Bond. James Bond. There is no other fictional character that conveys the style and excitement of casinos like Ian Fleming’s super spy. And James Bond wouldn’t be half as cool without his famous martinis and his casino game of choice, baccarat.
Baccarat may be quite a simple game to play, but history and pop culture have given it a cloak of mystery and elitism that few other casino games have.
Baccarat spread from Italy to France in the 15th Century. Long before Bond ever sipped a martini, baccarat was illegal – yet still enjoyed at the secret card parties of the French nobles. It wasn’t a very well-kept secret, though, because it made its way to the fashionable parlours of Victorian England. It was no less illegal across the Channel, but despite this, the future King Edward VII was involved in a baccarat cheating scandal!
More recently, it’s pop culture that has added to that wonderful baccarat aura. Baccarat has featured in A Hard Day’s Night, a couple of vintage episodes of The Saint, Rush Hour 3, even Pinky and the Brain! Bond played his game of choice in Dr No, Thunderball, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, For Your Eyes Only and GoldenEye.
Which brings me back to a question similar to the chicken and egg one: did Bond make swigging martinis and playing baccarat cool, or did baccarat and martinis make him cool? Hmm, I think I’m going to pour myself something shaken, and ponder this very important philosophical question. And play some online baccarat at Vegas Palms, just in case the coolness does, indeed, rub off…