The Oldest Casino Games We Still Play

People have been gambling for hundreds of years, and although casinos are a relatively new part of this pastime, games of chance have always held us in their thrall.

In 1638, Venetian Great Council rebuilt a wing of the Palazzo Dandolo, turning it into the first gambling house comparable to modern venues in the world. It was named Il Ridotto and established a gaming environment under governmental control during the annual carnival.

We enjoy unlimited access to a huge selection of real money entertainment online these days, from real money Bingo through to Poker, Craps, and other great games, some with longer histories than others.

Beating the Blackjack Dealer to 21

The iconic Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes refers to 21 as far back as the 1600s, proof that it was already a gambler favourite more than 400 years ago. It migrated from Europe to America with the first settlers, and started its transformation to the format it’s enjoyed in today. In a bid to keep players interested, bonuses were introduced, and one of the most popular centered on the card combination of a Black Jack and the Ace of Spades. Although the bonus has fallen away, the name stuck, and 21 is now commonly known as Blackjack.

Rolling the Dice

Craps is a currently popular casino game involving dice these days, but the cubes themselves may well have been invented in Sophocles’ lifetime, 400BC. The playwright mentions them, but Egyptian archaeologists have unearthed cubes dating even further back, from between 2 000BC and 6 000BC! Craps itself is a variation of Hazzard, which emerged in roughly the 13th century. It went on to become the game we know and love today once it hit New Orleans in the 1800s.

Picking Lucky Keno Numbers

Keno has enjoyed a surge in popularity recently, but its origin story is a rather unexpected one. While it’s undergone big changes over time, it’s still essentially the same game that was invented in 200 BC in China. It was initially conceived of as a way to raise enough money to build the Great Wall, and its incredible popularity spread over to the rest of the world when immigrants started streaming out of the country and populating new areas.

Enjoying the King of Casino Games

A Monsieur Blaise Pascal stumbled upon the Roulette wheel as he was looking for a perpetual motion machine, and the game caught on incredibly quickly. A British version of it, Roly Poly, was banned by 1739, and the wheel as we know it today had started taking shape towards the end of the 18th century, particularly in france. The numbers on the wheel were inspired by a French game called Biribi, a kind of low stakes Lotto, and the rest, as they say, is history!

Although we don’t know for sure which gambling game is the oldest of them all, there’s something to be said for the fact of continuing a long tradition when we try our luck. The next time you’ve set the Roulette wheel spinning or select your lucky numbers in a Keno game, think about your counterparts over the years, doing the very same thing at different periods of history. When you make your Pass Line bet at the Craps table or Hit on a total of 11 during a Blackjack game, you’re continuing a proud history with its roots far back in the mists of time.