Life

The Growth and Journey of Casino Games over Centuries

Photo by Adrien Robert on Unsplash

Man, gambling and casino have come a long way. Researchers say that as early as 2300 BC, people were already gambling. You’ll remember that casting of lots to make an unbiased decision has also featured in the bible.  People, since the beginning of times, have predicted the outcomes of not just games, but virtually every event, including wars.

Casino games stemmed from humans’ appetite to gamble on events. Now, such games form an excellent form of entertainment. The rise of technology has further escalated their position, making them even more significant. Right now, you can log in to sites such as Eurolotto and enjoy some fantastic casino games.

The first European gambling premises was in Venice, Italy. The gambling house, Ridotto was its name, offered controlled gambling from 1638 under the management of the Great Council of Venice. Players would entertain themselves there during the Carnival season.

Since then, the casino games have evolved, adapting to various changes to align themselves with the interest of the masses and to keep up with the pace of human development.

Ancient Casino Games and How We Call the Today

Five oldest casino games stood the test of time, evolving with the interest of humans, to cement their place as part and parcel of a gambling house. They include:  

Craps

While historians have refused to agree on the origin of craps, it is a universal agreement that the game is the oldest casino staple. Some historians attribute it to Sir William of Tyre in the era of the Crusaders in 1125. But others say the game was born out of an Arabic dice game – Al Zar. But they all point to the 12th century. Nonetheless, Craps, as we know it today, is the work of John H. Winn, who advanced the game in the 19th century.

Blackjack

The first description of Blackjack in history books is captured by a Spanish author, who was also a gambler, Miguel de Cervantes. The writer is famous for writing Don Quixote. However, it is in his tale “Rinconete y Cortadillo,” from Novellas Ejemplares, that he narrates the story of a group of people working in Seville who have mastered cheating in the game of Ventiuna (Twenty-One). Going by this story written between 1600 and 1603, it is safe to say the Blackjack has been around since the beginning of the 17th century.

Roulette

From the Romans who spun their chariot wheels in a fascinating game of chance to the advance wheel of fortune we play today, roulette has been around for centuries. Like Craps, we give it to the French. History attributes the modern game to the French Mathematician and Scientist Blaise Pascal. He spent most of his leisure time gaming at a Parisian casino, which is where he created roulette in 1657.

Poker

Poker, if translated to German, “Pochspiel,” loosely translates to the bragging game. The game is old as commercial gambling itself. It was first reported by English actor Joseph Crowell, who discovered people playing this game in New Orleans in 1829. In his report, the game involved four players and played with a deck of 20 cards. The player with the most valuable hand won the game.

Slots

The first slot machine was created by Sittman and Pitt of Brooklyn, New York, 1891. This game replicated Poker, had five drums holding 50 card faces. It became an instant hit occupying a spot in most bars across the city. To play, you would insert a nickel and would stop on what you predicted. It had no direct pay-out, as such, winners would settle for drinks and cigarettes as prizes. That machine, the one-arm bandit, it what evolved into the fantastic modern-day video and online slots we play today.