The Oldest Casino Games In The World

Gambling has been around for centuries and is inextricably linked to the history of humanity. Many casino games first emerged as games between friends, after some time with bets being placed and eventually formalised and evolved into some of the best loved games today. The oldest known casino in the world, The Ridotto, was established in Venice in 1638 and casinos started to appear throughout continental Europe in the 19th century.


Although Craps is one of the most popular casino games nowadays, it’s actually the oldest known one out there. It all started back in the 12th century (1125 AD) during the Crusades by Sir William of Tyre.

Game of Dice

We don’t know where Dice was played first, but the game has a very long history from the Greeks enjoying games in 400 BC to the Egyptians as far back as 2000 BC. There is even archaeological evidence of Dice as far back as 6000 BC.


This game originated in China at the time The Great Wall was being built. Many believe it was used as a way to raise money to build the wall. Very early versions of Keno weren’t exactly the same – it’s been refined and changed over time. Chinese immigrants brought the game to the West when they arrived there in the 19th century.


In the 17th century, physicist Blaise Pascal tried to create a perpetual motion machine. His machine didn’t quite achieve its purpose, but did lay the foundations for the Roulette wheel.

In the 1720s, an early version of the game, known as ‘Roly Poly’ appeared in Britain and was banned by 1739. The modern-day Roulette wheel that we know, took its current form later in the 18th century and began to appear in gambling houses across France.


The true origin of Blackjack is unknown. What we do know is that it’s derived from a game called twenty-one. The first mention of twenty-one is the legendary novel, Don Quixote, by Miguel De Cervantes. In the novel, he tells of two cheats in Seville who had mastered the game of twenty-one. Based on when this novel was written, we can assume that blackjack has been played since at least the 17th century. As with most games, it evolved over time and a few more changes were introduced once it came to America, including a bonus hand – a combination of a Black Jack and the Ace of Spades, hence the name Black Jack.


Poker’s closest European predecessor was Poque, which caught on in France in the 17th century. It was based on a 16th century Spanish game which involved three cards per player and bluffing. When the French colonials came to the Southern states of the US, they brought the game with them. It proved immensely popular and in the early 1800’s it spread from New Orleans along the Mississippi River and the rest of the US.  Over time it developed into the game of classic casino Poker we enjoy today.