Betting has been a popular pastime among civilizations around the world for well over two millennia now, but it wasn’t until 1638, when the Ridotto opened in Venice, that the casino was born. The centuries that have passed have seen many changes in how we play casino games, from the invention of completely new games to variations on old classics. The advancements in new technology, in particular the Internet, has revolutionised casino gaming in the 21st century, allowing players not only the convenience of playing from home but also providing them with many new games.
Invented by the famous 17th Century scientist Pascal, Roulette is one of the most popular casino games. While a simple game you’ll find many players have complex strategies in order to maximise their winnings. Pascal’s original roulette wheel comprised of pockets numbered 1-36, half of which were red and half of which were black. As the ball is spun around the wheel players bet on the pocket that the ball will land, they can bet on the number, colour and if the number is odd or even. Despite remaining largely the same, Pascal’s roulette wheel has altered over the years, the first change came in 1842 when an extra pocket was added, numbered 0 and coloured green. Though this didn’t make a huge difference to the game, it did tilt the odds slightly in favour of the house. When roulette crossed the Atlantic to the saloons of America it was changed once again, a further green pocket, numbered 00, being added. The odds of the game seemed to be drifting further and further in favour of the house, but online gaming has brought with it many variations on this casino classic, one of which is French roulette. With only one green pocket the game already offers better odds than American roulette, add to that the fact that any even money bets are returned half their stake, and you’ll find a game that offers players great value for money.
Another French game that has found itself being played in casinos all across the world is blackjack. In this game players attempt make the sum of their cards amass 21. Players initially receive two cards from the dealer and after this a single card is dealt every round while players decide to ‘hit’ (take another card) or ‘stand’ (not take another card). If a player’s cards exceed 21 they are ‘bust’ and out of the game. At the end of the game the player with the cards closest to 21 wins and takes the pot. Blackjack is the most popular casino banking game, one of the main reasons for that being that the odds are very good for the player. As with most casino games, online gaming has brought with it many variations of blackjack enabling players to find a game that best fits their strategy.
Poker is perhaps the most glamorous of all the casino games, largely due to the amount of skill that the game requires. Numerous variations of poker exist but the objective of them all remains the same – to have the strongest hand when the game finishes. The winner may not necessarily have the strongest hand throughout, but players use betting as a way to bluff and read their opponents in hope that they ‘fold’ and don’t continue to the end. This is why poker remains one of the most popular games in the casino despite being almost 200 years old, players rely on skill more than luck meaning they can help dictate their chances of winning. Poker has become more and more popular online as the Internet has advanced, players now able to test their skills against not only a computer but also real people.