Modern forms of gambling can be traced back too many ancient cultures, from China to Egypt and beyond.
Yet, the truth is that ancient Greece played a bigger part in the development of modern forms of gambling than most places.
A Look at the Origins of Gambling in Greece : You wouldn’t expect casinos with the highest payout slot machines, but Ancient Greece had their own means of placing wagers. Gambling games based on throwing dice and tossing coins have been mentioned in some ancient Greek books and stories. Some sources suggest the game of poker may also have begun here, although others think that it was first played in China or Persia.
Poker in Greece may be a very popular game with a lot of repercussions and many fans of the game, but have you ever wondered when it was discovered? and where? Ηow was poker in Greece much earlier?
What can’t be denied is that gambling was hugely popular in this culture, with special places where gamblers could go to place some bets. We can see it in sculptures and paintings too, with people betting on fights and races.
Interestingly, the Gods Hermes and Pan are both said to have placed wagers, while Zeus, Poseidon and Hades decided how to split up the world by drawing straws. Yet, some Greek philosophers were against gambling and thought that it would damage civilization if left unchecked.
Which are some of the most popular games? One of the games that is often mentioned as being popular in the olden days in Greece is Heads and Tails. This was first played with shells, before the introduction of coins made it easier to gamble on which side would end up facing upwards. Pitch and Toss was a game that involved throwing coins at a wall.
Perhaps the simplest game of all was the one called Par Impar Ludere. One player would hold a bunch of small items in one hand and the other person had to guess whether the total number of objects was odd or even. The Greeks would bet on the outcome, and it also became popular in the Roman empire. Gambling is also believed to have been a huge factor in the early Olympic Games It is claimed the Palamedes invented dice when Troy was under siege and that this led to his dice being used in a Temple of Fortune in Corinth. However, this appears to just be a legend, as the first mention of dice in Greece can be traced all the way back to 6000BCE.A theory that runs through the ancient Greek’s love of gambling is that the Gods controlled the games. Even the outcome of a game of pure luck like throwing dice was in the lap of the gods.
In the end, there were games of chance, but not in the sense that they exist today. Poker in Greece took its current form much later and not only that but we can see that gambling in Greece is legal in land-based establishments. The big cities all tend to have a few casinos in them, while the islands that are popular with tourists also offer casinos to visitors.
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