Baccarat is one of the oldest games that continue to be relevant to the gambling scene today. The ancient European game has been around for more than 500 years; however its origins are still unclear. The game is believed to have been introduced to France through Italy, where the word “baccarat” means “zero”.
At the time when it was first brought to France, Charles VIII ruled the country (1483 to 1498). Baccarat soon became a favourite among royalty in France and subsequently spread to other parts of the world.
Today, it is the most popular game in Macau – the gambling capital of China. It also enjoys a fair share of popularity outside sinners’ dens in and around the world.
Baccarat in popular culture
- The Tranby Croft scandal (a Baccarat scandal involving Edward VII) and the lawsuit that ensued thereafter is together referred to as the Royal Baccarat Scandal. Newspapers covering the scandal began publishing rules of the game, increasing awareness about it among the public.
- The original novel The Casino Royale, used Baccarat as a major plot element.
- A play called The Royal Baccarat Scandalwas staged in theatres during the late 80s.
- Several songs, television series and films have been created based on the game.
Baccarat in motion picture
- A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles film, released in 1964, discusses Baccarat in a rather detailed manner. Paul McCartney’s grandfather tricks his way into a posh casino, first winning, but subsequently losing a game of Baccarat.
- The Bond films – Baccarat is the favourite casino game of super-agent 007. Dr. No, Never Say Never, Golden Eye, Thunderball and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are a few of the Bond films that feature the game. Casino Royale (1967), in particular is based heavily upon it.
- Jackie Chan films – City Hunter (1993) and Rush Hour 3 (2007) are two of the several films in which, Jackie Chan can be seen playing Baccarat. He is known to be an avid Baccarat player off screen too.
You cannot talk about great gambling-based motion pictures and not include a film or two based on baccarat in your must-watch list. Go ahead and try it!