Do you know the origins of gambling? The truth is, most people do not. Some may know that gambling has roots in ancient Rome but do not know where or how it started. Gambling has its roots in ancient Greece and it was first popular in Persia (modern day Iran). Many refer to it as the “Sporting Game” while others think of it as a system of calculation and chance. The word “gambling” originates from the Greek word “gammon”, which in turn was derived from the same root as the word “grasping”.
We will begin with the basics and move through the history of gambling and examine how it formed its own unique place in the world today. Gambling originated from the use of dice to measure a game’s degree of success or failure. This system began in ancient Egypt where members of the temples would roll a wooden dice and use the outcome as an estimate on the outcome of the game. These dice were then used in other games such as baseball and football, long before they ever hit the shores of Europe. In fact, they date back to as far as the 6th century BC.
Gambling has evolved over the centuries to what it is today. Today, it is usually referred to as slot machines, video poker machines, although there are also a wide variety of other names for the same thing. The basic mechanics of the game have remained virtually unchanged since the advent of gambling. The original game of dice was originally based on the Greek lottery where numbers were drawn from a hat.
How did this change from a simple game of luck into a game of skill and chance? The earliest form of gambling was simply the use of the wooden dice. The first casinos were built in Greece around 5th century BC. Before long, the popularity of these first casinos spread all across the Greek Island’s.
When the Romans became involved in the issue of gambling, it not only changed the way that they played their games, but the ways that everyone played them. In addition to the wooden dice, the Roman system of gambling included not only cards, but also coins. This is the most heavily researched origins of gambling that can be found. With the addition of coins to the gambling system, it became much easier for the Romans to increase the prizes that were offered. This is why you often hear about “the best stakes” or “the biggest payouts.”
The card game that was most popular with the Romans was the ancient Chinese game called solitaire. The origins of card games such as Solitaire go all the way back to ancient China. It is unknown when the game of Solitaire first began, but it most likely came from an agricultural card game called yang guai. The earliest origins of yang guai can be traced as far as the third century BC, making it one of the oldest origins of gambling.
Although there is no hard evidence of when the popularity of the card game of Solitaire first began, by the time of the Tang Dynasty in the sixth through seventh centuries, the Chinese had come to understand the true value of gambling. With the development of banking, trading, and writing, the Chinese learned that the real value of gambling was in the possibility of gaining wealth. Gambling was closely tied to the possibility of gaining wealth, which explains why the earliest origins of gambling can be traced to the efforts of Chinese farmers to win money through gaming. Soon, with the expansion of the Chinese economy, the casinos that eventually developed were built by wealthy individuals.
One of the most popular games played in the early days of the Chinese civilization was the game of dice. Dice is probably the best known of all the games that have been associated with gambling. Dice has come a long way since its origins in China. Today, dice games are played in casinos across the world, most notably in Las Vegas, where the familiar faces of gambling are dice, the wheel, and the banker. Interestingly, many of the modern methods of playing dice were derived from the dice games of the ancient Chinese and the Romans.