Casinos are today available in many different countries world wide, and we can also visit casinos on the internet. In addition to classic casino games such as roulette and baccarat, many casinos online and offline has branched out to include keno games, scratch tickets, wheels of fortune, poker rooms, virtual race betting, real sports betting, and more. Also, the invention of the slot machine has had an extreme impact on the casino industry. Today, most offline casinos dedicate a majority of their floor space to slot machines and video poker machines. The same thing can be seen observed, where a typical game portfolio consists of at least 75% slots and video poker machines.
Even though gambling seems to have been a popular pass time since prehistoric times, it would take a while before dedicated gambling houses began to appear. One of the earliest ones in Europe was the casino room “Il Ridotto” in the San Moise palace in Venice, which opened in 1638. Gambling was then a well established feature of the famous Venetian carnival, and by allowing for a dedicated gambling room, Venetian authorities hoped to create a more controlled gambling situation. In reality, Il Ridotto only catered to well-off carnival celebrators, since it enforced a rather strict dress code that was expensive to fulfill.
As time went by, old games were forgotten and new ones emerged, often with their roots firmly planted in older gambling traditions. When a French physicist tried to invent a perpetual machine only to end up with a spinning wheel, his invention was used to form a new game based on older games that were popular in France at the time. The result was roulette. Today, roulette is found in virtually all casinos world wide has become somewhat of a symbol for the casino world. Unlike games such as poker and keno, roulette is not a game that’s normally played at home or at the work place. Even the mere mentioning of the word roulette conjures up images of vast casino floors, specially designed roulette tables and professional croupiers.
Another example of a popular casino game with old roots is Baccarat. Baccarat is based on an old card game named Tarrochi, that was played in Medieval Europe using tarot cards. Eventually, Tarrochi developed into Baccarat and the tarot card was replaced by the 52 card deck consisting of four suits. When public gambling was outlawed in France in 1837, baccarat turned into a home game that was played privately with one of the players assuming the role of banker. The game was altered slightly to accommodate the new situation, and this gave rise to the baccarat version Chemin de Fer. Chemin de Fer is in turn the ancestor of the popular British card game Chemmy.
As mentioned above, slot machines and video poker machines are an essential part of the modern casino – offline as well as online. Slot machines are typically games of chance, while virtually all video poker games are based on five card draw poker and allow the player to make a choice during play that impacts the outcome. Even though the slot machine might seem like the quintessential modern gambling machine, it was actually invented as early as the 1800s by a mechanic in San Francisco. The very first slot machine was called Liberty Bell and had physical spinning reels and a lever that you had to pull to start the game.