How gambling started in Greece

Gambling has evolved over many centuries from the age of ancient civilisations, to become a very lucrative form of business. Some consider it a pass time activity while others have immersed themselves into the action, making it a full-time career where they earn a living from bets on a daily basis. In some instances, they offer professional opinions as pundits who advise and predict future outcomes of a variety of wagers, thereby helping other people gain some fortune. Here at Slotsia, we take a look at how gambling took shape in ancient Greece to become a multi-billion dollar industry.

The Evolution of Gambling In Greece

In early times, the Greek believed that gambling was an act of gods, especially when they wanted to settle trivial matters like deciding the patronage of the city of Athens, to defining moments as per the Greek mythology, such as splitting the universe. Poseidon, Zeus, and Hades cast lots, an act that let Zeus claim the Heaves, Hades the Underworld, and Poseidon the sea. Athens got a patron in Athena; goddess of strength and wisdom after a high stake bet lost by Poseidon. It is in such tales that we begin to understand how the casino history took shape to present day.

Take a look at the structure of table games in this modern day where the dice roll is an integral part of determining the outcome of either fortune or failure. A similarity that throwing dice bears with that of the Greek in ancient times is that such dice games were, and are still considered guess work. The belief was that the gods controlled the result from a dice roll because the person casting the dice had no way of determining the what figure it landed on.

The Types of Bets Made In Ancient Greece

Just like at casino sites today, gambling has evolved mostly due to technology. However, some certain aspects of the concept remain the same, such as the heads and tails. Today, it is a simple, quick wager that involves flicking a coin with the result determined by which of the two sides it falls. Back then, it was played using a shell, but when the coin came to be, the aspect of the game remained the same, with only the mode of playing changing.

Tilia, better known as Checkers today, evolved where the gameplay was on a chess-board to its board with twelve pieces on each side. The act of casting more than one dice rolled in a cup also originated from ancient Greece, where people played board games or just a game of dice using three to four of them. Gambling was an illegal activity but both rich and poor occasionally indulged because of the fortune at stake.

Summary of the Gambling Traits in Ancient Greece

Gambling is more of sport in the modern day, but, judging by the events in the turn of the centuries over a Millenium ago, there is a different picture painted all together. It exudes the notion that it was a lifestyle welcomed by all social classes. There was belief attached to religion, where gods controlled luck, and they also participated in settling a conflict. Looking at how the industry is blossoming in recent times, it ‘s hard to believe the change that has taken place to get there.

Are you interested in reading more about casino history? In our Casinopedia you will find articles on how gambling took shape in Rome and in China.

how gambling started in greece