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World History of Gambling

When you are playing poker, do you ever think about the world history of gambling? Well, gambling is not new at all. In fact, it has been around for ages.

World History of Gambling

People have been gambling for hundreds and hundreds of years. Many items used today for games of chance were used long ago, such as dice. Why gambling began is a very interesting concept to explore. This question is as open ended as asking why people gamble at all. There are numerous reasons why gambling came to be. The development of gambling started from a way to gain a desired object and has evolved to a complete institution that caters to people who have made gambling a hobby or profession. The history of gambling is thus as simple as it is complex; somewhat like gambling itself.

World History of Gambling

The world history of gambling is actually believed to have its roots in religious rituals that focused on using methods of chance to determine whether or not certain events were likely to take place. This was called “casting the lots” and it involved throwing objects on the ground and viewing the results to see what the results foretold. Even numbers of objects were considered good, while odd numbers were considered bad.

As time progressed, the process of divination involved reviewing how the objects fell on the ground. Eventually, people begin to offer gifts to the Gods in order to somehow influence the divination process. This evolved into other people “betting” on the outcomes of another’s divination process.

In addition to this humble beginning of gambling, some also believe the gods and other divine figures are responsible for gambling. In fact, a very popular account of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon involves these gods having a bet with dice in order to obtain their respective parts of the Universe. Thus, it can be noted the origins of gambling are related directly to a religious or divination process that evolved into a more materialistic endeavor.

The use of chance was also used to determine common decisions, such as who would get to drive or tow the field was soon accepted and became mainstream. Subsequently, the use of games of chance developed into a purely materialistic venture, where the main goal is to gain.

Gambling Objects

The world history of gambling includes the use of a number of objects in order to “cast lots” or make one’s bet. Many of the objects used during the primitive times were items that could be easily accessed such as sticks, bones and rocks, but many of the items used today for betting were created centuries ago. For example, the use of throwing sticks of varying lengths in order to make a decision is an ancient practice.

The use of knucklebones also known as astragal is considered the precursor to the modern day dice. The knucklebones have an irregular shape with four sides, with one side more concave than the others. These bones were labeled with numbers and used in pairs or threes to play games of chance.

Likewise, other objects used for gambling such as cards also have ancient roots. Many card games today are based on the divination cards, such as Tarot, that were used to help people determine what was going to happen in their lives. Other cards such as the Htou-Tien or “fighting arrows” cards were used for early fortune telling and are believed to be directly linked to modern day cards that are just for all sorts of gambling games.

Gambling Today

It is very obvious gambling has evolved into an interesting pastime. Unlike ancient times, gambling today is simply about making money. Numerous casinos were built to please the masses who want to try their hand at winning big money. For those who can’t reach a casino, the local lottery and scratch off games offer a chance to double or triple your money.

Let’s not forget the multi-million dollar games that have made some people rich overnight. Card games have become a quick way to make money for those who know how to play and, if you can’t be at the poker tables in person, you can play Texas Hold’em via the Internet.