Casinos have been around for well over 100 years and many games even predate that. The one-armed bandit has a long and interesting history, beginning life in the saloons and making their way through to the online slots we know and love today, including the likes of Starburst, Cleopatra, and Dead or Alive. But what are the oldest casino games across history?
Craps is considered one of the oldest casino games, if not the oldest, with it actually dating back all the way to 1125. It’s believed that the game of craps, which is a dice game, goes back to the Crusades and William of Tyre.
Of course, the game has moved on considerably since then, and it’s believed that the name “craps” came from France and began to spread across Europe. It wasn’t until the 19th century when craps really became the game we know and love today and was adapted by American John H. Winn.
Roulette has many different variants and is even sneaking into slingo bingo in some cases, but it has much more humble beginnings which date back to the 18th century. The game itself can be traced back to France, which is perhaps no surprise given that the translation from French to English equates to the word, “wheel”.
The numbers on the wheel takes inspiration from the Italian game Biribi, and has been popular since the end of the 1700s. There are three most common variants these days, with European and American the two biggest these days, with European having one “0” on the wheel, with the American version also including a “00”.
Blackjack predates roulette and is to this day one of the biggest and simplest table games around. The game itself dates all the way back to the early 1600s and was initially referenced by author Miguel de Cervantes in a book where he named it Twenty-One.
Of course, the game itself requires players to produce a hand of cards that is closer to 21 in total value than the banker, without exceeding that figure. The name Blackjack came a little later and is a more westernised version that started to become popular in casinos and card rooms in the USA. Today, you’ll find many different variants, but the principles of 21 have remained intact for hundreds of years.
It’s the world’s most popular card game and spread like wildfire when it began to become significantly popular in New Orleans. Rumour has it that an Englishman caught wind of people playing in the city and took it back to the UK, with the game then beginning to spread across the rest of the world.
Joseph Crowell was the Englishman in question, and it’s believed he was describing a Persian game named As-Nas. The likes of Texas Hold’em and many other variants then began to crop up in casinos across the States, many of which are still played both in casinos and online to this day.