Gambling today offers players the chance to experience a multitude of games. Whether you want to enjoy the thrill of the roulette wheel or see if you can beat the dealer at blackjack, you can do it all. Of course, there are many more games from slots to baccarat to poker, and in today’s world they are easily accessible through an app in a matter of seconds, no matter where you are. However, it hasn’t always been like that. Here we will rundown how gambling has evolved over time and become what it is today.

The first signs


We can go a very long way back to find the first signs of gambling. In Ancient China it’s believed that people would use tiles as they played a game of chance. And, it was in the 9th century that we can trace the first use of playing cards, although, as you would expect, details of exactly what they were used for remain unclear.

You would have to go back to Ancient Greek times to see the first time that people used dice and that explains why rolling a double six is considered lucky. Back then, if you managed to do so, you would win a game and since then that score has been associated with luck and victory ever since!

Similarly, some of the casino games we play today have a long history, they didn’t just appear for the bright lights of Vegas and the oldest game of them all is baccarat. Like most games that we play today it has origins in Italy and France and a two-player version of the game can date back to the 1400s. Inevitably, over the years the game has adapted and changed, but there are still the same principles to the initial game in the way that we play today.

Blackjack dates back to the 1600s and was again played by the French, yet there have been claims that it was played before that. However, we do know that around this time it was brought to the US, from locals who had moved to the States. Also, during this period, we can see the first ever casinos, although they were known as gambling houses back then.

Roulette also originated in France, around 1796, although quite ironically the French began by playing the American version with the double zero on the wheel. It would be a further fifty years before the single zero was played, in the game that we now know as European roulette, and both ways are still played today across the world.

We have to go to the 1800s for the first signs of poker and the slots, making them the most recent of our favourite casino games. However, the origins of poker remain fairly unknown and given how long playing cards have been around, it’s possible that a game similar to poker could’ve been played before 1829. But, that’s the year that a prominent English actor told of a card game in New Orleans that is very similar to poker as we know it today.

Whilst, it wasn’t until 1891 that the first slots appeared, with one armed bandits arriving in New York and initially they would pay out in gum and cigars instead of cash!

Gambling begins to grow

Gambling has always been popular and as you can see, there were many games that were created for people to ultimately enjoy themselves and have fun. But, by the 1900s gambling still would’ve been prohibited in certain areas of the world but that would soon change.

Las Vegas is an iconic place for any gambler and by the 1930s it was beginning to cement it’s reputation for the number one location in the world for players. That started by introducing casinos as we know them as opposed to gambling houses. This brought people to Nevada and set a new way of gambling, that was also about the entertainment. Throughout the next few decades many famous faces would be in Vegas, enjoying everything that it had to offer.


Technology changes the face of gambling

Technology has had an impact on virtually every aspect of our lives and gambling is no different. The first arcade game can be dated back to the 1930s and they would grow in popularity very quickly with coin-operated games a real hit. Computer scientists would develop games over the years which were advanced at the time. And, with Vegas still growing in terms of revenue and visitors, gambling was evolving significantly.

The 1970s saw video slots arrive, providing another unique way of playing. IGT, the popular operator still going today were born around this time and began to make slots with reels and paylines as you see today. As well as that, video poker was proving to be popular and we would start to see slots with jackpots, although it was nothing compared to what you can win today!

Since then, it’s fair to say that technology and casino gaming has catapulted into another world in terms of what it could offer players. 1994 saw Microgaming introduce the first online game that we could play and that set the tone. Again, Vegas was also booming during the 90s and everyone wanted to sample the fun and excitement of playing in any way they could.

Of course, year on year everything would improve from a mobile and online perspective. Whether it was bigger jackpots, increased paylines or enhanced graphics and gameplay, the quality was growing all the time. To demonstrate that, the online gaming industry was worth $1bn in 1999.

Players were landing seven-figure wins by 2000 which brought increased publicity and focus onto playing from home, and just a few years later we saw the first live casino, which really brought the casino to you. Although mobile gaming had been around, in 2007 it saw significant strides made, with desktop-interfaces included and the gameplay increasingly more realistic.

Since then, the improvements have continued in that sense. The realism, quality and range of games available are now better than ever and it doesn’t look like stopping given how key the online market is nowadays.


That concludes our look at how gambling has evolved and with so much available to players today, we think you’ll agree, it’s great to be playing today! All you have to do to sample the fun is visit Lucky Nugget Casino, on your mobile or online, where you can play your favourite game in seconds. Enjoy, because it hasn’t always been this easy.

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