Bridge vs Baccarat – Why The Two Are Worlds Apart 

Bridge vs Baccarat – Why The Two Are Worlds Apart 

Bridge and baccarat are two of the most popular card games in casinos – both land-based and online. They might sound similar, but these two games are actually worlds apart when it comes to their origins, rules, and gameplay. 

If you’re interested in learning more about bridge and baccarat, read on. This article will explore the histories behind each game and explain their rules, so you can add them to your gambling repertoire! 


What is bridge? 

Bridge is an example of a ‘trick-taking’ card game. This might make it sound as though you need to trick your fellow players to win, as in the popular card game cheat – but it actually refers to the fact that each hand is focused around a fixed number of rounds, also known as tricks. 

Unlike baccarat, bridge is played in pairs. Only four players can join a game, and they play in opposing partnerships. These partnerships take it in turns to bid on the number of tricks (or rounds of cards) they think they will win. The challenge is to signal to your partner the numbers and suits of the cards you’re holding, without the opposition team realising what you’re doing. 

Where does bridge come from? 

We can trace the history of bridge back to Europe in the 1500s. Reports of a similar trick-taking game – which is variously referred to as ‘la Triopmhe’, ‘Triomfi’ and ‘Triumphens Historicus’ – have been found in France, Italy, and Spain. This game eventually developed into whist (which is still played today) before modifying again to become an early version of bridge. 

Biritch, or Russian Whist, was created in the 19th century. It’s thought that the word biritch could have come from the Russian community in Istanbul – but once the game became popular in the United States and the United Kingdom, its name simply became ‘bridge’ instead. 


What is baccarat? 

Baccarat, also known as baccara, is a card game that has three possible outcomes: the player wins, the banker wins, or there’s a tie. Players must bet on what they think the outcome will be before the cards are dealt. 

In the first round, two cards are dealt to the player and the banker. Kings, queens, jacks, and tens aren’t worth any points. The rest of the cars in the deck are worth their face value, and aces are worth just one point. The dealer deals the cards out face up. Whichever hand has the closest total to nine is the winner, and any player which bet correctly wins double what they pledged. 

Where does baccarat come from? 

The origins of baccarat are muddier than those of bridge. Many people believe that it dates from the 19th century, which would make it a far newer game than bridge – though others claim it was introduced to France by returning soldiers in the 15th century. 

Before gambling in casinos was legalised in France, ‘baccarat banque’ was a popular three-person version of the game for the nobility to play at home. The version we play today was developed in 1940’s Havana – and became so popular that Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, set his 1953 debut ‘Casino Royalearound a game of baccarat that’s played between Bond and his antagonist. 

Now you know the difference between bridge and baccarat, why not try your hand at a game? 

Photo by Macau Photo Agency on Unsplash