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The history of popular gambling games

Gambling has existed as a form of entertainment for as long as people have lived on this planet. You can trace back forms of gambling in every age, civilization, religion and culture. Research discloses that various forms of gambling have existed in all great societies. Materials used for gambling have been discovered in Egypt, India, Rome and in ancient China. Even in the Pyramid of Cheops specific writings were found connected to gambling.

From the 14th century archeologists discovered signs that gambling was banned from some civilizations and cultures. When the British King Henry VIII found out that his soldiers spent more time on gambling than training he banned gambling from his kingdom. This was an interesting move since King Henry VIII himself was a passionate gambler. There goes a funny story that he lost the church bell of London in a bet.

Different gambling games have different backgrounds. The card games Blackjack and Poker supposedly originate from shuffling paper money in ancient China. Via the Mameluke Empire, this card game traveled to Europe and in Italy and Spain the makers of the cards started to make drawings on the cards from members of the Royal Court (like the Jack and the King). The queen was introduced to the pack of cards in 1500.

Proof of all sorts of dice games has been found everywhere reaching about 2,000 years back. One of the most well-known games of dice from past and future is Craps. The original name of Craps was 'Hazard' and it was mostly played by the English elite and the high society of the 18th and 19th century. England brought the game into France and the French decided to call it Craps, from the word 'crabs' which means 'pair of ones'.

The history of Roulette is also interesting. In French "Roulette" means 'small wheel'. The ones who invented the roulette game were Francois and Louis Blanc. In 1842 they invented the 'Single 0' roulette game. When this game traveled to the US, the Americans added the 'Double 0' to the wheel (which increased the winning odds of the house), which is now known as the American variant of Roulette, American Roulette.

One of the most famous gambling related stories is that JuliusCaesar and his friend Marc Antony betted on rooster fights in their free time. Another known story is about emperor Claudius who had his chariot specially designed to be able to play dice while he was traveling.


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