Astonishing Historic Facts about Gambling and Casinos


Even thought gambling and casinos as we know them are a relatively recent introduction, the history of hazard games can be traced centuries back. Cards, dice, even craps — all of these games start their “historical way” from nowadays with its digital representatives and gadgets on different online portals and go way back to the ancient times. Here are just some of the astonishing facts about the history of gambling that will surprise you.

The first casino: how it came to be
The first casino as we know it was introduced in Venice. In 1638, the notorious Casanova built a separate place to make the most of his glorious adventures. Obviously, the word is derived from Italian, and can roughly be translated as the ‘house of pleasure’. Apart from gambling, the first Italian casino was also used as a ballroom.

Current restrictions: Monaco

Despite the mass popularity of modern casinos, many countries restrict gambling on the governmental level. Israel is just one of the examples. However, Monaco has the toughest limitations. Its citizens cannot even enter the gaming room. Even though they can work in a foreign casino, they are not allowed to bet.

Past restrictions: Britain

Today, Britain has one of the most ‘user-friendly’ rules when it comes to online and on-site betting. However, it hasn’t always been like that. In the 18th century England, illegal casinos would actually hire people to swallow the dice in case of a police raid. What a job, right?

Ancient Greece: beating the craps

Any savvy gambler knows that there are certain strategies that can help you win — from purely mathematic calculations to downright trickery. The ancient Greeks knew that, too. The first probability guide on how to manipulate dice was written thousands of years ago by famous Aristotle.

20th-century incredible luck in craps

The ancient probability guide, however, is the most amazing fact about craps. In the 1950s, an unknown sailor has placed 27 bets in a row and won every time! The odds of such a winning streak are almost twelve and half million to one! This is something you will not see every day.

Roulette’s initial purpose

Another unexpected fact is about the roulette — one of the most unpredictable games ever. In reality, the machine was never intended as a hazard game. It was just another attempt to create a perpetual motion engine. Invented by a renowned French mathematician Pascal, the device never accomplished its intended function. Nevertheless, the mechanism did last for centuries.

The Liberty Bell: First slot machine ever

Another incredibly popular game that was never intended for gambling as we know is the slot machine. The first device was invented by a car mechanic Charles Fey in 1887. Its only purpose was to entertain people waiting for their cars to be fixed.

What do the card suits represent?

That is a good question indeed, and the funny thing is — no one knows for sure. As of today, two major theories are popular. According to one version, the suits used to represent four classes of people: the noble, the clergy, the tradesmen, and the common folk. Another interpretation suggests that they represent important historical figures. Supposedly, those are Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, biblical king David, and Charlemagne (also knows as Charles the Great).

Insight from: