The Italian word "baccarat" means "zero" in English. Since the French "baccarat" means the same, even today there are many debates pertaining to the origin of the game and each country wants to claim it as theirs.
Origin of baccarat game
And here is one of these versions: the game was first invented by an Italian gambler Felix Falguierein in the middle ages and first was played with a deck of Tarot cards.
They say that the game " ...was based on an old Etruscan ritual of the nine gods, who prayed to a blonde virgin on their tiptoes waiting for her to throw a nine-sided die. The result of the die decided her fate. If an eight or a nine was thrown, she would become the priestess; if she threw a six or seven, she would be banned from any further religious activities; if she threw any number less than six, she would walk into the sea."
I just wonder, if there were any commission?
Later, the baccarat was introduced in France around 1490 A.D. and remained an exclusive game to the French nobility for some time before becoming a casino game.
Evolution of baccarat rules
Even if we do not care whether it was invented in Italy or France, the game of Baccarat is a very old game. Traveling through countries and continents for centuries it was acquiring different rules variations.
Today we can find the game in every part of the globe, but in the beginning, the French variation of baccarat "Chemin de fer" become popular in England, where they changed the rules and name of the game for "European baccarat". Then, it spread to South America.
Finally, Tommy Renzoni brought this fancy game to the United States in the late 1950s as a combination of European baccarat and "Chemin de fer". It was introduced into Las Vegas as the infamous Dunes casino in the late 1950s after the Cuban government closed the Havana casinos.
The American version of baccarat is described on this site.
On the Gambling-Baccarat.com you can find more information about Baccarat variations.
Although a few rules have been changed in every country, the style has remained the same. It has kept it's elegance and is still one of the most appealing games to the high rollers and individuals with high social standings in every society.
New types of baccarat
In order to popularize the game, Mini baccarat was invented. It has the same basic rules as American baccarat, but the lower table limits and simplified procedures attracts players with average bankroll. And today, even if you are not a "high roller" you can enjoy the odds of classic baccarat.
The same for the Online Gambling. The most of the well established online casinos offer gamblers the Online baccarat, played under the classic rules on the mini baccarat table.