand and the house's hand. The game offers three possible outcomes: player, house, and tie, which neatly explain the result. The objective of the game is to draw a hand of two or three cards with a total closer to 9 than the house's hand. Cards 10, J, K, and Q are valued at 0, while A is valued at 1. All other cards are counted based on their numerical value and the rightmost digit of the hand. For instance, a hand consisting of a 2 and a 4 would be considered 6, but a hand composed of 7 and 8 would be 5, since 7+8 equals 15 and it's the "5" that counts as the digit.

In Canada, baccarat, one of its variations deemed a game of chance, is not legally allowed in the country. However, you can easily come across this game on any of the numerous online casino platforms available on the web.

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