If you were to ask a novice about the origins of casino games and gambling in general, they might tell you about the 16th century, or 1 000 BC. Well, because I’ve been doing my digging, I can tell you that gambling dates as far back as the time of Zeus and the Olympian gods.
It is said that the world was split in heaven, hell, and the world of water by Zeus, Hades and Poseidon, all in the throw of a die. Now I know what you’re going to say. This is all a legend, but what about the archeological diggings that revealed dice-like shapes dating as far back as 40,000 BC? Gambling was also popular in the time of the Roman Empire.
The tale says that the Romans enjoyed all the pleasures of life be it dancing, wining and dining, gladiator shows and entertainment through casino like games that involved both luck and skill. Many a highly esteemed Roman political figures had gambling debts to pay off and children were taught in school how to throw dice!
Historians prove that the early Greeks were also fond of games of chance but these were banned later on. The legend says that the Greeks did not posses the same level of self control as the Romans so boundaries needed to be set.
Many evidence of rudimentary gambling such as dice were also found in China around 2,300 BC and earlier. In fact, it was China that is the origin of the modern card games we play today. Truth be said, the Koreans created the first models of playing cards but the Chinese perfected them using paper. Because at the time playing cards had to be made manually and individually, and only artistic craftsmen could make them, only the rich had access to them, which made them so desirable amongst common people.
Mesopotamia, Ancient Persia, Egypt and India were also a cradle for games of chance and it is said that around these areas is where backgammon draws its origins from. Initially, the act of throwing dice was closely related to the art of divination, or telling the future with signs from pebbles, runes bones and stones. Later on this became your common game of luck that involves throwing dice.