Casino games have been a popular pastime for millennia, with signs of dice dating back as far as Ancient Egypt. Some of the very first casinos only hosted a select few games though, with Roulette and Blackjack tables being the focal point of many gaming establishments since the very first casino opened in Italy in 1638.
It’s clear the nation just loves the thrill of the casino, but how did the games spread like wildfire, and make their way to our mobiles, with live casino making them even more accessible than ever before?
Read on to find out.
Forms of games involving placing bets on spinning shields, wheels and anything in between have cropped up all throughout history. However, the Roulette wheel as we know it was invented by French mathematician and physicist, Blaise Pascal, in the 17th century. The wheel was initially Pascal’s attempt at defying physics and making a perpetual motion machine, but this failed invention led to the birth of the Roulette wheel.
Originally, the wheel had both a single zero and double zero pocket, and it wasn’t until 1843 that two Frenchmen created a single zero version of the game, lowering the house edge and helping casinos attract more business. This later became known as European Roulette, as Americans took preference to the wheel featuring a double zero – hence the name ‘American Roulette’.
The very first casino to feature the single zero European version of the wheel was the iconic Monte Carlo casino, meaning this version of the game spun into popularity, and still remains the most popular version of the game today.
There are theories that Blackjack, or ‘twenty-one’, was invented by the Romans, who played the game with wooden blocks that had different numbers painted on them, instead of cards. This is not confirmed though, and whilst similar games were popular in France in the 1700s, it’s believed that the game derived from French casinos, who hosted the popular game ‘Vingt-et-Un’, which directly translates to ‘twenty-one’.
In the 1800s, Blackjack was taken over to America where popularity boomed. As the casino game with the highest winning odds, it’s no wonder Blackjack is still one of the most popular casino games of all time.
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The very first slot machine dates back to 1891. Sittman and Pitt, a New York based company, created a machine that was operated by a lever, which pulled a spring, which spun 50 playing cards around five drums. The idea was to line up Poker hands, and prizes would be paid out in the form of drinks and cigars from the bar they were in.
The first slot machine to offer automated payouts was the Liberty Bell, created sometime between 1887-1895 by Charles Fey. This machine featured three reels, and inspired the iconic design that played a huge part during fruit machine era – when players would win prizes in the form of sweets and gum, because real-money gambling was banned.
Eventually, as technology advanced, slot machines became electromechanical, and then developed further into video Slots – offering even bigger payouts, computerised gameplay, better graphics, and bonus games.
In 1996, the first online casino to offer automated payouts was successfully launched. The site featured Roulette and Blackjack, but slot games weren’t far behind. Since then, technology has continued to advance, with online casinos offering immersive gameplay like never before. They even offer an array of slot games, with faster, newer mechanics that offer unimaginable prizes, countless bonus rounds and special effects that, 20 years ago wasn’t even on the cards.
Now, you can even play live Roulette, Blackjack, and any other casino game under the sun, with a real-life dealer, being streamed in real-time to any device at a live casino. Casinos have never been so mobile, with all the games we love, and more, right at our fingertips – and it’s all thanks to our ancestors, creating, playing and adoring the classic games, too.