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On the History of Casino Games

Posted on November 21, 2014

History of Casino Games

The first gambling house recognized as being the first casino was the Ridotti in Venice, which offered gambling games during the festival of Carnival. Modern casinos evolved from those beginnings to offer card games, table games, and slot machines.

Card Games


The origins of poker are not clear. There are ancient games such as the Persian game called "As Nas", a French game called "pogue" and an Irish game called "poca" which may have been the predecessors to the modern game called "poker." What is not disputed is that during the 1800s poker gambling became popular on Mississippi river boats and then spread to the Wild West.


Blackjack came from the Spanish game of twenty-one called "ventiuna" dating from around the 16th century and was first written about by Cervantes (the author of "Don Quiote") in his story called "Rinconete y Cortadillo" about card cheaters.

Table Games


Craps came from the French game "crapuad" which is the word for "toad" in French because it was first played in the streets where the players crouch down like toads.


There are competing theories about who invented roulette, but the most popular idea is the game's invention was in 1655 by Blaise Pascal, a French scientist. The game first became popular in casinos located in France. The European version of the game differs because it has only one green space, the number "0", where the American version adds a second green space of the number "00" which puts the odds more in the favor of the casino operators.

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Slot Games

In 1891, the Sittman and Pitt Company in New York promoted the first gambling machines. Nevertheless, Charles Fey from San Francisco, gets the credit for inventing the first slot machine, called the "Liberty Bell" in 1895.

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Video Poker

In the 1970s, a man named Si Reed worked for Bally which made most of the slot machines. He tried to convince Bally to make video poker machines, based on the new advancements in computer technology, but Bally had no interest. Bally allowed him to take the patent and he formed a new company called Sircoma to make video poker machines. It took awhile to catch on but, by 1981 video poker became the most popular casino game.

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Online Games

Modern technological advancements now allow playing casino games from the comfort of our homes. Some of the most fun games are now online. Our favorites are these:

From ancient times to Mississippi river boat to cowboys playing poker in wild west gold mining culture to modern times where we play online, gambling fun has been, and will continue to be, a part of our lives.