Games of chance have been around since hoary antiquity. At that time, people were already aware of the concept of Luck and believed that they could influence it in some way – first of all, with the help of magic, of course.
Nowadays, the casino business grows and prospers, generating billions of annual profit. It attracts crowds, even though everyone knows that the House always wins.
So, how does it happen? Games of chance definitely have a lot of secrets, and it’s time to reveal some of them.
The great-grandpa and the great-grandma of gambling games
For most of us, casino games are Roulette, Poker, Blackjack, and slot machines… But let’s travel back in time to find out what the very first games of chance were like.
The ancestor of all the casino games is considered a dice game. The oldest dice were found in the ancient Egyptian city – Thebes, and they were dated back to the 20th century B.C. In the same area – by the Lower Nile – the first gambling houses were discovered. You might have thought that Ancient Egypt was the place where all the games of chance came from. However, similar artifacts appear at archeological sites of various ancient cities.
The first dice were made of tusks, horns, and fine wood.
As for the ancestors from the other side (let’s call them the great-grandmas of sports betting), we believe it’s no secret that the most popular forms of entertainment in Ancient Rome were Gladiator or animal fights and chariot racing. The spectators loved betting on the outcomes of each show, satisfying their own desire for thrill and victory.
Spread of casinos: from churches to the Sin City of Nevada
The first-ever casino appeared in Italy at the beginning of the 17th century. It was called Ridotto and located in the Venetian church of Saint Moses. Only the rich and the noble could enter the casino, and the visit wasn’t cheap at all.
At the beginning of the 18th century, gambling houses were opened in France and Germany. The members of the aristocracy got quickly hooked, and a lot of noble families found themselves on the brink of bankruptcy. That is why, in the 19th century, governments of many European countries banned casinos on their territory.
By that time, gambling houses had made it to the American continent, where they’d got famous as ‘Saloons’. The visitors came there to play cards, Roulette, and slot machines. Occasionally, the debates over victories and losses would heat up and end with shooting, which soon made the American government go the same path as the European and ban the entertainment.
However, saloons were so popular that the Americans couldn’t just easily let them go: they continued functioning illegally. In response, the authorities decided to legalize casinos in the state of Nevada, thus starting the era of casino cities like Las Vegas, whose whole economy is built upon gambling and entertainment.
And we all know that today gamblers don’t even have to travel to places like that to gamble. They can enjoy all the popular casino games at the best online casinos with no deposit bonuses without leaving their homes.
The most famous Bandit and his secrets
The very first One-armed bandit didn’t appear at a casino as it should logically have. Instead, it was installed at a gas station where drivers could spend a couple of coins pulling the lever while waiting for the car tank to fill up (the process used to take quite a lot of time then).
Charles Fey created the machine and named it Liberty Bell. The best paying symbol used to be the Bell, and 3 of them could bring a lucky driver 50 cents.
The slot machines of today don’t have any levers, and the game results are determined by computerized Random Number Generators. The algorithms are designed to give an advantage to the casino – this rule always stays the same.
After the bandit took its place inside flashy casino walls and became an integral part of the gambling industry, he stopped shying away from manipulative psychological tricks. Players often land slot combinations that are one step away from winning: for example, three lucky 7s out of 4. The gambler doesn’t see it as another loss, the brain perceives it as a positive stimulus (=almost victory) and, instead of sending signals of frustration or willingness to put an end to the disappointing experience, whispers to play another round.
Did you know that gamblers are a lot like vampires? How else can we explain the fact that casino halls have no windows that let daylight in? There are also no mirrors and clocks on the walls… What a mystery! Some casinos have their ceilings painted sky-blue and don’t allow croupiers to wear watches. All those tricks make a gambler lose track of time and completely lose oneself in the gaming world.
Casino halls are designed like mazes: before leaving them, you are sure to pass through many other game tables and slot rows, and, who knows, maybe will stop by to spend a couple of bucks more.
Winning at a casino is not easy, but it’s also not impossible. Those who manage to beat the House get paid in casino chips. To exchange them for money, a gambler has to go to the cashiers, and where do you think the cashiers will be located? At the very end of the maze, of course. Not everyone is strong enough to reach that destination without testing their luck on the way.
Casinos serve drinks and snacks for free and even invite their guests to spend a night at the hotel without paying for it. VIP clients are treated exceptionally: everything is done to make them come back and gamble more.
Do casinos cheat?
Many people believe that casinos cheat: use biased Roulette wheels, magnets and other equipment that makes the play unfair. The truth is casinos don’t need it at all, as the mechanics of all the games of chance already give them the advantage they need to always stay in profit: the House Edge.
In short, it means that the winning odds of all casino games are predetermined, and according to them, the House will win more often than a gambler in the long run.
Slots have the highest House advantage – 15-20%, Roulette – about 5%, and Blackjack – about 1% – the lowest casino advantage.
The secret of casino success is the high number of rounds played in their halls and simple statistics. Cheating means putting a reputation at stake, which might lead to the worst thing that could happen to a gambling house – the absence of gamblers.