How Casino Games Have Evolved Over Time
For many, casinos have long been the go-to place for entertainment.
12:40 17 September 2019
Centuries ago, before they existed in their present form, there were saloons and gaming establishments where people would go to unwind, play games (mostly table games), and meet new people. These places eventually evolved to resemble the casinos we know now.
Of course, many of the casino games people play today look a lot different than the ones they played a hundred years ago, or even decades ago. But some of them haven’t changed that much, either.
Did you know that the first slot machine was created in 1891 in Brooklyn, New York? It was based on poker and had 50 card faces. By 1895, the slot machine began to resemble an old-fashioned cash register, but with three drums and five symbols. Different variations of the machine were produced over the next many decades, but the first video slot machine wasn’t produced until the mid-70s in California.
Although similar to the first video slot machine, modern machines offer smoother, easier, and more entertaining gameplay. They’re also massively popular worldwide, and are one of the main attractions for many casino guests. Because of this, wherever you go, you’ll find dozens (if not hundreds) of slots dedicated to much more than the classics: slots with TV, movie, holiday, travel, music, and historical themes, among so many more. But since the 90s, the most popular (by far) has been the Wheel of Fortune slots.
Most modern card games have the French to thank (who then have the Middle East and Asia to thank). Although credit for poker’s origin varies, many of the variations date back to the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. By the 1970s, poker became massively popular thanks to growing casinos and tournaments like the World Series of Poker.
Blackjack also dates back to the United States, where it evolved from twenty-one. Before that, its origins are muddled, but it likely dates back to France or Spain. The game itself has not changed much in the last two centuries, but many variations exist worldwide. Still, traditional blackjack reigns supreme in casinos; not many casinos have adopted the variations.
Of the table games, roulette has a clearer timeline, dating back to 18th century France. As roulette started to spread around the world, variations started to pop up like American roulette, which placed the wheel on top of the table to prevent cheating. Today, the French single-zero version and the American double-zero version are the most popular versions worldwide.
Once the Internet started to move into the mainstream, it didn’t take long for online casino games to follow. But these games have vastly improved over the last few decades. Gaming sites are now much more secure, and many of them even offer cryptocurrency options for additional security. Additionally, the games today are more interactive and enjoyable for players, and sites continuously add new offerings to keep players interested. Many sites and businesses are also experimenting with virtual reality to offer players more immersive gameplay from home (or from wherever they are).
Slots and poker are two of the most popular casino games to play online. Most sites offer a large, ever-rotating selection of slots along with major poker variations like Texas Hold’em and Five Card Draw. Online poker tournaments are also hugely popular, especially because they’re more inclusive and accessible. But just like in a real casino, this is only the beginning. Most casino table games are available to play online, like baccarat, roulette, and blackjack. Sites also offer incentives to play, such as promotions and cash bonuses.
As for the future of casino gaming, it’s likely online, for reasons such as selection, accessibility, and innovation — it’s just easier for players to find their favorite games online rather than travel to a brick-and-mortar casino. Online gaming won’t necessarily eliminate brick-and-mortar casinos, but it has certainly flourished over the last decade and will continue to do so.