Casino gaming is a longstanding tradition that will never get old. It will, however, change with the times as it has in the past. Let’s take a short look at the evolution of casino games, from their analog past to their digital future.
Where Did the Casino Game Come From?
It is difficult to put a real date on the concept of gaming, as people have been gambling on the outcome of events since before recorded history. According to some researchers, the earliest forms of gambling may have been established around 2300 BC.
The first modern casino, some researchers agree, showed up in Venice around 1638. This European gambling house was known as the Ridotto. However, it was not specifically known as a casino. It did serve the same general purpose and was officially established by the Great Council of Venice to control the outlandish gambling that happened during the wild Carnival season.
What are the Oldest Casino Games?
Although modern casinos have a plethora of games that change quite often, there are a few games that have definitely stood the test of time. The following are the five oldest casino games as researched by many gaming experts:
Craps – Sir William of Tyre invented the oldest known casino game circa 1125 A.D. during the Crusades. After coming across a castle called Hazarth, he and his troops would play a game called Hazard, named specifically after the castle. However, other researchers think that the game actually originated from an Arabic dice game that made its way to Europe through traveling merchants.
Slots – Who could imagine a real-life or Casumo online casino without slots? The time was 1891, the place was Brooklyn, New York, and the people were Sittman and Pitt. These two enterprising gentlemen based their game on poker and created an early version of the slot machine with five drums and 50 cards. The machine allowed people to insert a nickel and pull a lever. If the machine showed a good poker hand, the player won drinks and cigarettes, not money.
Blackjack – This game centers around 21 because it actually derives from another game that was officially known as Twenty One (or Ventiuna). Miguel de Cervantes was the First European to mention the game, and he actually used it in some of his stories. Historians found that people have been playing the game since the beginning of the 17th century.
Roulette – Roulette comes from ancient Roman culture, from soldiers who spun their chariot wheels and betting on them in a way that is similar to the way the roulette wheel is spun today. However, the modern version of the game started in France with the famous mathematician Blaise Pascal.
Poker – Poker is closely aligned with the development of commercial gambling and dates back to the English actor Joseph Crowell and 1829. He was in New Orleans when he saw a game similar to modern poker being played by four players around the table with a deck of 20 cards.
The Digital Casino
As gaming spread across Europe and other locations, gaming halls began popping up to accommodate the demand. This trend made its way to the Internet as people began to play text poker and other games of chance on message boards. The first official digital casino was created in 1994, and now digital casinos comprise about half of the entire gaming market’s revenues. Bingo and poker followed suit, with the first website for both those games being created in 1998.
By 2024, the global market for online gaming is expected to reach in excess of $94 billion. This is a full doubling of the industry since 2017. The expansion of the industry is built on higher proliferation of the Internet in rural areas around the world and higher saturation of digital tools within markets that are already well-established.
You really can’t say that you love something until you know its history. Now that you have learned the evolution of casino games from festival card tables to online hubs, you can go into your next gambling session with a sense of pride in the industry that you are helping to grow!