Baccarat has always carried an aura of exclusivity ever since it was brought to the United States on the backs of the French and English nobility. In most casinos, baccarat is played in secluded roped-off sections of the betting lounge and the numerous dealers wear tuxedos and a feeling of elegance is abound.
Baccarat developed from an old Etruscan ritual involving a young virgin throwing a dice to determine her fate. Felix Falguiere revived the game of baccarat based on this ritual in Italy in the 1480's using simple tarot cards. The French and Italian nobility were very excited by the game and it became a hit in their courts. The French renamed it “chemin de fer” and introduced a few adaptations to the game.
When baccarat hit American soil in the early 1900's, it was not very well-received because Americans were used to a more relaxed and informal betting culture. In the 1950's and 1960's casino proprietors decided to make adjustments to the game and introduced mini-baccarat, an informal version of the game played in the main section of the casino on a smaller table. The great game of baccarat was thus made available to the masses and everyone could enjoy the simple game.