People have always loved to be entertained and to entertain themselves. Because of that, they invented many games that kept them entertained. Betting and gambling are still one of the favorite types of entertainment among people, and when we go back to history we can see traces of gambling a long time ago. So, when did betting and gambling start? Can we give a precise date? Of course not, we cannot point to a date in history to say when gambling and betting, or anything else for that matter, started. However, what we can do is to trace gambling and betting through history and to see when the oldest traces of the two appear.
In the following paragraphs, we will try to explore the history of betting and to see how it started.
THE OLDEST EVIDENCE OF BETTING AND GAMBLING
The earliest evidence of betting and gambling appears around 2300 bc in Ancient China. In the famous Chinese “Book of Songs,” there is a reference to some sort of a lottery game. They used some tiles as a part of the lottery game. In addition, some sort of keno slips were used as well.
ROMANS AND GREEKS
Ancient Egyptian tombs uncovered a pair of dive from around 3000 bc. However, those who loved to gamble and bet were definitely ancient Greeks and Romans. According to Sophocles, dice were invented by a hero during the siege of Troy. We now know this is not true. However, what we know is that both Romans and Greeks loved to gamble. Since they loved to gamble so much, the Roman government forbid gambling in the city of Rome and imposed great penalties on those caught gambling. That was how gambling chips were invented. They were invented by the Romans who used it when caught by the guards to claim that they were not playing for money but for chips only.
Playing cards were invented in China, of course. In the 9th century when they first appeared, the cards did not look anything like the pack of cards we have today. Some believe they were paper forms of Chinese domino, while others believe these cards to be something like trading cards played by the children nowadays.
15TH CENTURY BACCARAT
The oldest game played in casinos nowadays is Baccarat. This is a two-player card game which was invented in the 15th century in Italy. Of course, it is not the game we know today, because the rules of the game have changed ever since, and the version we play today comes from Cuba.
FIRST ITALIAN CASINOS
17th century Italy brought the first gambling houses similar to casinos, such as the Ridotto, for example. Many casinos appeared in Europe and have been very popular ever since. In the USA, on the other hand, casinos we know today appeared much later.
Gaming houses brought us the little Parisian wheel called ROULETTE. In the next 50 years, Roulette developed into one green zero version we know today.
Poker originates from a game called Poque in Paris and it has remained popular ever since.