More In-Depth Look at the History of Gambling

Gambling has been around for millennia and it was a part of almost every ancient culture that we have records of.  It goes to show how important gambling is to those cultures and to people in general since it stuck around through the ages. 

The gambling games we’re familiar with don’t go back for that long. They are mostly the product of the 18th and 19th centuries, with the tech innovation being added in the 20th and 21st, but the gameplay stays the same. 

Blackjack and Poker 


The history of gambling is much shorter when it comes to the most popular games such as blackjack and poker. These started in the 18th century in France. This was during the time when saloons played a big part in the culture, and the game was popular in those circles as a pastime. 

The version that we know now, came to be in the US in the 19th century somewhere on the other side of the western frontier. That’s the version that’s using 52 cards that we know and use, and the rules are pretty much the same.


Baccarat is one of the oldest games that’s still in use and that remained popular all of these years. The history of the baccarat game goes to the 15th century in Italy and unlike most games, we know the name of the person who invented it. 

The game was then called baccara which means zero in Italian. The name came from the gameplay since tens and face cards were worth zero within the rules of the game. It’s now played on mobile devices and computers but the basic principle is the same. 

Slot Machines 

Slot machines also came to be in the West in the 19th century. At that time, the game had the same symbols as the playing cards and there was no pay line mechanism. The winnings were paid at the register. Soon after the machines were banned and started using fruit symbols and candy as rewards. 

Things have changed a lot but those symbols have remained a big part of the game and they are now associated with it. As the technology improved so have the slot machines and this is the case now when VR and AR are kicking in as the new invention.


Roulette was also invented in France in the 18th century. At the same time, a variation of the game was invented in Italy and the main difference between the two was in the fact that the Italian one moved on its own, using a mechanism designed by a local engineer. 

The gameplay wasn’t the one that we know today, that one was the American invention that came to be in the 19th century. This one is still in use today even when it’s played online and via apps since the gameplay and the odds are the same as in the original game. 

The Internet 

The biggest change in the development of most gambling games with the invention of the internet. The first games that accepted this innovation and made use of it were the slots and that’s how progressive jackpots came to be. That’s because when the machines are interconnected with each other, you get to use the same pool of deposits.

Other games used the internet in a fashion that was more suited to them and the remote version of the games was soon made. This is how most gambling games are played today since it suits the younger players better. 

Mobile Versions 

Another innovation that was immediately accepted by the industry was the move toward mobile versions of the famous gambling games. This soon became the norm for the gambling world and most games are now played on mobile devices, with real-life casinos becoming a relic of the past. 

Younger players, especially after the pandemic, tend to move towards mobile gaming and mobile gambling since not that many players within this demographic tend to go to actual real-life casinos. This is also less expensive for the casinos and mobile versions are becoming better and more engaging as the tech improves. 

Cryptocurrency as a Payment Method

Cryptocurrencies have taken the world by storm and changed the world of finance and investing. It has done the same with the gambling industry which has accepted it as a payment method, due to its many qualities and benefits. Crypto allows us to make payments without providing personal data and that’s an essential quality in this day and age. 

Now when this payment method is more widely used, the governments are aware of it. This also means that the income made in cryptocurrencies will be easier to track and therefore to pay taxes on. That’s the price paid for accepting this innovation. 

To Sum Up

The history of gambling goes way back and it can be traced to the earliest civilizations. However, the games played in those civilizations usually aren’t the ones that we know and play today. These are much younger by comparison and most of them trace back to the 18th and 19th centuries. 

The games have also been heavily impacted by the technology behind them and whenever a new technology emerged it was adapted and incorporated by the gambling industry. Now, this is happening with crypto and VR, but in the past, it happened with mobile devices and the internet, as well. 


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