Evidence of gambling can be found dating back hundreds of years. The attraction of huge bets has intrigued many throughout history, and it has probably been around almost as long as civilization itself. While there is undeniably a precursor to modern casinos in virtually every culture, the best online casinos as we know them today did not appear for some time.
The Ridotto Casino in Venice, which opened in 1638, holds the record for being the oldest continuously operating casino in the world. So what kinds of games were people playing back then? Not the slot machines, of course. Some of the games that gamers of long ago might have enjoyed are listed below.
Blackjack evolved from a game called “twenty-one”, which is still commonly used to refer to blackjack in the UK. The history of this game is shrouded in mystery, but its Spanish heritage seems inevitable. Miguel de Cervantes, best known for writing Don Quixote, is the first author to mention the card game. The protagonists of Cervantes’ book engage in a game of cards with the aim of reaching a total of twenty-one without exceeding it.
Since the story was published in 1601, we can safely assume that the game was popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. Later, in the late 19th century, the game found its way to the United States from Europe as 21.
While the modern game of roulette has its roots in 18th century France, it was actually dreamed up by a physicist named Blaise Pascal in the 17th century. Pascal wanted to build a machine that could spin indefinitely using only the energy it produced. Although he was unsuccessful with his invention, it helped pave the way for roulette.
A variant of the game with the unmistakable creative name “roly poly” first appeared in Britain in the 1720s and was banned there in 1739. We can trace the origins of roulette to the second half of the 18th century in France, when it first started appearing in gambling dens across the country. In fact, the numbers on the wheel are directly derived from the French game of Biribi, a low-stakes lottery variant.
Even though the game didn’t gain popularity until the 1600s, humans had been using playing cards for centuries. Playing cards, according to most historians, have existed since at least the 9th century in China. The rules of these ancient card games have been lost to modern riches. But baccarat, the oldest card game still played in casinos, goes back much further. The earliest known version of baccarat dates back to at least the 1400s. The card game was first mentioned in the 1400s when it was played in Italy. Then he finally arrived in France.
It took hundreds of years for baccarat to become the game we know today. Prior to 1907 when casinos were permitted in France, it was popular among the French aristocracy and was usually played in private gambling halls.
One of the first versions of baccarat dates back to this period and is played with three players: baccarat banque. Later, a two-player variant of baccarat called chemin de fer emerged. Havana, Cuba in the 1940s was the birthplace of Baccarat Punto Banco, one of the most common variations of the game played in casinos today.