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The History Behind 3 of the Oldest Games Still Being Played Today

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A good game will always be a good game. It doesn’t matter how many technological advancements we see in the world, there will always be people who want to play the old classics. From chess to casino games like roulette and baccarat, and even old word games. There are so many games with a history spanning generations that people still get plenty out of today.

Let’s dive into the history behind some of these games and the way they have evolved.

Table of Contents

Roulette

When we delve into the world of some old games, it can be hard to get a complete picture of how they were invented. The truth is that nobody knows exactly what the origin of roulette is, or exactly how the idea first came about.

French mathematician Blaise Pascal is credited by many as inventing the game. Rumor has it that he was trying to invent a wheel that would answer the age-old scientific question about whether perpetual motion is possible.

Pascal’s version is almost certainly the origin of the exact gameplay of roulette, inspired by games called Roly Poly and Even/Odd that had a similar spinning wheel design. These games were known to be played in France around the time Pascal came up with his roulette wheel.

There are also rumors of similar games being played in both Ancient China and Ancient Rome, where it is thought that old chariot wheels spinning may have formed the basis of gambling games among soldiers. Nobody knows this for sure, but it is fun to theorize.

The game of roulette really grew in popularity in the 1800s and spread to Europe and beyond, but it is crazy to think how far it has come in the last 20 years or so.

Having been a mainstay of casinos in the US and around the world, roulette has boomed in the last 20 years or so. It was the mid to late 90s when the first online roulette games were made available, but due to regulations in various territories plus a lot of technical issues with early roulette games, it would be 10 years or so until online roulette reached huge popularity levels. Today, consumers have even more choices when it comes to safe browser-based online roulette games, and fast, reliable internet connections have even opened the door for innovations like live dealers.

Though nobody knows the exact number of players, around 1.6 billion people worldwide gamble regularly. Even if 10% of those enjoy roulette, it means there are over 100 million players.

Go

While roulette is one of the biggest games still played in terms of player base, Go is undeniably one of the oldest games that is still played.

The strategy game is all about territory and trying to take over the board. Played between two people, it has its roots in Ancient China. In fact, the date the game was first played may have been earlier than the year 2000 BCE.

The game was then taken to Japan and became popular in 500 BCE, and spread across the whole of Asia, and beyond. Today, there are over 60 million active players of Go, according to the British Go Association.

The game was in the news a lot in the mid-2010s when UK-based company DeepMind was focusing on creating AlphaGo, an AI-based program that had the capacity to beat the professionals. It succeeded, nearly 20 years after a similar feat was achieved in the world of chess. Go is a much more complex game than chess and the victory over a ranked Go player was seen as a big stepping stone in technology.

Chess

Chess has its origins in India in the 7th century, but like a lot of other games, it became popular in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries as it spread around the world, partially due to colonialism.

There were some similar board games played in Ancient Egypt, but these were played using a different set of rules, and none of them had the same level of popularity that chess has. Perhaps this is why it is still so popular today.

The game’s rules also evolved over time, and some say that players in Europe added new rules sometime in the 18th century. Today, there are estimates that as many as 800 million people around the world have played the game at some stage in their lives.

Conclusion

All of the games on this list have gone through an incredible journey. Nobody could have predicted that they would eventually be played globally over the internet, or the numbers of people that play these kinds of games today. All of the games we’ve discussed seem to show no signs of slowing down, and even though the technology being used to play these games may change, it is likely they will still be popular in centuries to come.

Related Post: Mastering Strategies in Modern Gaming: A Comprehensive Guide

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