Did you know that it was a variation of the popular casino card game Baccarat, known as Chemin de Fer, that actually inspired Blackjack? Now, Blackjack, which was originally known as Vingt-et-Un, is said to be one of the most popular casino games of all time. But how exactly are Baccarat and Blackjack related?
Join us for the ultimate sibling showdown, so the next time you play either Baccarat or Blackjack online at Paddy Power games, you’ll have all the knowledge under your belt to be able to decide which one is best…
Some historians believe that Chemin de Fer, the version of Baccarat that inspired Blackjack, originates back to the Middle Ages, when it was played with tarot cards rather than playing cards.
Eventually, the game became favoured by the highest noble classes in France, and Chemin de Fer was made the official court game by Charles VIII around 1400. Despite this, it wasn’t until 1700 that Baccarat gained popularity throughout the country.
Over time, the game became better known in England as Shemmy, Baccarat in the United States, and Punto Banc in South America.
How to play
Usually played with six shuffled card decks, up to eight or 12 players can participate at a time. Essentially, the game is between you (the player) and the banker. The banker will place a bet, and it’s up to you whether you want to match or raise. You’ll be placing your bets on the possibility of three outcomes: the banker’s hand winning, your hand winning, or it being a draw. Both you and the dealer will be dealt two cards, and the aim is to hold a hand that equals the value of eight or nine.
Blackjack, or Vingt-et-Un as it was originally known, was born in French casinos around 1700. Translating to Twenty-one, the game could’ve originated from Roman times, or even similar Spanish games at the time. However, the most likely theory is that it was derived from games like Chemin de Fer.
Twenty-one sailed to American shores in the 18th century, where skilled dealer Eleanor Dumont became one of the first to open a gaming establishment in Nevada City dedicated purely to the game.
The name Blackjack didn’t come about until the 20th century, thanks to a casino promotion that would further increase the game’s popularity. In fact, Blackjack became so loved that when the first online casino opened in 1996, it was one of the very first games available to play.
How to play
When it comes to playing Blackjack, you’ll see it has many similarities to Baccarat. However, the aim of this game is not to reach the value of eight or nine, but to beat the dealer by holding a value of 21, without going over. You could also beat the dealer by having a hand with a higher value than theirs, but again, without exceeding the value of 21.
Much like Baccarat, you will start off being dealt two cards. Each card is worth its face value, royal face cards are worth 10, and Aces can be worth either one or 11, depending on whichever benefits your hand the most. You can choose to stand, hit, fold, double down or split, depending on how you wish to play the game based on the cards you hold.
Which is best?
Deciding which is best is ultimately down to your preferred style of gameplay. Both games have a similar concept and are available to play at both land-based and online casinos worldwide. When playing Baccarat, betting on the banker lowers the house edge to 1.06%, but this can increase to 9.5% if you’re placing a bet on it being a tie. In a game of Blackjack, the house edge remains at roughly 2% throughout. In this case, it really does depend on your personal style of gameplay.
In addition to this, Blackjack requires some decision-making and knowledge of basic strategy, whereas the only real decision you’ll get to make during a game of Baccarat is how much to wager. Due to this, many casinos see players favouring Blackjack.
Which game takes your fancy?