Most people don’t realize what an impact some of the modern day card and board games had on history and society. The secrecy of Mah-jong Solitaire in the Ming Dynasty, Gin Rummy in the saloons of the old West and traces of Backgammon in ancient Mesopotamia are only a few of the countless parallels between modern casino games and the favorites of generations throughout history.
Games have evolved from the palaces and prisons around the world, and found themselves online.
The four player game dates back to 2000BC, when the ancient Chinese royals where the only ones who were privileged enough to play. It wasn’t for thousands of years that the game became popular amongst the Chinese working class, but it quickly became well-known in the western world – in fact, once it reached the Chinese masses it only took a few decades to spread across the globe.
Its balance of luck and skill, and its similarities to many western games made it easily accessible to America in the early 20th century. These days it’s popular the world over as a game of calculated risks and high stakes.
Originally, Gin Rummy stemmed from one of the many variations of poker in the United States of America in the 18th century.
Whiskey Poker is largely regarded as the starting point for Gin Rummy, the rules are very similar and there’s even a stranger hybrid called Gin Poker. These days the competitive card game is commonly known as Gin in most countries.
The single-player game of Solitaire is one of the most played games in the world. From those in true solitude to crowded casino halls both on and offline, the game occasionally known in Europe as Patience gained momentum in the early 19th century and has played a major role in international pop culture ever since.
Napoleon was rumored to be an avid Solitaire player, but some say that he was a fan of some of the other card games in France at the time.
Sleight variations of backgammon have been documented in numerous cultures for over 6000 years. The turn based board game has never lost popularity, even during the successful rise of Chess. Backgammon has proven its worth through the generations and was introduced online in 1992.
The intricate game gained popularity far and wide. Rome to the pyramids, Backgammon has been noted in some of the greatest empires in history, and rapidly became a regular pastime among the working class through most of Europe. Thomas Jefferson was known to enjoy a game of backgammon during his time in the American office. In fact, physical record still stands.
These days the game is still studied. Domestic computer software allows you to analyze your strategies, and challenge both the computer and other human players.
Like rugby and the bagpipes, the origins of Poker are controversial. Many nations claim to have invented the great game of poker, but the most widely accepted version of the story is that the game is based on the old French card game called Bouillotte, and the name of modern day poker was derived from the German game Pochspiel, which means “to knock” .
Poker was a continuous theme in the culture of the American South. The state of Louisiana was the setting for blues, prohibition and poker – some of the most significant elements of Southern life and an integral part of American society. Today online Poker is quite possibly the top played game amongst Internet players.
Online gaming is what it’s all about these days… Play the games that have been played by kings and peasants alike. Experience the thrill that has helped shape and destroy empires for thousands of years.
By Damian Burke
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