The story of gambling is a fascinating one. Emerging from a primitive form of entertainment and becoming an increasingly popular pastime, it’s been transformed in many ways over the years.

The Ridotto, where casino gaming was first institutionalised in 17th-century Venice, was the world’s first regulated gambling house and permitted masked guests only.

Known as the world’s favourite casino game, blackjack is actually something of an enigma. The game might have been based on French game vingt-et-un.


From Ancient China on which simplistic gambling games used to be engraved on tiles to Ancient Egypt, dices from the 2000BC have been discovered: Humans simply love gambling.

The first casinos (called riuttos in Italy) made their appearance in the 17th century as state-run gambling houses, and by the late 1800s they had spread across continental Europe. Arriving in the US on steam boats’ routes along the Mississippi, they eventually took the form as we know them today: the House of Rouge et Noir in Paris and Monte Carlo. Roulette wheels? Sure thing by now.

Blackjack first appears a bit later, but historians aren’t quite sure when. Some historians believe it was a direct descendant of the French game vingt-et-un (early 1500s), the Spanish game trente-un (1570s), or ventiuna (1601). The name comes from 1930s America, when marketers for casinos in Nevada gave the game its current title as part of a marketing campaign.


Rules in the games of the casino are many. The random number generator computer programme that determines where a slot machine’s symbols land when spun – spitting out thousands of numbers per second and stopping where the stop on the slot stops – is popular. Other favourites are baccarat, blackjack, roulette, video poker; keno; table games such as Chuck-a-Luck and Craps as well as numerous dice use games; many forms of cards such as standard Poker and Rummy, while offering the house a long term advantage over those who play, can sometimes give the player a short term advantage.


There are endless varieties of casino games; some are intricately regulated, others less so; some are sophisticated affairs, though most are charming and well-tested. Topping the list of modern casino favourites, though, is blackjack. Invented in 16th-century Europe when gambling was still illegal there, the game is said to have taken off shortly thereafter.

Another one involves using dice (and there are many further games in this category, including craps). Our modern form probably evolved from an earlier one called hazard, which might have originated in the Arabic world and, having spread there after the Crusades, moved across to Europe.

Other gambling games include baccarat, where two players bet on the passing (or not) of each hand, and sports betting activities, in which people bet on the outcomes of sporting events.


There are three major categories of casino games. These are the gaming machines, the table games and random number games.
The first category is the gaming machines games. This are the slot machines, pachinko and lots more. All these gaming machines are played individually without the assistance of any casino derived employees.
The next category is the table games games. This are games where two or more individuals play together against the house. Amongst this gambling games are the black jack or craps and other more where the player compete against the house with the assistance of the croupier or dealers.
The last is the random numbers betting type. Here, the players does not know when numbers would be drawn. Betting occurs when the random numbers are picked.

Casinos had long made their way across Europe by the mid-1800s, but they did not make their way into America until 1910 after the prohibition against formal gambling houses pushed off-licence gambling houses – nicknamed saloons – to frontier cities such as New Orleans or riverboats on the Mississippi.

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