Casino Games

Gambling has been popular for generations, and casino games have been around for a very long time. While it’s impossible to pinpoint precisely when we started to pay games of chance which then developed into the casino games that we all know today, we know that people in Ancient China enjoyed playing games which involved numbers and when eventually progressed into keno and other similar games. In Ancient Rome, games which used dice were very popular and were called “casting lots”.

The History Of Casino Games

As for the word “casino” – it comes from an Italian word meaning “little house”. However, it has always been used specifically to refer to somewhere built solely for the purpose of leisure. Buildings known as casinos were originally used for music and dancing and not only gambling, although this would have played a part in the entertainment. As you may imagine, then, the earliest known casino was established in Italy. The Casino di Venezia opened its doors for the first time as long ago as 1638, and it’s still open and operating today! It was from this point that casino games as we know them today took off in a big way.

The History Of Slot Games

Of all casino games, slots are among the most popular. They can be found in huge numbers in both bricks and mortar casinos and in online establishments worldwide. So where did they originate, and how did they become the high definition, cutting edge slots that we love to play today?

The precise origin of slot machines could be one of two different theories. One involves an American named Charles Fey. He developed a slot machine all the way back in 1887 known as the Liberty Bell machine. His design was simple, with only five symbols and three reels, one of which was, of course, the Liberty Bell. The second theory centers on two men called Pitt and Sittman who were said to have invented the first ever slot machine a few years later in 1891. The machine was based on the 5 card poker game and used 5 spinning drums that had 50 cards fixed to them. Whenever the spinning drums came to a stop, the would display a hand. Both creations had an impact on the slots that we love to play today.

It was in the 1970s that the first ever video slot appeared. It used a video display rather than physically spinning reels to line up the symbols. This evolved over time using the latest technology until today’s all singing all dancing video slots emerged.

The History Of Video Poker

Video poker is another popular game that is played both in real world and online casinos. There is some overlap between the development of slots and the development of video poker. Sittman and Pitt’s 1891 5 card poker game was the earliest version of a poker machine, while 7 years later, Charles Fey (also linked with slots) invented a poker machine called the “Card Bell” and then in 1901 designed the “Skill Draw” machine that had an innovative hold feature. When the draw feature was introduced, this was very popular with players who enjoyed the fact that they now had some kind of control over their game and that it wasn’t based solely on luck. These machines became widespread and were soon found in virtually ever tobacco and liquor store across the USA.

The first video poker machine was introduced in 1970. Named the “Poker-Matic” it could be found in almost every Las Vegas casino. It wasn’t an enormous hit, however it paved the way for other video poker offerings. By the mid-1970s, the idea of video poker had been introduced to Reno’s Fortune Coin Company. By 1981, casinos everywhere were introducing these new machines to their gaming floors. They became popular with punters who were too intimidated to play poker at a gaming table and so the numbers of video poker machines increased until they became the popular phenomenon that we know today.

The History Of Table Games

There are a number of table games found in any casino, however two of the most popular are blackjack and roulette. So, where did these two games originate?

Blackjack’s origins are unknown but it’s generally believed to have emerged in the early 1700s in French casinos. Originally known as “vingt-et-un” or “21”, this game became increasingly popular and was eventually brought to America by French colonists. In the 1930s, it gained a large following in Nevada and when a new rule was included which said that either black jack alongside the ace of spades would pay out at 10-1 the name “blackjack” came into use. That rule has since fallen from favor, but the name remains.

As for roulette, it’s believed that the game was created by a scientist from France known as Blaise Pascal all the way back in 1655. There are a host of forerunners to today’s game of roulette including English games such as Ace of Hearts, Even-Odd and Roly Poly and Italian games like Hoca and Biribi, and all have probably had a hand in developing the game that we know today.

Over the years, two styles of roulette have developed – French and American versions. The French version was created on the Riviera and uses a single zero. The American roulette game uses a double zero and was created in gambling dens along the Mississippi. This version of the game also has a simpler betting layout. Both versions are still played today, and now more versions of the game have evolved including California Roulette which uses cards rather than pockets.

The History Of Speciality Games

Two of the best known speciality games in casinos today are Sic Bo and Keno. Where did they originate?

Sic Bo comes from ancient China and is played with a marked table and 3 dice. Through its history, it’s had a number of names including Hi-Lo, Dai Siu and Tai Sai. It is still known as Hi Lo in the Philippines and as Dai Siu in some other Asian nations. While it has long been popular across Asia, it only arrived in the West at the start of the 20th century, arriving with Chinese migrants. It can now be found in many casinos, although it remains relatively unknown compared to famous table games like blackjack and roulette.

Keno, too, has a very long history dating back for centuries. It’s believed that this game also came from ancient China, during the Han Dynasty. According to the legend, Keno was created as a form of lottery designed to raise more money so the Han Dynasty War could be brought to an end. The game re-emerged many years later to raise sufficient funds in order to build the Great Wall.

The original version of Keno was different to the version we know today. Rather than the 80 numerals we use now, there were 120 different Chinese characters. In China, those characters are still used, but the numbers have been cut to just 80.

When Chinese migrants brought Keno to the west, it became an instant success. It arrived in Nevada in the early years of the 20th century, but at that time lotteries were illegal while gambling had been legalized. Keno was viewed as a form of lottery, so it was renamed as Racehorse Keno and disguised as a form of racing game, with each number relating to a different horse. Every draw was known as a race. Once lotteries became legal, it reverted to its original format, but you may still discover some live casinos that refer to Racehorse Keno.

So, there you have it – the history of some of the most popular games found in both real world and online casinos today! As you can see, gambling has been a popular activity with punters for centuries, and it isn’t going to fall from favor any time soon!