Casino games have been around for centuries. In fact, some casino games are older than modern universities and most are older than the United States of America. But they are still enjoyed today as much as when they were played in their original forms before the steam train and internet. But what is the oldest casino game?
How Old are the Games?
Roulette has been around in some form since the 18th Century. Some suggest it was inadvertently invented by Blaise Pascal, while others say it originated in China. Its true provenance is a combination of the French games hoca and portique in the 1700s. In the late 1700s it gained popularity as the wheel we know today and is arguably one of the easiest casino games to play.
Poker was invented in the USA in the 19th Century. While some historians argue it is based on the Persian game As-Nas, others deride this and claim poker’s origins stem from the betting system that makes the game unique. They suggest this came from the steamboat casinos along the Mississippi River. Indeed, other card games have similar features, but poker is distinctive in its betting format.
Blackjack’s origins go back further, to the start of the 18th Century. It is derived from the French game vingt-et-un (twenty-one) and chemin de fer. It was played in the court of Louis XV. Many suggest that the game was brought over to Louisiana and played in New Orleans, which was heavily inspired by the French.
The slot machine is the youngest of all casino games – invented in 1894 by Charles August Fey. The coin-operated machine would become globally popular, especially in the city of Las Vegas. It wasn’t until 1899 that card symbols were added to the machine, which helped turn it into a staple of casinos.
But despite their age, each casino game has remained relevant and popular. This is largely down to the universal appeal that each game possesses. They’re relatively simple and largely rely on luck. While poker does involve strategy, the strategy is only as strong as the cards that are dealt and the bluffing abilities of players.
Keeping the Games Relevant
One of the biggest ways in which these casino games have managed to evolve and remain relevant to modern audiences has been through how they have been adapted by digital means. Online casinos have taken the core of these games and made them feel brand new.
For instance, as this link explains, online casinos have harnessed the power of the internet to deliver hundreds of different games per site. Players can engage with live versions of poker, roulette, and blackjack, in which they can see the dealer in front of them. This combines the tension of land-based casinos with the benefits of visiting an online one, including bonuses, ease of access, and more options.
Slot games have also been given a digital facelift to remain engaging. Modern technology means that the basics of a slot game can be wrapped inside almost any theme conceivable. So, slots take us from outer space to Ancient Egypt, to Mount Olympus and Valhalla. The ease at which games can be created and audiences understand the gameplay means we can also engage with Christmas and Halloween-themed slot games too. This would be much more difficult if they were in their previous, physical formats.