Prehistory – 3000 BC, Mesopotamia: Six-Sided Dice
The oldest pair of dice ever discovered is over 5,000 years old. They were unearthed by archeologists in Iraq and date all the way back to 3000 BC, when the region was still known as Mesopotamia.
But the origins of die go back way further than that. As it turns out, these Mesopotamian die were based on designs from the late Paleolithic era, which ended some 11,000 years ago.
2300 BC, Ancient China: Lotteries & Simple Games of Chance
There is considerable evidence to suggest that gambling was a popular pastime in Ancient China. This includes tiles, later unearthed by archeologists, suggesting the existence of a crude game of chance. Moreover, reference to “the drawing of wood” in the Chinese Book of Songs may reference a type of lottery.
Ancient Greece & Rome: Mythical Die and Law-Skirting Gambling Chips
In Ancient Rome, founded in 753 BC, gambling was enormously popular. So popular, in fact, that the city of Rome outlawed all forms of gambling for a time. Illicit gamblers attempted to skirt the law, which entailed a fine of four times the wagered stake, by developing gambling chips.
Later, in around 500 BC, writings of the Greek poet Sophocles attributed the invention of the dice to a mythical hero and the siege of Troy. Whether or not you buy the fantastical theory, Sophocles’ writing shows that the Ancient Greeks used die.
Circa 800 AD, China: From Card Games To Keno
The general consensus among historians is that playing cards originated in 9th-Century China, although theories on their usage do vary. Some suggest these cards were used a bit like modern baseball trading cards, whilst others believe they were like paper dominoes.
Additionally, keno slips dating back to around 200 BC indicate the existence of a kind of lottery to fund Chinese state projects, which may have included the construction of the Great Wall of China.
1400s, Italy & France: Beginnings of Baccarat
The earliest historical mention of baccarat, one of the oldest card games still played today, was in the 15th Century. This was at the point when the game made its migration from Italy to France.
Over the ensuing centuries, this early incarnation of baccarat continued to evolve and migrate. The version we know today originated in Cuba, before spreading to Great Britain and then the US.
Early 1500 – 1930s, Spain, France & USA: Blackjack Is Born
There is some disagreement among historians about the origins of blackjack. The main contenders are France’s quinze (early 1500s), Spain’s trente-un (1570), and Spain’s ventiuna (1601). Nevertheless, the 17th Century French game of vingt-et-un is universally agreed upon as the direct antecedent of modern blackjack. Asianbookie Judi Bola