If you think that dice games originated with the Parker Brothers’Monopoly boardgame in 1935, think again: an excavation by scientists of a 3,000-year-old site in Southeastern Iran unearthed a set of dice originating from that very period.
It seems that humans have always loved playing games. Even today, much human problem solving entails ‘playing with ideas’– keeping to the rules but rearranging component parts of a concept or even a machine in novel ways to work out a breakthrough when we’re trapped in an impasse.
We’re in love with games, the strategies for playing them, and the sheer human creativity and ingenuity that casino games require (and encourage) for success. So, here’s our whistle-stop tour of the history of the table games we’ve grown so fond of, and of the origins of the casino games that our customers enjoy so deeply.
One of the most popular forms of table game in the world currently is the humble card game, but it’s not as ‘modern’ a genre as you might imagine. Historians believe that the first use of a card deck dates back to the 6th-century Tang Dynasty of ancient China. Europeans probably didn’t get to see a card game until the 14th century, and experts think that these were almost certainly akin to tarot cards.
However, the cards that we’re familiar with at the poker table, with the deck divided into four suits (hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds),are believed to have originated in France in 1480.
Even casino games that we think of as quintessentially modern – such as blackjack, craps, baccarat and roulette –have histories stretching back centuries. Roulette, for example, which remains one of the most popular games in any modern casino – online at the best NJ online casinos, including Resorts Casino, or at a real-world establishment – dates back to the gambling houses of 18th-century France (‘roulette’ is French for ‘small wheel’).
Another casino game of 18th-century French origin is the ever-popular blackjack, which probably began as a game called ‘chemin de fer’, though similar games with similar rules are known to have existed back then elsewhere in Europe (such as ‘one and thirty’ in Spain).
How about baccarat? Here’s a clue: it’s the Italian word for ‘zero’–and it’s the grandfather of modern casino card chem games, dating back to 15th-century Italy (as those familiar with the game will know, the face cards and 10carry a value of zero, hence the Italian name).Migrating from Italy, it took off among the French aristocracy but stayed there for hundreds of years before reaching other parts of Europe.
Craps, which may have had origins in ancient Rome, remains perhaps the most popular casino dice game out there – and the early problem of weighted dice is, thanks to online casinos and digital dice, a thing of the past.
The human propensity for playing games seems hardwired into us, and perhaps that’s hardly surprising given that we’ve been playing games for many millennia. This means that it’s a characteristic that’s here to stay, not least because it symbolizes the uniquely human capacity for taking calculated risks and exercising human creative problem solving.