The ancient game of Baccarat dates back to 1490 and was called Chemin de fer in French and later Punto Banco in Italian. It is believed that it was a favourite of King CharlesvIII whose soldiers introduced the Italian game to the French. It’s presumed the Italian civilians taught the French soldiers how to play to bide the time between battles. Over time the game progressed and its name was changed to Baccarat, which is actually the French spelling for the Italian name – Baccara. Baccara is also the right pronunciation for the game, as the t is silent. The correct spelling is the French word, Baccarat.
The word in English means zero and happens to be the worst hand a player can have in the game. It’s quite ironic that a game generally played by aristocrats, even today, would be named after its worst hand. Even though Baccarat was extremely popular all over Europe for many centuries, it only found its place amongst American aristocrats around the 1950’s when Tommy Renzoni introduced the Cuban favourite to Las Vegas. Baccarat then spread like wild fire in Vegas and in casinos worldwide, becoming one of the most popular games to date.