How has gambling evolved over the years?

Most of us will be familiar with classic casino games like roulette and poker, but few of us will know just how entrenched gambling is in human history.

But it seems as though games of chance have been with us for thousands of years. And so here is a look at how humans have liked to gamble over the centuries.

Interestingly, it seems that gambling has very ancient origins. With tales from the ancient Greeks suggesting that the gods Hades, Poseidon and Zeus rolled dice to carve up the universe between them, it shows that we’ve been using chance in interesting ways for a very long time.

What’s remarkable is how widespread gambling was in ancient times. From the 2,000-year old history of games like keno in China, to evidence of the ‘casting of lots’ in Biblical texts, it seems as though we’ve always had an appreciation for how random actions can have fascinating results.

Because of this there has been plenty of attempts to try and generate systems for producing truly random sequences of numbers. One of the French mathematician Blaise Pascal’s most famous inventions was a primitive roulette machine that was developed in the hope that it would be a perpetual motion machine.

However, this 17th century invention actually gave us one of the most iconic casino games, and this coincided with the first gambling houses emerging in Europe. From the Ridotto gaming establishment in Venice, to the glamorous casinos like Baden-Baden in Germany and the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco, it seems that gambling started to become standardised in the 18th and 19th centuries.

And with the establishment of gambling saloons in American cities like New Orleans, San Francisco and St Louis, it became clear that there was a global hunger for games of chance.

Whilst the establishment of casino-focused destinations like Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Macau was one of the more remarkable changes in casino culture in the 20th century, it was when internet technologies brought about the online casino revolution in 1996 that things really took off.

As a result, there has been an explosion of brands like InterCasino who are able to provide realistic simulations of established games of chance like roulette, blackjack and poker. And the ability to play simple slots games on a smartphone shows how adaptable these classic games are to digital technologies.

So although the surface aesthetics of modern casino games may look very different to the games that our ancestors may have enjoyed, it seems that the underlying gaming mechanisms of chance and betting remain remarkably unchanged.

the author

He’s a cat. He likes to play video games. He often has a hard time with this since he’s a gamer cat living in a gamer human world, but he gets by.