The Origins of Casino Games

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While many consider the concept of the casino relatively modern, the truth is that gaming and gambling have been part of the fabric of our societies for as long as we care to recount – almost every culture has a gambling connection, and even casino games like blackjack and poker have their origins steeped in history.  While nowadays we might often stick to the most popular casino table games  to get our online gambling fix, in this article, we’ll take a look at some of the more interesting origins of modern casino games, and the origins of the casino itself.


The history of card based casino games

One of the first forms of gambling involved cards. The earliest surviving playing cards date back to the 1100s and were discovered in China. Although card and dice games were popular in ancient China, the French are credited with creating the first modern playing card deck complete with the suits used in poker and blackjack today – although it would be hundreds of years before blackjack was developed in 19th century New Orleans. The quick-fire game is said to have been invented so that players could enjoy a game during a short break – at the time slavery was yet to be abolished in many parts of the United States, meaning that many people in the area were still living under slave conditions.

Other cultures used tokens in place of cards, and many still use tokens today. For example, the Chinese game of Mah-jong makes use of ornate ceramic or wooden tokens.


How dice games became a part of the modern casino

Dice games pre-date cards. Dice were originally used in a form of ancient Egyptian fortune telling and were constructed from animal bone. Over the centuries, “bone-rolling” became a form of entertainment and eventually a form of gambling.

Although Egypt can claim to be the homeland of the dice, modern dice games actually developed hundreds of miles away in Korea. The thrill of dice gaming has remained popular over the years, and can today be enjoyed in casinos with games like craps.


When did the slot machine become a casino fixture?

Of course, not all casino games have ancient cultural origins. The very first slot machines were developed in the late 1800’s in California by Charles Fey. In a short space of time, the slot machine revolutionized the way people gambled, introducing casual gamers to the thrill of having a lucky spin. It’s no coincidence that riverboat gambling became a popular American pastime at the same time as the invention of the slot.


How online casinos changed the world

The web 2.0 revolution brought with it a renewed worldwide interest in casino games. While casinos were already popular, online gambling brought the experience into our homes and even into our pockets – it’s possible to now feel the excitement of the casino from anywhere in the world via our smartphones, and as technology continues to advance, so too does our enjoyment of online gambling. Who knows where it will end? Virtual reality gambling experiences are already ‘in the cards’!


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