The Earliest Forms of Gambling In Ancient Civilizations

Gambling in Ancient Society

From the onset of the written period of humanity, it is consistent that humans have been gambling in ancient society. It was a popular way to past time just like it is in modern society. The only difference is the way it is done and advanced these days.

So, the thrill of losing or winning a bet has been in place for several millennia. Just continued to induce emotions that cannot be felt when you’re doing other house chores.

However, you might already notice that a majority of gambling practices today are just modifications of those done in ancient times.

Games that involve chance have been around across millennia, and historians prove they were present in nearly all civilizations around the world. This post is going to show the history of gambling in the most famous ancient civilizations.

Betting in Egypt and Mesopotamia

The civilization of the world in as far as the written period is concerned projects to having started in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Scientists agree that Egypt and Mesopotamia are the first places where agriculture started because humans dropped their nomadic lifestyles.

Therefore, you might appreciate that it was in Egypt and Mesopotamia that betting and or other forms of gambling started.

Several gaming artifacts have been discovered in archaeological sites in both Egypt and the area around the Middle East. For instance, the four-sided knucklebones- Astragali is one of the betting items made of bones. These were the predecessors of dice games.

At that time, Egyptians believed that the outcome of the dice would tell what the gods wanted. Historians have found out that these North Africans typically played lots of betting games. Some of the favorite games of ancient Egypt are the Senet, which means the game of passing.

In the 1920s, archaeologists were able to find about a gaming board in the Royal Tombs of Ur in Iraq. This way, they reconstructed the rules of the Royal game of Ur.

Gambling in ancient China

All through history- and even including today, China has remained the home of gambling in the East. Games that involve chance have been banned in China for many years, but; that doesn’t prevent people from treating the country as a capital for gambling.

The majority of historians point out that ancient China is where gambling started. Studies show that gambling existed even in the Xia Dynasty reign of about 1900 to 1600 BC.

The country’s sovereigns, however, discovered that many people are getting obsessed with gambling and therefore pointed out the risks it hell to their rule. Therefore, there was strict control of chance gaming, and sometimes even an outright ban was issued.

But, because it was challenging to implement the restrictions fully, the majority of the Chinese people still used gambling to pass the time.

Card games were also popular in China, and; when the government realized it needed to get money even from the lower classes of people, it legalized it and used it as a way to get tax.

Some of the popular games in ancient China include Keno. Some say Poker came from China and some say in ancient Persia from a card game called “As Nas”, and Blackjack originated in France and Spain. British Sinologists led by Sir William Henry Wilkinson claim that most of the games used real paper currency as the playing cards.

Gambling in Ancient Greece

Indeed, we cannot talk about the agent world without mentioning Greece. In both mythology and history, gambling took the central stage in the Greece lifestyle. Even before casinos could find their way into the world, betting still had lots of traction in Greece.

Mythology points out that Zeus Hades and Poseidon cast lots to all parts of the universe. The mythology shows that there was a final wager whereby Poseidon received the sea and Hades we got the underworld. Then Zeus took the heavens.

Another myth claims that when Poseidon and Athena, the goddess of wisdom and strength, cast lots on who should take Athens, Poseidon lost and cursed Athens that the city would never have enough water.

These mythologies point out to overwhelming evidence that the people already had a lot of knowledge about gambling.

The Greeks had lots of games in ancient times, which included checkers and heads and tails. Checkers were probably the first board game, which they called tilia.

Heads and tails were the other, which involved tossing a coin or a shell. The games have changed over the centuries, but that hasn’t removed the fact that ancient Greeks were into betting.

Betting in Ancient India

Although betting seems to be outlawed and castigated in India, it hasn’t always been that way, and a Hindu mythology shows that gambling existed in the continent as early as 2000 BC.

Mahabharata is one of the best sources which reveal that in the Hindu religion, the Pandavas and Kauravas were some of the games that form strong beliefs among the people. Dice was the reason why the Pandavas lost their kingdom.

Also, the majority of Indians would gamble on Diwali and Holly because Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, is likely to wish you a prosperous year. In the past, Indians were known to play pachisi, a board game.

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