From Ancient to Modern Times: The Evolution of Gambling Games


One of the activities that we humans have been doing for ages is gambling. Naturally, the games have evolved over time, and the first known game dates back to our early days on this planet around 3000 BC in the form of dice made out of bone.

We have certainly come a long way since then with the modern online gambling we enjoy today.

How did it happen? How did we go from rolling animal bones to playing virtual slots or live-streamed casino games with real dealers at online casino sites from the comfort of our homes? 

The Beginning of Gambling and Betting

We know that gambling was widespread and regulated in ancient times in China and later in the Roman empire. Before people started to play games for money, dice and sticks with different marks were used for fortune-telling and divination by many ancient cultures.

Gambling in Poland also dates back thousands of years. The indigenous people have played different games. First casino in Poland was opened on August 6th 1930 in Sopot. This resort town was the perfect location for a casino. It attracted many tourists from all over the country. The casino offers various games including roulette and blackjack.

When Did We First Begin Playing Card Games?

It is commonly believed that paper saw the light of day in China some 2000 years ago. It is reasonable to believe that the first deck of cards was also invented in China. The well-known and loved card game poker became popular in the US sometime in the 17th century. Poker itself, however, is considered to have been developed from an ancient Persian game called As-Nas.

When Did The First Casino Open?

Pinpointing accurately when or where the first casino or gambling house opened is not easy. However, Casino di Venezia in Venice is considered the oldest casino still standing today, where you can still enjoy gambling. This casino has been around for hundreds of years to entertain its visitors ever since 1638.

We also know that gambling was popular in the French court in the 1700s. Card games like bridge were standard and widely loved, but it is also here that the first form of roulette entered the world stage. Gambling back in the day was more than entertainment. It was a way of socialising, which is still true today. 

How Old is the First Slot Machine?

Today the most popular casino game worldwide is the slot machines – both in brick and mortar casinos, as well as online. We find the first one in the US dated around the 1880s even though it looked nothing like the slots we are familiar with today. It wasn’t until Charles August Fey invented the Card Bell slot machine in 1894 that they began to resemble what we enjoy on our modern casino sites.

The 20th Century Forward

As far as casinos go, most of us likely first think of Casino Monte Carlo and Las Vegas with the glamour and luxury portrayed by Bond movies and the Ocean’s trilogy. Table games with smiling dealers, excited players, and slot machines in rows upon rows. While it is true that the brick and mortar casinos are made to enchant us and convince us to stay once inside, they have lost some of their charm.

The Online Expansion

When the first online casinos opened in 1994, no one could have predicted exactly how popular they would become. The gambling industry has exploded since, showing no sign of stopping anytime soon. 

One of the experts in the casino industry, Eliasz Nowak, has shared his thoughts on where the trends in gambling are heading. 

Conrad comments that the iGaming industry so far is showing signs of looking further into implementing mobile apps rather than simply adapting websites for mobile browsers. More online casino sites also seem to be willing to introduce cryptocurrencies as deposit methods or expand their variety.


Gambling has been an ever-present part of our history in one way or another. These days we mostly prefer to do it online and preferably on our smartphones. The next step may still be in the future but is likely not far away.

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About the Author: John David

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