The Oldest Casino Games in History
Casino games have always been an important pastime for mankind, with evidence to show that we’ve been gambling for a good few thousand years. Many of the games we enjoy in modern times are relatively new in comparison, but they all still boast long and fascinating histories that sometimes span hundreds of years. With that in mind, these are the world’s oldest casino games.
The extremely popular game of cards, blackjack is also among the oldest. Once known simply as 21, the first mention of the game can be found in a book written by Miguel de Cervantes, a popular Spanish author. The reference can be located in his Novelas Ejemplares, which follows the exploits of two cheats that become good at rigging 21 to their own benefit. The story was written at some point in the early 17th century, meaning that the game of 21 was popular for some time before that in the 1500s. It’s popularity only exploded once the game came to American casinos, where it would eventually adopt the name that we know today.
The modern version of roulette that we find at most casinos can trace its roots to 18th century France, although it was initially invented in the previous century by famous physicist Blaise Pascal. At the time, Pascal had been working on a perpetual motion machine in the hope of discovering a source of endless energy. The machine didn’t work out – mostly due to the laws of physics – but it did lay the groundwork that would later become the roulette wheel. In the 18th century, it was known as Roly Poly, and was banned by the British government for almost an entire century. It would only be later in France once again that roulette would start to pop up at casinos and begin to earn its reputation as a fun and thrilling casino game. Another century, roulette would make its way to the western world, where it would undergo a few more changes as it adapted to Las Vegas casinos.
Keno is a game that gained most of popularity thanks to Las Vegas, and it’s common to find the game both online, such as Rival online casinos and at land-based casinos. Keno is a game that has undergone a number of changes over the years, meaning that the earlier versions would be quite unrecognisable to most people today, even if the basics have remained the same for the most part.
The ancestor of keno can be found in Ancient China, specifically during the time when the Great Wall of China was being built. It’s believed to have been a way of raising money to help fund the building of the wall, although this is not a confirmed fact, and many dispute it as a story. Regardless, keno undoubtedly popped up during this time, and would later arrive in the United States during the 19th century with the arrival of Chinese immigrants.