A History Of Casino Games

Posted by on Jan 22, 2015 in Blog

Gambling has been a part of human history since ancient times. Some of the casino games that people enjoy have been around for a long time, while others are more recent inventions. Here are some of the more popular games and how they started. Blackjack There is some confusion as to who invented the game of twenty-one, or blackjack. There are theories that it was invented by the French, who called it vingt-et-un (twenty-one in French) in the early 1700s. However, the Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes mentions a game of twenty-one in a short story dating to approximately 1601.  When blackjack was introduced in the United States, casinos offered a ten-to-one payout if the player’s hand was made up of an ace of spades and a black jack of clubs or spades. The hand was called “blackjack” and the name stuck, even though the payout was later done away with. Roulette Roulette, which means little wheel in French, was first played in its current form in Paris around 1796. Earlier, cruder versions may have also been played in England and Italy. Blaise Pascal, a 17th century French mathematician invented a primitive roulette wheel – not to gamble with, but to test a physical science theory. French wheels originally featured a zero and double zero pocket. Around the middle of the 19th century, French casinos began offering single zero wheels, which became a hit. However, when roulette made its way to the Americas, casinos here returned to the original wheel design in an effort to increase the house’s edge while offering patrons potentially higher payouts. To this day, double zero roulette wheels are more common in North and South America and the Caribbean. Poker Like blackjack, several cultures lay claim to poker. The Chinese are said to have played a variation of the game as early as 900 A.D. with colored dominoes. The closest card game to the poker we know today began in France in the 15th century and was called pogue. It featured 52 cards and 4 suits. French settlers brought pogue to Canada and New Orleans. Its popularity grew during the Civil War and the name “poker” became more commonly used.  Craps Craps may have derived from the Arab game of Al Azar, which means dice in Arabic. One theory posits that European soldiers brought it back with them during the Crusades. It became wildly popular in England around the 17th century and went by the name of Hazard. Like poker, the American version arrived in New Orleans by way of France.  Slot Machines The first slot machine was invented in San Francisco by Charles Fey. The exact date is unknown, but is believed to be between 1887 and 1895. The first video slot machine was developed in 1976 in Las Vegas. Many cultures and inventors contributed to the exciting casino games we play at places like Fort...

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