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David Parlett considers Macao as the immediate precursor to baccarat. Its name and rules suggest it may have been brought over by sailors returning from Asia where similar card games have been played since the early 17th century such as San zhang, Oicho-Kabu, and Gabo japgi. Macao appeared in Europe at the  end of the 18th century and was popular for all classes. Its notoriety led to King Victor-Amadeus III banning it in all his realms in 1788. It was the most popular game in Watier's, an exclusive gentlemen's club in London, where it led to the ruin of Beau Brummell. The match in Arthur Schnitzler's 1926 novella Night Games (Spiel im Morgengrauen) contains instructions for Macao under the name of baccarat. Its popularity in the United States waned after the early 20th century. The game still has a following in Continental Europe, especially in Russia.

Macao uses two decks of cards shuffled together. Punters place their bets (within the agreed limits) against the banker. Initially, one card is dealt clockwise and face down to every player by the banker. The punters' objective is to beat the banker's card value or risk losing their bet. In case of a tie, whoever has the same value with fewer cards wins. The banker wins if there is a tie in both value and number of cards (in an early version, all bets are off). Any punter who receives a natural 9 receives triple the amount of the bet as long as the banker does not have a natural 9, too. Winning with a natural 8 awards double while winning with a 7 or under is only equal to the bet. Players can request additional cards which are dealt face up; if it is a ten or a face card, they can reject it and ask for another. In an early version of this game, going over 9 with extra cards amounts to a "bust" as in blackjack, later versions use modulo 10 arithmetic as in the other games. Beating the banker with a pair only awards an equal amount to the bet. When the deck is exhausted, the player to the banker's left becomes the new banker.

Victoria is a variation of macao where players are initially dealt two cards. Like macao and baccarat, it was banned in Russia during the 19th century though their rules continued to be printed in game books.

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