Ancient Gambling Games
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In all cases at some point it was regulated and severe punishment would come upon the gamblers. In China we have the game of keno , which is played with cards with numbers from 1 to 80 in squares.
The game would be allowed to be played in gambling houses with the permission of the province governor, who would receive a percentage of the profits.
Another game of chance was invented by the Chinese in 2, BC using tiles and by AD the Chinese had invented card games decorated with human forms, which later expanded throughout Europe by the Mamalukes Islam followers who used shapes, and later on the Europeans adjusted the cards to show the Kings and Queens that we see in card decks today.
It seems that gambling is very much in our nature. The Popularity Of Gambling in Ancient Cultures. Luck Games in Ancient Greece GR. The History of Gambling.
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Just goes to show us that these shortcomings have been with humanity a long time. Related Articles on Ancient-Origins. It so happens that a few of their gods had their back, namely Hades, Zeus, and Poseidon.
According to Greek mythology, the three gods had a game of dice and straw in a bid to split the Universe amongst themselves.
According to another Greek mythology, Athena the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom and Poseidon the god of the seas wagered a high-stake bet over the patronage of Athens, then the city-state.
For some reason, Poseidon lost the bet, and ended up cursing Athens not to ever have enough water! There are a handful of forms of gambling games that were popular among the ancient Greek, and still widely played today.
Mind you note that most forms of ancient gambling were prohibited, and in fact punishable by the ruling regimes at the time. The game of dice is as old as gambling itself.
Interestingly, there were two forms of Dice games that were widely played in Ancient Greece. The first type of Dice was more or less a board game, and the other one was just played using only dices.
From archaeological evidence, it shows that Ancient Greece dice were carved from bone, ivory, antler, crystal, and stone. They also used several other polyhedral dices.
In ancient Greece, any form of dice throwing was taken to have much to do with luck rather than chance. One story says the game was invented by the legendary Emperor Yao, said to rule from to B.
Go was introduced to Japan in the eighth century A. Professional Go players in Japan today compete in tournaments for prizes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Romans adopted dice games from the Greeks — collections like that of the British Museum contain many ancient dice from both regions and throughout the Roman Empire.
A Roman-era "dice tower" for throwing dice was also found in Germany in Ancient dice could be carved from stone, crystal, bone, antler or ivory , and while the cubical dice familiar today were common, they weren't the only shape that was used — several polyhedral dice have been found by archaeologists, including sided dice engraved with Greek characters from Ptolemaic Egypt.
Archaeologists don't agree that such dice were always used for games — instead, they may have been used for divination, with the characters or words on each face of the die representing an ancient god who might assist the dice-thrower.
Dice were also used in ancient China — a mysterious game featuring an unusual sided die was found in a 2,year-old tomb near Qingzhou City in The die, made from animal tooth, was found with 21 rectangular game pieces with numbers painted on them, and a broken tile that was once part of a game board decorated with "two eyes … surrounded by cloud-and-thunder patterns.
Archaeologists think the die, pieces and board were used to play an ancient board game named "bo" or "liubo" — but the game was last popular in China around 1, years ago, and today nobody knows the rules.
In July , archaeologists announced they had found a "games room" in their excavations of a Roman-era pottery workshop from the second century A.
Among the finds were several boards for the ancient game of mancala , consisting of rows of pits carved into stone benches, and a larger mancala game board carved into a separate stone.
The room seems to have served as a relaxation center for the pottery workers — a "spa" of 20 baths and a set of glass cups and bowls for drinking and eating were also found at the site.
They are then exiled and their wives are humiliated in court by their rivals, the Kauravas, which provokes the God Krishna to intervene and save the wives.
So influential was this game of dice that it even led to an epic battle. Ultimately, gambling per se is not portrayed as an unacceptable activity, rather, its the use of it as a means of trickery that is.
The festivals are traditionally celebrated as the welcoming of new phases, both marking seasonal shifts that are believed to bring in revived fortunes.
Diwali, in particular, is believed to be favored by Lakshmi, the Goddess of Wealth, and so many Indians find that this day is the best to gamble.
Known for their love of hedonistic living and vice, both the Ancient Greeks and Romans were keen gamblers, to say the least.
A game that transcended both civilizations was the game of Par Impar. The modern game of Odds and Evens is extremely similar — you take two players, with one hiding a number of objects in their closed fists.
The other player then has to guess whether the number of items was odd or even, and if they guessed it correctly then presto!
The Ancient Greeks were also known to be fans of dice games that wagered on luck. Like going to a brothel in many countries today, being caught in one would be enough to give a high-standing member of society an ill reputation.
Hades was said to have the worst throw against Zeus and his brothers, and thus he was gifted with the Underworld.
Although gambling was strictly prohibited in ancient Rome, an annual Saturnalia Festival saw gambling allowed for one night.
In saying that, all customs and laws were turned askew for this particular night — as it was a night when masters would serve slaves and partying would replace conservative civility.