The History of Gambling – How Did it Became Popular?

In some way or another, gambling has taken place hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, and is indissolubly related to the history of humanity. 

Games of chance were discovered first in ancient China, and then the oldest known dice was excavated in Egypt. In ancient Greece, betting on animal fights was normal, and animals would be raised for that purpose. Humans loved to gamble at every opportunity since forever. Experts believe that playing cards first appeared in China, in the 9th century. The games played then are unknown, but the cards are similar to those used today. The cards were decorated with human forms – as soon as the games were spread throughout Europe, the Queens and Kings started to appear on playing cards. 

Gambling started then to spread and evolve throughout society, becoming more regulated and organized.

In the 17th century, the first casino and gambling house appeared in Italy. It was called “The Ridotto” and was established in Venice, 1638. Gambling was then more controlled, with casinos appearing throughout Europe in the 19th century. 

The first games that arrived in the USA with early pioneers from France were Roulette and Vingt-et-un. Boats on the Mississippi became the location of gambling for wealthy people. A type of poker originated in the 17th century Persia, and was played in New Orleans in 1829. The modernization of gambling meant that prizes could then be controlled more precisely. The first gambling machine was created by Sittman and Pitt, in New York. At the same time, Charles Fey from San Francisco invented the Liberty Bell machine. The first video slot was invented in 1976, which surfaced the way for the next video slots.

Gambling’s earliest evidence

It is almost obvious that some types of betting have taken place since forever in human history – the earliest evidence of gambling comes from China, where tiles were used to play games of chance. There was a Chinese book written, which was called “Book of Songs”. The book refers to the drawing of wood, which shows that the tiles have shaped part of the lottery type of game. Throughout history, lotteries were used for civic purposes, with Yale and Harvard creating lottery funds, and it is continued nowadays. 

Playing cards in China 

Most researchers agree that the first cards games appeared in China in the 9th century, but the exact rules were lost to history. Some studies suggest that the first pack of cards looked like paper forms of Chinese domino. For sure the cards used then are very little related to the basic 52 cards we use today. 

Playing Blackjack

Some studies have shown that the earliest forms of blackjack come from Spain. It was a Spanish game called Ventiuna (21), and it appeared first in a book written by the author Don Quixote, in 1601. However, there are many origin stories telling us differently: it might be the game of Trente-un (31) or Quinze (15) from France. The inventors of gambling rarely have taken part of the historical archives. The game of Vingt-et-un in the 17th century is definitely a forefather of the modern game, Blackjack. The name “blackjack” is an American invention related to casinos in Nevada in the 1930s. 

How to win at blackjack? Well, the odds may depend. Blackjack is the only game where you have a shot against the house. It is because this is a strategy game, based more on probability instead of luck. To make sure you increase your chances of winning at blackjack, learn the basic strategies of playing your cards wisely, and then control the card as well as the system. 

First Casinos in Italy

The original gambling communities started to appear in the 17th century, Italy, as mentioned before. The Ridotto was a safe and controlled gambling environment, amidst the chaos and seasonal carnivals. Now, when we imagine casinos, we tend to think about “Las Vegas”, USA. Gambling in Italy has taken place for centuries, in so many forms. Back then, only rich people could afford to play at “The Ridotto”. The games played were lottery, roulette game, bassetta, and biribi. 

Baccarat also originated in Italy in the 15th century. Bingo is also an Italian game – in the 1530s, Italian people had fun playing a game called “Lo Giuoco del Lotto D’Italia”, which bears a resemblance to bingo. 

Roulette Wheel

As we know it today, roulette originated in gambling houses in Paris, where gamblers have been ironically referring to it as “the American Roulette wheel.” You can now still win money and other big prizes at online casino game roulette. The game consists of players who may choose to place bets on a single or many numbers. To see the winning number, a croupier will spin the wheel in one direction, and then spin the ball in the other direction. The prizes are then collected by the person who places a successful bet. 

In the 19th century, roulette games spread over Europe and the USA, becoming one of the most famous casino games, besides blackjack, which was America’s most popular casino game. If you want to learn how to play it, just do your research and find good blackjack tips for beginners.  

Online gambling nowadays 

Legal online gambling is exploding across the entire world, with online casino, poker, sports betting, roulette game, online casino game roulette, etc. Online gambling is now preferred by most people, and mostly because it is more comfortable and safer to play in the comfort of your home. However, this doesn’t exclude the chances for players to go to casinos. There is an obvious answer to the question “Why most people gamble today?” – It’s because they’ve always done it! Tech developments have attracted a new generation of players. The studies suggest that users are likely to use more of their handled devices, and their desktops less. So, for those who enjoy to gamble at home, there is a list of games you can try: plus, you have more opportunities of winning when you gamble online. 

RJ Frometa
Author: RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

Check Also

Types of CBD products: edibles, topicals, and oral sprays

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis that has been shown to have …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.