Progressive baccarat finds its source in one of the three main variations of the traditional game of baccarat game, namely chemin de fer, punto banco, and baccarat banque. Today, this latest variation, progressive baccarat, can be found in gaming rooms across the internet.
The original source of the game is somewhat unclear, but we do know that the word ‘baccarat’ comes from Italian, meaning ‘zero’, betraying its European roots. We also know that the game has won the legendary title of being the oldest of the casino games still played.
One of the legends surrounding baccarat that support this claim is a legend dating itself to the Middle Ages that records how a form of baccarat was played in Etruscan ceremonies. In these rites a virgin would throw a 9-sided die to determine her fate. If an eight or nine showed she would be granted the honor of becoming a priestess; should a six or seven show, she would no longer partake in any religious activities; if a five or less was thrown she would have to take her own life by drowning in the sea.
A further legend is that it was invented by an Italian gambler in the middle ages by the name of Felix Falguierein who created the game originally to be played with tarot cards.
These are both legends, and there is no way of validating them. However, that the game was played in France in the fifteenth century by the nobles of that country is widely accepted. Equally, the fact that it was dubbed illegal at that time and therefore secret games were organized is also a well accepted fact.
Quite when it became legal is unclear, but its rise in popularity called for such legalization, and by the turn of the twentieth century the game was a prolific as any had ever been. It was at around this time that baccarat reached the other side of the Atlantic; originally embraced only by the wealthy and privileged classes it did, over the course of the twentieth century, adapt to find pleasure in the eyes of the common casino client.
As you can see, progressive baccarat is simply the most recent stage of an illustrious and rich history of what can today be proudly called one of the world’s most popular, and maybe oldest, casino games.