Gambling has been around for a long time and it’s changed a lot over the years as well. However, the basic principles of chasing your luck in order to win big have remained the same regardless of the games that are played and the betting systems that are used. 

A player that goes into a casino to have fun doesn’t really need to know about these details. They do, however, add to the experience and your understanding of the game and its cultural context. 

Ancient History 

The history of gambling follows the history of civilization itself. The oldest examples of gambling games can be found in ancient Egypt and Greece. These games aren’t really preserved so we don’t know the rules, even though there is some artifact that clearly shows that they were competitive.

There is also evidence that typical gambling behavior was observed. For instance, gamblers used to borrow money and chase their losses. Those games don’t resemble the ones we know and play today but they are important artifacts and pieces of history.

Card Games as We Know Them

Card games are the most popular gambling games out there and they are the oldest as well. The cards as we know them today started in the 15th century. Some of the games that we know and play today have also started in this period. For instance, there is evidence that baccarat is played in Italy at this time. 

The game evolved over time and it moved from Italy to France at first, from where it came to the rest of Europe and later the world as a whole. There are a few alterations to the basic rules that came about in Spanish and Cuba.


Blackjack is also an old gambling game that came to be in the early 17th or the late 16th century. It has also gone through a lot of changes over the years but the basic game is the same as it was when it first came to be. 

The name of the game however is rather recent. It had a lot of different names depending on when and where it was played. The name black was invented in the 20th century somewhere in the 1930s and it’s an American addition to the rich history of this game. 


First casinos are a product of the renaissance. There is evidence that casinos were established in what’s today’s Italy in the 17th century. It was a decadent time and the casinos were treated as a great threat to public decency by the Catholic church. It took a while until the casinos were accepted across Europe. 

In most European countries casinos became popular in the 19th century and at that time they had the form that we know today. Such casinos were more than just places to gamble; they were a general source of entertainment.

Roulette in Paris

Roulette, the most popular gambling game out there and it was a product of the gaming houses in Paris. It took about 50 years for the game to come to the US where a zero was added and where it took the shape we know and use. 

The first major casinos that adopted the new game were in Monte Carlo and that’s why in some countries it’s associated with the glitz and glamor of these parts of the world. For the longest time, there was an American version and a European one but now most of the world uses the American version.


Poker is the most popular card game out there but it’s rather difficult to find a point where it was actually invented and when it was first played. The game grew and changed over the years until it became what we know and play today. Some historians claim that it was made by merging a few different card games. 

Others claim that the game started in Persia in the 17th century and that it came into contact with French games and players after which it changed to become the game called poker or at least a similar version of it. 

Slot Machine

Slot machines have gone through a lot of changes until they’ve become the games played now. They started in the 1800s in the saloons of the American West. These games used symbols from playing cards and the payments were made at the bar rather than in the machine itself. 

Once the game was prohibited, it started using fruit symbols and rewarding candy instead of cash and card symbols. These symbols remained even once the game became available again. Over the years slot machines were digitized and connected. Now they use a random numbers generator instead of a machine.

The Internet

The internet changed all of the games we mentioned and made them more complex and more available to the public. The gameplay usually remained the same, it was just improved so that you can play online and regardless of where you are. The internet has also changed how you can bet on casino games. 

For instance, the fact that the games are interconnected allows you to use the pool of deposits that other players have made before you. It means that the players get to win more and progressively improve their winnings. Online and mobile games will continue to be the future of gambling.