Many seem to think that it was Mister Bond, James Bond, who turned Baccarat into a high stakes game. It was Baccarat, after all, which the legendary spy sat down to play in Casino Royale. The game was later updated to being poker in the new movie, but go grab a copy of the original book and you’ll see that it was Baccarat Bond played, not poker.
So, obviously, in an attempt to emulate Bond, back in the day, casino goers went out and started dropping huge sums of cash at the Baccarat tables, creating a link between Baccarat and high rollers. Right?
No, not at all. Bond was in fact following an already existing tradition, which was a link between British high society and the game of Baccarat. The game was, in fact, played by British nobles long before Bond was even a twinkle in Ian Fleming’s eye.
Baccarat And British High Society
You see, the game was originally introduced to British high society, and remained popular in those sorts of groups, and so the game was originally largely played by those who had a great deal of money. And so the association was created. It was simply logical to Fleming that Bond played Baccarat, given that he was a bit of a snooty British chap.
As a side note, you might be interested to know that the movie versions of James Bond are not a very good representation of the original character. The original Bond stories were a great deal darker, more harrowing, and a bit more of a realistic representation of what it would to be a British secret service agent.
The Tradition Today
United Kingdom casinos eventually adopted Baccarat, and the average folks scrambled to play the game that had been so closely tied to the nobles, for so many years. They must have been a little disappointed, really, that there was not anything particularly mind blowing about the game. This is not to say that Baccarat isn’t a great game, just that there is no reason at all it should be played exclusively by people who have a great deal of money.
So, with Baccarat no longer exclusively a noble’s game, logic dictates that it would have been forgotten as being preferred by high rollers. But the tradition persisted. Casinos started to make special exceptions for those who played Baccarat, hoping to attract the customers with the most cash to spend. Special Baccarat rooms were set up, separate from the rest of the casino. After all, a noble hardly wants to be surrounded by commoners when dropping ridiculous amounts of money.
Gradually it became common practice for casinos to have separate Baccarat rooms, exclusively for high rollers. And, of course, this tradition still exists to day, both in real world and online casinos.
There is, in fact, no reason at all that it should be Baccarat that is the high rollers game, and not, say, blackjack, or any other casino game. There is no more opportunity to make big bets, nothing special about the odds offered, and absolutely no reason that it should appeal to high rollers. It is all just a matter of tradition, perpetuated by casinos themselves. You play Baccarat? You spend great deals of money on Baccarat? Great! Please, step into our special VIP Baccarat lounge.
Of course, humans being what they are, you will have those who aspire to be invited into the VIP Baccarat lounges, thinking that there must be fountains of champagne and caviar on tap. Which, I suppose, there very well may be. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, adopting Baccarat for the sole reason of being invited into the VIP lounge seems like part of the plot of a movie, probably one that is going to have the moral; “money doesn’t buy you everything.”
Baccarat For Everyone
As I already said; Baccarat is a very enjoyable game. I personally like it because its one of very few casino games that allows you to bet on someone else’s hand. And, since I’m a person never especially comfortable in the spotlight, I sometimes prefer to do this.
You won’t find me heading into the online VIP Baccarat lounge, though. I prefer the low stakes tables, and often simply buy myself a little champagne, to simulate a VIP room without having to drop half my monthly salary on every bet.