What Do We Know About Ancient Gambling?

  • The gambling business is one of the most popular and profitable in the world.
  • But what do we know about ancient gambling?
  • Let's go back in time and look at how your favorite games actually appeared!
What do we know about ancient gambling

As you know, the gambling business is one of the most popular and profitable in the world. Owners of slot machines and casinos receive trillions of dollars every year. However, how did these games come about, what was the first gambling game in the world, and why are millions of people obsessed with winning roulette? According to historians, passion for gambling. Even in ancient times, first people began to pay special attention to their fortune. After all, if you’re lucky, the prey will fall into a trap and the family will not starve. Besides, around the same time, all kinds of rituals aimed at attracting good luck appeared. But what do we know about ancient gambling?

Let’s go way back in time!

Around 7000 BC the fertile lands of Mesopotamia which now occupies Iraq allowed people to change their nomadic life to a settled one. This led to the formation of a stable society, which was a prerequisite for the development of knowledge, skills, and tools. Moreover, from this moment in history, human civilization begins. It is not surprising that the first gambling accessories were discovered by archaeologists among finds made in this part of the world. In many archaeological sites, scientists have found tetrahedral talus dating from 6000 BC, and hexagonal cubes from 3000 BC, on the edges of which their dignity is indicated by dots.

Additionally, the playing boards from the same period gave scientists the idea that the people who inhabited Mesopotamia at that time played board games. Moreover, they are structurally similar to modern backgammon. The number of points that dropped out after throwing the dice determined to which mark the player could move his piece on the board. Indeed, the set for the Mesopotamian game “ur” is the oldest board game in the world. It includes a board, 14 tokens, and 3 tetrahedrons. Fortunately, the set is now in the British Museum and it is about 5000 years old. If you want to know more about the Oldest Gambling Games Still Played, read our article and find one of these games in the online sportsbooks in the USA.

What do we know about ancient gambling: The first game of dice

And in Persia, which was the territory of modern Iraq, the dice game was very popular. The Greek historian and biographer Plutarch tells how the Persian king Artaxerxes played dice with his mother Parysatid. Indeed, this game is remarkable in that it served as an instrument of terrible revenge. Artaxerxes had a brother Cyrus, who wanted to seize power and went to war against the king, but was defeated and executed. Parysatida, wanting to take revenge on the eldest son for the death of the younger, came up with an insidious plan. She invited Artaxerxes to play dice with her.

Moreover, Parysatida skillfully played dice, but deliberately succumbed to her son, to force him to play at higher stakes. Therefore, Parysatis offered to put eunuchs on the horse and Artaxerxes agreed. The king’s bid was the eunuch who executed Cyrus. In this way, Parysatida won the game of dice, took her winnings, and brutally dealt with him. Find out more about A Life of Dice and Circuses Gambling before visiting the Intertops Casino. Good luck!

Fun in Ancient Egypt

So what do we know about ancient gambling on this territory? The Egyptians were as passionate about gambling as the Persians and the people of Mesopotamia. Besides, they decorated the Ancient Egyptian tombs with sculptural reliefs, many of which depict scenes of gambling. Moreover, hieroglyphic writings that have survived to our time indicate that about 3000 BC in ancient Egypt, they introduces laws  to prohibit gambling. This circumstance points to the fact that by the time these laws were introduced, gambling was a significant part of the daily life of ancient Egyptian society. Additionally, Plutarch wrote down the ancient Egyptian myth of how the gods gamble.

What do we know about ancient gambling
Must be fun to gamble with the pharaoh.

The Egyptians played a game with a board and two dice. The player threw the dice and, following the number of points received as a result of the throw, moved his chips on the playing field. Therefore, the winner was the one who first moved his chips from one end of the board to the other. Among gambling games, the game “Even odd” was also popular, as well as guessing games. Indeed, their rules were very simple. The player had to guess how many fingers another player was showing behind his back. Or, for example, how many objects he held in his hand. In our article about Gambling in Ancient Egypt, you can find other interesting facts.

What do we know about ancient gambling: Indian games

In the great Indian epic Mahabharata, which was created around 1500 BC, the main story begins with a dice game. This story says that among the members of the royal family there was a struggle for the throne. In the end, they concluded that it was necessary to play out the right to power with the help of the dice party. However, the game was not fair because some players used charged dice. In this way, one of the participants in the game lost all his royal property, and even his wife. However, this story still has a happy ending.

In contrast to the people of Mesopotamia, who used rams to play dice, the people of India used the nuts of the vibhitaka tree. These nuts have five more or less flat faces, which allows them to become dice for the game. In addition to playing dice, the Indians were very fond of betting on animal fights, especially on cock and lamb fights. Moreover, in India at that time, there were a large number of gambling establishments. Here, fans gathered to try their luck and gamble all night long. Indeed, such establishments were officially overseen to ensure the fairness of the game, as well as to levy a kind of tax on the players in favor of the king.

Chinese are famous for their gambling passion since ancient times

Indeed, no nation has succeeded in surpassing the Chinese in their passion for gambling. Gambling has kept pace with the development of Chinese society since its inception. And by 1000 BC has already become an integral part of the culture. Moreover, every big street in every Chinese city had a gambling hangout. Betting on animal fighting and racing was very popular. Besides, the game of cricket, cockfighting, dog, and horse racing has always attracted a huge number of gamblers, and the rates skyrocketed.

Additionally, in the 5th century B, board games began to gain popularity, the victory in which was not only by luck but also by the player’s skills. Later, around the 7th century AD, the Chinese reshaped western dice and created the Chinese dominoes. In this game, 31 chips had 21 numbers indicating the value of each specific chip (they repeated some numbers). In the 12th century, during the reign of Emperor Seun-Ho, Chinese playing cards entered the scene, causing a new surge in popularity and giving zest to the already rich and varied gambling life of China. There were three groups of games: simple games, games using dice, and betting on animal competitions. Fortunately, in modern online casinos in the USA, you can find a bigger variety of gambling sections.

What do we know about ancient gambling
Is he winning?

What do we know about ancient gambling: Ancient Greece

The oldest dice found in archaeological sites in Greece date back to the 7th century BC. Before there were six-sided cubes, the Greeks used rams when playing dice. Moreover, they had two kinds of games that used dice. Some games also required playing boards, while others only needed to throw the highest number of points, which guaranteed a win. The Greeks usually threw 3-4 dice, first shaking them in a special mug. Besides, architectural reliefs dating from the fourth century BC depict gambling scenes in which both men and women throw dice. The most famous work of art that relates to dice games depicts the Greek heroes Ajax and Achilles, heroes of the Trojan War, playing dice.

Additionally, all kinds of competitions in which people and animals took part always aroused great interest among people. Around the fifth century BC, one of the favorite types of bets was cockfighting. Besides, they also placed bets on sports competitions, including the Olympic Games, as well as such types of competitions as wrestling, boxing, running, discus throwing, and others.

Meanwhile, during the heyday of the Roman Empire, everyone from farmers and legionnaires to senators and emperors was passionate about gambling. The Romans adopted most of the games from the Greeks. Like the Greeks, they played guessing games. One of the popular games was that the player held a certain amount of small objects in his hand. Meanwhile, the other player had to guess their number. According to the law, it was impossible to legally demand payment of money won in any gambling game. Therefore, the loser could not be legally forced to pay his debt. Nowadays, you can play Best Ancient Greece Themed Slots in the Intertops Casino to feel the atmosphere of those days.

You can discover more about Intertops Casino here.

Discuss What Do We Know About Ancient Gambling? | User Rating

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments