Casinos are an interesting mix of old and new. On the one hand, you can play all the games you can imagine on pocket-sized supercomputers that connect to a global network of satellites and servers.
On the other hand, the same devices connect players to games that predate satellites, computers, and pretty much every piece of modern technology. At the same time, they are perhaps the best-known casino games to this day.
While most people play top slots in the UK, there is another game is quickly growing in the preferences of players because of its reliance on a bit more than just pure luck: blackjack.
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games today – certainly one of the most-played table games you can find both in online and land-based casinos. It is a simple game that is surprisingly deep, requiring not just luck but a bit of strategy, too.
Blackjack received its name in the late 19th century – but it was already old at the time. The first recorded game of its predecessor ventiuna was played around 1601 by the famous writer Miguel de Cervantes.
In his story Rinconete y Cortadillo, Cervantes described the game as something common at the time, played with a Spanish Baraja deck – similar to the French deck used to this day, but with 40 or 48 cards, sometimes with two jokers.
From Spain, the game spread to France, and from there, to Britain. The early 1800s saw the game cross the Atlantic, appearing in the US, then spreading across the entire country.
The rules of the game have changed a lot over the centuries but its basic goal remained: have a hand worth not more than 21 points.
Roulette is perhaps the best-known casino game today. Even those who have nothing to do with gambling know about roulette because of its extended pop culture presence – it was featured in countless movies, TV shows, and literary works.
The roots of roulette stretch back to Italy, to a game called Biribi that is old enough to have been banned in 1837, and the wheel that was allegedly created by French inventor Blaise Pascal when trying to build a perpetual motion machine. The combination of these two gave birth to roulette, perhaps the most successful casino game ever created.
Roulette was played in Paris at the end of the 18th century, then spread to other European countries as well. Then, as a wave of gambling bans swept across the continent, it only remained alive in Monaco – and across the pond, in the US.
The two areas had two different versions of the game, and this duality still exists today. Casinos have two main types of roulette: the European and the American variants.
Baccarat is a game played especially by high rollers in land-based casinos – and in live dealer casinos online. It is perhaps the youngest of them all – it is said to have emerged in 19th-century France. Unless, of course, you dig deeper into its history.
There is some debate about the origins of baccarat. Some game historians think that it can be traced back to Asia, where similar games have been played since at least the 17th century.