The History of Gambling

Playing casino games stays very popular since the beginning of time. The history of gambling goes back to the ancient times and there are much archaeological evidence that gambling was present in all advanced societies of the past: Greek, Egypt, India, China, Roma, etc. Numerous artifacts like dice, inscriptions of game rules and others were found all over the world. Some of them have been dated back to 2300 B.C. But it was the 14th century AD when gambling was considered to be against the law. King Henry VIII of England has banned gambling when he found out that his soldiers were spending more time playing than actually working.

The practice of paper money shuffling in ancient China became the predecessor of the modern game we know as blackjack. The practice has evolved into card playing, which was borrowed by the Mameluke Empire. Mamelukes, being Muslims used various designs somewhat reminiscent of famous Muslim carpets, to decor the cards. Upon its arrival to Europe in the Middle Ages, the players started using royal ranks of men within the Royal Court to denote the cards. But it was only in the 1500’s, when the French have introduced the Queen to the cards. These cards were known as the “French Pack”, and were the direct predecessor of the modern 52 card deck.

Roulette, as a casino game also has a very interesting history. The word «roulette» means «a small wheel» in French. The game we know today was popular in France in Modern times, and was edited by Francois and Louis Blanc into the form we all are familiar with. They have introduced the “Single 0” to the game in 1842, and roulette was brought to America in that variation. The Americans have made their own version of the game, introducing the “Double 0” to the wheel. Thus, there were already two types of roulette – European and American. There are ongoing debates regarding the origin of the game itself. Some people claim that roulette was invented by Blaise Pascal, the French mathematician who lived in the 17th century. Other state that the game was introduced by the Chinese and brought to Europe by Dominican monks. Regardless of its origin, roulette still is the most fascinating casino games today.

Dice have been around for more than 20 centuries, being involved in numerous activities, ranging from gambling to religious rituals. Dice, as we know it now, are very popular due to the game called «craps». This game was highly popular among the rich and famous of the 18th and 19th century England, and was originally called «Hazard». It was imported into France, where it got its modern name. “Craps” has derived from the word “crabs”, meaning “pair of ones”. The game was a huge success in America, where it was simplified into the present form and played on steam powered show boats.

Baccarat – A Casino Card Game With III Phases and a Bit of History

Before I explain this Baccarat game that dates back to the 15th Century, let’s review a brief bit of history. Americans got their first real glimpse of this casino game during the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr. No, when Bond, played by Sean Connery, was winning in a Monte Carlo casino. The game was Chemin de fer.

Phase I – Chemin de fer

In this original version Players wagered among themselves and won or lost with their own money. A dealer shoe rotated around the table counterclockwise after each hand. Players could decline the bank and pass the shoe to the next player. A 5% commission for winning bank hands paid to the house was to cover the casino overhead.

Phase II – Punto Banco

Punto Banco, meaning Player, Banker, was introduced in Nevada from Cuba in the late 1950’s, where it was very popular until Castro closed he mob run casinos. The main difference from the French version is that the house banks the game. A tie bet was added to increase the house edge, and the 5% commission to the house for a winning bank bet remains in place. Eventually the name baccarat, Italian for zero, was coined. Today baccarat is played in high limit rooms throughout the world where millions are won and lost each day.

Phase III – Mini-Baccarat

Eventually gaming establishments saw profit potential with Baccarat however they had to make it attractive to the average player. Hence, a new version was born, Mini-Baccarat.The rules for this game are exactly the same as Punto Banco except one house dealer controls he game for up to seven players. Table minimums are as low as $5 or $10. Numerous optional side bets have been added to increase the house edge.

How to Play Baccarat

The objective of baccarat is for the player to come as close to the number 9 as possible. Aces count as one, 2’s – 9’s are face value and 10’s – K’s count as zero.

Regardless of the number of players, the dealer only deals two hands from a six or eight deck shoe. Prior to the deal players must first place one bet on either the bank hand, player hand, or tie. Croupiers pass the shoe so players have the option in turn to deal the cards. In Mini-Baccarat, the shoe remains in place and the dealer controls all the action.

When a hand is totaled, it cannot exceed 9. If the two cards total more than 9, the first digit is dropped. The second digit becomes the total. Ex: 7,8=15. (the 1 is dropped) total = 5.

Baccarat requires no skill to play. All the player needs to do is place one bet before the deal. The dealer examines both hands to determine if a third and final card should be drawn. The determination is made according to a fixed set of game rules. Here they are:

Game Rules for Player Bet

The player position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2,3,4,5, unless the banker has a natural 8 or 9. Player always stands on 6,7,8, and 9. When the play bet has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Game Rules for Banker Bet

The banker position always draws on a 0, 1, and 2 unless the player has a natural 8 or 9. The banker always stands on 7,8, and 9. When a banker has a natural 8 or 9, the game is over.

Strategy

No playing strategy is required. Always bet the bank which has the lowest house edge at 1.06%, even with the 5% commission owed to the house. A player bet has a house edge of 1.24% while the tie bet that pays 8 to 1 has a whopping house edge of 14%!. This bet is not recommended. A number of optional side bets at the mini tables have house edges from 2 to 13%. These are not recommended.

Good luck!