The casino world has an interesting history, as do the individual games that modern-day players have come to associate with casinos. Where does roulette come from? Who decided that placing bets was a good idea? How were cards invented? These are all questions that are related to the history of the casino world, and questions that can often not be answered.
Beginning of Gambling
There are various accounts regarding the history of the casino world and the gambling industry, but there is little consensus on its origins. Its history, however, is very often tied to the history of religion and to the ancient practice of the casting of lots. In ancient times, whenever the outcome of certain events was to be predicted, people would through objects on to the ground and attempt to interpret the results. Even numbers of objects were read as holding a favourable outcome, whereas an odd number of objects would foretell a negative outcome.
A Godly Account
In terms of religion, ancient civilisation used to prey upon the gods to influence the outcome of events and hope for their luck. There are also mythological tales of ancient Greek gods, such as Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon engaging in some rudimentary gambling games to determine the outcome of certain decisions. This godly use of gambling was adopted by humans as well, and people began using gambling to determine who would do what. In essence, then, early gambling was used as a decision-making tool.
Chips, Dice, and Cards
While modern casino chips, dice, and playing cards may have had a later development, there are already accounts in ancient history of early rudimentary versions of these tools. According to ancient history, for example, the earliest die was constructed from knucklebones. These are four-sided bones and ancient civilisations began painting numbers on them for use in games of luck.
Cards and Divination
Playing cards have their roots in ancient practices of superstition and divination, as can be seen from reports of the history of the Tarot deck. The Tarot deck, indeed, can be seen as the predecessor of the modern card deck, depicting various societal roles and card suits. The Tarot deck moved away from its divination roots to become part of everyday life, and cards were most commonly used by the upper classes as a form of entertainment.
Most modern-day casino games have their roots in more recent history or, rather, the era of documented history. The origins of games such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette, and craps can be traced back to various parts of Europe. Other games can be traced back to different parts of the world. Keno, for example, is thought to have been an ancient Chinese lottery game.
The First Casinos
The term ‘casino’ comes from the Italian and literally translates as small villa or summer home. The roots of the first casino with the modern-day gambling connotation, or, at least, the connotation of a place where people go to relax and have fun and engage in fun activities, harks back to 17th century Italy.
Since then, the world of casinos and gambling has come a long away, and it continues to change as technology progresses. In the last one hundred years, the industry has changed astronomically as well. Avid casino aficionados have begun to move away from purely land-based casino establishments to embrace online casino platforms, mobile casinos, and even various live casino channels that aim to unite the traditional land-based casinos to modern-day online casinos.