The History And Origins Of Gambling: Part 2

The Origins of Gambling Part 2

In this part 2 article regarding the origins of gambling, we will continue exploring the evolution of gambling throughout history to get the full picture of how we reached the pinnacle of gambling as we know it today. Moreover, in the history of gambling part 1, we concluded the article with one of the most popular casino games in history, roulette, i.e. the “little wheel”, as it was known around the streets of Paris In 1796. Today, we will continue our journey in part 2 of the origins of gambling with a rather interesting tale about a certain “little” game known as poker.

Poker – New Orleans 1829

Just as is the case with some of the biggest names in the origins of casino gambling part 2, the origins of poker are shrouded with mystery, being that no one knows the exact birth of this particular game. What is widely accepted as the truth, however, is that poker is an end version of various card games throughout history that shaped the game that we know today over a significant time, which in the case of poker translates to literally centuries of evolution. One of the most popular theories about the origins of this mega-popular gambling game is that it is a variation of an old Persian card game from the 17th century. Other historians claim that poker is based on the French card game with a somewhat similar name, “Poque”.


For the time being, the earliest confirmed and documented records of a poker game being played date back to 1829 and riverboats in New Orleans. More specifically, the first actual records show that a certain actor from the UK by the name of Joseph Crowell wrote about a card game that highly resembles the poker games we know today.

Eventually, it took poker quite a while to explode on the global mainstream stage and establish itself as one of the most popular casino games in the world as it is today. The truth is, poker actually struggled to break out on the mainstream scene and instead was mostly played at illegal casino establishments throughout the US. And the outright ban on gambling in most of the US at the time certainly did not help the case either. Regardless, poker remained “silent” up till the beginning of the 70s, the decade when the notorious World Poker Series in Las Vegas was created, and consequently, the first major event that put the game on the map. 

Since then, poker remained fairly known, but nobody could’ve predicted the popularity that this game got with the emergence of online casinos and the fully-televised poker events that showed some rather exclusive insight inside the world of professional poker unlike never before. One of the most significant milestones in the story of poker happened in the early 2000s, when Chris Moneymaker, an amateur poker player, first qualified, and afterwards won the World Poker Series 2003.


The impressive part, and what paved the way for many amateur and enthusiast poker players all across the world, is that Chris qualified by playing online. Needless to say, back then this was a pretty big deal, considering that many people in the early 2000s didn’t even own a computer, not to mention having internet access. Consequently, after Chris won the World Series in 2003, and the inevitable birth of hundreds of online casinos, poker rooms and websites, today, poker is easily one of the top three most popular casino games in the world, regardless of whether we are talking about a digital or a physical casino establishment.

Origins Of The First Slot Machine – New York 1891

The year 1891 in the origins of gambling part 2 is quite important, being that it is noted as the year when the prototype of the slots that we know and love today. More specifically, it is noted that this machine was designed and built by Messrs Pittman and Pit in 1891 in New York. Moreover, they decided to integrate an entire deck of 52 cards on specially designed drum reels, which eventually resulted in the creation of a game that is very similar to poker. In a rather interesting twist of fate, around the same period (1894), only on the other side of the country in San Francisco, Charles Fey invented the famous “Liberty Bell” machine. Not only does this machine provide a much more transparent and player-friendly outcome, but it also came with 3 spinning reels, 1 payline and for that time, the most advanced fully automated payout structure in the world of gambling engineering. 


The influence of the Liberty Bell is so great, that whenever you see a bell symbol used in a slot game, regardless of whether it is online or physical, just remember that it all dates back to this particular slot game. And while back then the slot machines rewarded players with incentives such as gum, cigars or coupons instead of money, they still set the stage for slot gaming as it is today, with bars and casinos being the first establishments to integrate slot machines that reward players with real money. Accordingly, the first true video slot machine was invented in 1970, and needless to state the obvious, very soon became part of every casino in the world, literally. It wasn’t until the emergence of online casinos, and consequently, online slots, that the players got an entirely new perspective of what slot gaming entails.

Modern Casino Gambling & Future Of Gambling – 1994 – Present

Considering that most of us are already living in the future of online casino gaming even as we are writing this article, it is truly inspiring to see how far we’ve come since 2300 BC, the time when the first gambling records were made. Ever since the first online casinos entered the scene in 1994, or specifically the creation of Microgaming, one of the biggest game development studios to this day, we are constantly witnessing the fast-paced evolution of gambling. Another major event that greatly contributed to the increase of online casino gambling is the creation of Playtech 2003, an iGaming development studio that is also the closest you can get to brick-and-mortar casino gaming in an online casino environment. Especially in the early 2000s, a time when there were nowhere near the options that we have today within the reach of the palm of our hand. 


The quest for the ultimate online gambling experience that is both convenient and reliable became true and reached its peak with the emergence of smartphones. It is safe to say that not only did smartphones completely change the way we interact with each other, but they also made everything else easier, including casino gambling. Some of the major factors for example are the ability to play your favourite casino game from the comfort of any place that you please, but you also get access to a whole plethora of various casino games with just a couple of clicks.

Yet, it wasn’t until 2020 and the start of the horrible COVID-19 pandemic that we realized the true potential of smartphone technology, especially in the gambling world. Considering that every land-based establishment where there is a risk of spreading the diseases was shut down, the majority of these people eventually turned to mobile casino gaming. And believe us when we say that it was an absolute success. Not only did the iGaming industry generate billions of dollars, but it also unintentionally created a massive group of players from all over the world that strictly prefer mobile casino gaming over every other way, which is what consequently earned them a spot in the origins of gambling, particularly in part 2 of our research.

Being that we are just getting into the metaverse and virtual reality, it should be no surprise that this is where gambling Is heading. There are even certain operators who are already purchasing land within the realm of various metaverses, preparing for what many gambling experts will be a virtual reality online gambling experience, enhanced by a specially designated VR set. This experience is meant not only to greatly enhance the user experience and make it as real as possible, but it will also allow the players to communicate with each other from various parts of the digital time and space. And if you think that this is reserved for the far future then think again, since there are already casino operators that currently provide services in the metaverse, such as Chateau Satoshi Casino, for example.

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