The evolution of the game of baccarat

Authors

  • Stewart N Ethier University of Utah
  • Jiyeon Lee Yeungnam University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5750/jgbe.v9i2.944

Keywords:

baccarat, banque, chemin de fer, punto banco, zero-sum game, nonzero-sum game, best response, Nash equilibrium

Abstract

The game of baccarat has evolved from a parlor game played by French aristocrats in the first half of the 19th century to a casino game that generated over US$41 billion in revenue for the casinos of Macau in 2013. The parlor game was originally a three-person zero-sum game. Later in the 19th century it was simplified to a two-person zero-sum game. Early in the 20th century the parlor game became a casino game, no longer zero-sum. In the mid 20th century, the strategic casino game became a nonstrategic game, with players competing against the house instead of against each other. We argue that this evolution was motivated by both economic and game-theoretic considerations.

References

A Badoureau ‘Étude sur le jeu de baccarat’ (1881) 1 La Revue Scientifique de la France et de l’Étranger 239–246.

S R Beresford Beresford’s Monte-Carlo (J Beresford, Nice, 1926).

J Bertrand Calcul des probabilités (Gauthier-Villars, Paris, 1889).

L Billard Bréviaire de baccara expérimental (Chez l’auteur, Paris, 1883).

M Boll La chance et les jeux de hasard: Loterie, boule, roulettes, baccara, 30 & 40, dés, bridge, poker, belote, écarté, piquet, manille (Librairie Larousse, Paris, 1936, Revised edition, 1948).

M Boll Le baccara: Chemin de fer — banque (Le Triboulet, Monaco, 1944).

É Borel ‘Sur les jeux où interviennent l’hasard et l’habileté des joueurs’ Éléments de la théorie des probabilités (Librairie Scientifique, Hermann, Paris, 1924) pp 204–224. L J Savage trans. ‘On games that involve chance and the skill of the players’ (1953) 21 Econometrica 101–115.

L Chapitre La ruleta, el treinta y cuarenta y el baccarat (Imprenta de J López, Madrid, 1920).

L Chapitre Como debe jugarse a la ruleta y treinta y cuarenta con exito seguro (Librería Perlado, Buenos Aires, 1954).

R Deloche and F Oguer ‘Baccara and perfect Bayesian equilibrium’ in S N Ethier and W R Eadington (ed) Optimal Play: Mathematical Studies of Games and Gambling (Institute for the Study of Gambling and Commercial Gaming, University of Nevada, Reno, 2007) pp 195–210.

M A Dimand and R W Dimand The History of Game Theory, Volume I: From the Beginnings to 1945 (Routledge, London, 1996).

É Dormoy Théorie mathématique du jeu de baccarat. Avec une préface par M. Francisque Sarcey (Armand Anger, Paris, 1873).

F Downton and C Lockwood ‘Computer studies of baccarat, I: Chemin-de-fer’ (1975) 138 Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A 228–238.

S N Ethier The Doctrine of Chances: Probabilistic Aspects of Gambling (Springer, Berlin, 2010).

S N Ethier and C Gámez ‘A game-theoretic analysis of baccara chemin de fer’ (2013) 4 Games 711–737.

I Fleming Casino Royale (Jonathan Cape Ltd., London 1953).

F G Foster ‘A computer technique for game-theoretic problems I: Chemin-de-fer analyzed’ (1964) 7 Computer Journal 124–130.

C Graves None but the Rich: The Life and Times of the Greek Syndicate (Cassell, London, 1963).

L Hoffmann [pseud. of A J Lewis] Baccarat: Fair and Foul. Being an Explanation of the Game, and a Warning against its Dangers (George Routledge and Sons, Ltd., London, 1891).

J G Kemeny and J L Snell ‘Game-theoretic solution of baccarat’ (1957) 64 American Mathematical Monthly 465–469.

M G Kendall and J D Murchland ‘Statistical aspects of the legality of gambling’ (1964) 127 Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A 359–391.

G Le Myre Le baccarat (Hermann & Cie, Paris, 1935).

A F Lucas and J Kilby Introduction to Casino Management (Okie International, Escondido, CA, 2012).

D Parlett A History of Card Games (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1991).

T Renzoni and D Knapp Renzoni on Baccarat… and the Secrets of Professional Gambling (Lyle Stuart, Secaucus, NJ, 1973).

J Scarne Scarne on Cards (Crown Publishers, New York, 1949).

D G Schwartz ‘Casino gaming in Macau’ (UNLV Center for Gaming Research, 2014) http://gaming.unlv.edu/abstract/macau.html.

C Van-Tenac Album des jeux de hasard et de combinaisons en usage dans les salons et dans les cercles (Gustave Havard, Paris, 1847).

E Villiod La machine à voler: Étude sur les escroqueries commises dans les cercles & les casinos (Imprimerie Centrale de l’Ouest, Paris, 1906).

Published

2015-10-06

Issue

Section

Articles