From the millionaire playground of Monte Carlo to the glitz of Las Vegas to the Eastern promise of Macau, casino gaming is a pastime that has a special attraction and allure. It’s not so much about winning money – that’s always welcome, but any realist knows that the casino is the only one guaranteed to make a profit. It is more about the excitement of the game and the atmosphere of the surroundings.
Casino gaming gives us an opportunity to dress up like we are Sean Connery or Audrey Hepburn and to play some sophisticated games in luxurious surroundings and good company. That still stands true in the internet age. Technology has changed so much around us over the past 30 years or so, yet the casino classics never go out of fashion.
You might think that slot games are the exception to that rule. However, although new titles appear almost every week, the basic gameplay in a slot game has remained unchanged since the Liberty Bell, released on an unsuspecting American public in the late 1800s.
True, you won’t see a Liberty Bell in a Las Vegas casino, but even among the modern video slots, the most popular games are titles like Starburst and Rainbow Riches, games that were first launched a decade or more ago. Gamblers know what they like and like what they know, so these games are unlikely to go out of fashion any time soon.
The oldest recorded gambling games involved dice, and their use dates back thousands of years. Exactly how those ancient civilizations used them is something we can only guess, but the most popular dice game today was invented 900 years ago by an English military leader called Sir William of Tyre. Historians say he played the game with his knights to keep them occupied while laying siege to castles during the Crusades.
The game looks complicated at first glance, but don’t be put off. Most of the areas on the table relate to side bets that you can disregard, at least until you are comfortable with the basics. You can play online craps with real money at most casino sites, which is a great way to learn before you try your luck in Las Vegas or Monte Carlo.
The classic image of a casino includes that beautifully polished walnut wheel and the green felt covered table covered in betting chips. Roulette as we know it first appeared in casinos in Italy in the late 18th century. But its evolution is unlike any other casino game.
100 years earlier, French mathematician and inventor Blaise Pascal was researching the theory of perpetual motion, and built all sorts of contraptions with which to test his theories. One was a wooden wheel on a solid base that could be spun by hand. It didn’t change the laws of physics, but with the addition of 37 slots, a track and a metal ball, it inspired the most enduring casino game of them all.