The History of Casino Games

Posted by: | 16th March 2017

responsible gambling

The gambling industry in the UK alone, is now worth around £14 billion, with the most popular form of gambling being casino games. Gambling itself can be traced back many centuries, and there is archaeological evidence of its existence in China in the 3rd century BC. However, the first gambling house, or ‘casino’, opened in 17th century Venice, Italy. Since then, the concept spread, with casinos opening all over Europe and the United States.


Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games. It is first mentioned in a novella written by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, way back in the 17th century. Back then the game was known (and still is by many) as twenty-one, as the object of the game is to reach twenty-one with two cards. However, the name Blackjack was introduced when casinos in the USA began offering bonuses if the player revealed a black Jack in their hand, and so the game became widely known as Blackjack.


This wildly popular card game goes from strength to strength, played the world over, by friends in the home, to huge tournaments like the World Poker Series; aired to a global audience of millions of poker fans. However, the exact origins of the game are not that clear. The game was played in the deep south of North America, but it really took off in the latter part of the 20th century, when the casinos opened their doors to it. Now, in the 21st century, it is only right that the game has carved out a space for itself in the virtual world, with many websites offering people the opportunity to play from anywhere.


By far the most popular of all the casino games, the fruit machine was invented in the late 19th century by Sittman and Pit. This was a very basic machine and was later improved upon by a man named Charles Fey, who simplified the mechanism to three spinning reels with five symbols. Known also as ‘one-armed bandits’, because they were originally operated solely by a lever on the side, and usually took your cash, fruit machines can now be found in almost every pub, club, betting shop, and casino.

All of these casino games, and many others besides, have become a hugely popular form of entertainment online, enticing new audiences the world over. Casino games are going nowhere anytime soon.