The game of baccarat can be traced back to the 1400s, during the reign of Charles VIII, King of France. The game not only has a long history, but an almost irrational popularity and a cognitive appreciation that is hard to understand, that is until one looks around and sees the indelible way it has been entrenched in the global casino culture. Today, some six hundred years after the game was first played, Amazon has a list of the top five baccarat books, blogs and articles discuss baccarat winning methodologies, and movies are made featuring the game.
Playing a Major Role
Baccarat has always been found near the top of any seasoned casino regulars’ list. A simple game to learn and extremely easy to play, since the most popular version Punto Banco requires no basic strategy at all and is purely a game of luck. Nevertheless baccarat movies and books prevail. Perhaps the most influential movie in terms of baccarats’ image, was the 1967 version of Ian Flemings’ Casino Royale. Ian Fleming was a committed casino regular, and was favourably predisposed to baccarat himself. In the movie, James Bond takes large amounts of money from the antagonist, and in one swoop made baccarat into a household name. Baccarat play at casinos throughout Europe and America blossomed and became a feature, as the game was associated with a jet-set lifestyle.
This was not the only movie that featured baccarat in the plot. A Hard Day’s Night, the Beatles movie from 1964 had earlier played a significant role in entrenching this game in the collective unconscious, and this movie is often considered the quintessential baccarat movie. More recently, Jackie Chan, a well-known real-life baccarat aficionado, made several movies that featured the game such as Rush Hour 3 and City Hunter.
A Library of Information
Baccarat movies and books have therefore placed this casino game at the forefront of the casino industry. So much so that most of the books written on the subject deal with winning methodologies, statistical analysis, or myths related to the game. Clearly we are fascinated by the concept of chance and trying to predict the future.
Whereas the image portrayed in movies is one of glamour and fashion, baccarat books tend towards the mathematical study of chance. The basics are just nice to know, such as betting on the players’ hand carries a long term house advantage of 1.36%. This is low when compared to other table and slots games. Betting on the banker gives the house an advantage of only 1.17%. The odds on a tie occurring, however, favour the house by 14.4%.
Knowledge Can Save Time
It is also comforting to know that despite all the hype in baccarat movies and books, the much-discussed subject of card counting in the game is now considered moot. Despite the mathematical possibilities, the practical implications of card counting make it a useless venture in baccarat because the odds will only be in the players favour every 232 hands on average. Not only is this a wait of about two hours between bets placed, but the improvement to the odds is less than 1%.
Baccarat movies and books are therefore fully responsible for the high quality baccarat that is available online. Nevertheless, as is evident, taking note and learning from these sources can only but improve anyone’s odds.