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Egyptian Culture and Gambling

The History of Gambling in Ancient Egypt

After discovering The Earliest Forms of Gambling in Ancient Greece and The Evolution of Gambling in China, we’ve decided to spin the globe and explore gambling in Ancient Egypt. Like many of us, you’ve probably wondered where gambling comes from. Well, the Greeks were surely among the first ones who played dice games, but gambling equipment has also been found in Egypt, China and Italy. Now, let us focus on the history and the development of gambling in Egypt. Ready? Let’s go!

The Early Stages of Gambling

The early beginning of gambling can be related to religious rituals in primitive societies. The procedure of the rituals was straight-forward and pretty much included throwing pebbles or sticks. Then, the outcome was checked to see if the number of the objects on the ground turned out to be “odd” or “even”. “Even” number was usually a sign of a positive result, whereas the “odd” meant something negative. Eventually, the process became more complicated and involved more sophisticated patterns of the objects.

“Gambling turned into a daily routine which grew out of religious rituals into a separate activity.”

The development of these rituals meant encouraging the fate of the Gods to bring positive signs and help people out. At first, people gambled on the outcome that depended on chances only. Later, gambling turned into a daily routine which grew out of religious rituals into a separate activity. People even gambled on higher stakes, like who will get a better piece of chase or win a better-looking female. The culmination of gambling happened when people finally decided to gamble with their stakes for material earnings only.

The First Games

Since the civilization of the human kind began around 3100 B.C, on the fertile soil of Mesopotamia, the fact that some of the first gambling tools originate from the archaeological findings from that part of the world doesn’t come as a surprise at all. As a matter of fact, some of the earliest forms of dice cubes marked with pips were found in many archaeological sites in this side of the world, dating back to 3000 B.C.

“Some evidences show that people form the early stage of human civilisation enjoyed playing board games that are quite similar to the modern ones”.

Furthermore, there were different kinds of gaming boards revealed in Ancient Egypt, which also prove that people form the early stage of human civilisation enjoyed playing board games that are quite similar to the modern ones – backgammon, to be more specific. Very much alike backgammon, Senet might have been their ancestor, as one of the oldest known board games. The idea of these type of games is quite simple and, with slight differences, they are present in many nations.

The early evidences show that Egyptians enjoyed playing board games with 2 dice and a gaming board. More precisely, the game pieces were moved across the board, based on the result of the throw of the dices. Some other forms of gambling involved Odds and Evens, as well as other forms of guessing games.

The Middle Ages

By the 15th century, the dice games admiration was reduced and replaced with playing cards, which became the more popular way to gamble. Namely, card games were brought to Europe from Asia, and soon spread out across Europe. Also, the lottery became a significant form of gambling in Europe. Interestingly, in Roman Empire, lotteries first occurred as a way of handing out gifts without offending anybody. In Europe on the other hand, lotteries initially had a purpose to place expensive goods, that did not have any buyers.

Online Gambling and Egyptian-Themed Games

In the early 1990s, the expansion of internet technologies made it possible for the gamers to enjoy online gambling. Microgaming and CryptoLogic were among the first software providers who offered games to online casinos around the globe. More recently, online gaming companies have rapidly grown into multibillion-dollar enterprises offering a variety of video slots and casino games powered by various software providers.

Nowadays we have some existing themes running on the plethora of Ancient Egyptian related online slots. Some of the most popular ones include the Book of Ra slot, Golden Ark slot, Queen of the Nile slotCleopatra slots and many more. Spin the reels of any of them and they will surely take you back to Ancient Egypt, at least for a couple of minutes.

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