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A Look at the History of Baccarat, Blackjack and Roulette

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Thanks to advanced digital, electronic and mechanical technology, gaming has come a long way. However, despite the bells and whistles of modern games, some table games remain very popular. Baccarat, Blackjack and Roulette have a long history that dates back hundreds of years.


Some believe that the card game was introduced to France in 1490 by soldiers serving under Charles VIII. The French version was known as “chemin de fer” and served as the basis for the modern game. The new pastime was particularly popular and remained synonymous among the French aristocrats through the 17th century. Legend also has it that the history of game involves Felix Falguiere arriving from Italy. He developed the game from Tarot cards in the latter part of the 15th century. Baccarat did not arrive in the United States until the 1950s when Tommy Renzoni brought the game from Italy.


Though the exact date of Blackjack’s origin remains largely unknown, history reports that the card game was initially known as “21”. The game came to the United States sometime around 1931 with the arrival of Nevada casinos. A winning hand must have included the ace of spades combined with a jack of clubs or spades. Due to this rule, the game became known as Blackjack. To this day, Blackjack is one of the most common games played by guests at casinos and hotels on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.


A rudimentary form of the game was created by Blaise Pascal during the 17th century with his efforts to invent a perpetual motion machine. The game evolved over the next century and became a combination of the British games Ace of Hearts, E.O., Reiner and Roly-Poly. The name of the spinning wheeled game came from a French board game that was called “Roulette.” The version that most represents the current-day game was played as early as 1796 in Paris. History indicates that the game was enjoyed by Americans during 1886. The U.S. version at the time featured slots having the numbers 1 through 28, one zero, a double zero and an American eagle. Only approximately six of these original wheels are thought to remain in existence.

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