Are you a casino expert? We’re willing to bet you’re not. While you might be skilled at Blackjack splitting, a pro on Pass betting in Craps, or a champion of chip stacking at the poker tables, that doesn’t make you an expert. Sure, it makes you a gambling pro. We’re not disputing that. But when you play live games, your knowledge shouldn’t be limited to how to play the game. It should include interesting facts about gambling and tidbits that could strike up a conversation.
Today, we’ve got some of the most interesting casino facts you probably didn’t know. We hope you enjoy them and we encourage you to share them if you’ve learned something new. You can do that on Facebook or Twitter—or the next time you’re bluffing your way to greatness in Vegas.
The world’s first casino
Forget the rich history, the famous artists, and the great culinary experiences. Your new big reason to visit Italy is to celebrate gambling. It turns out that the world’s first casino was built back in 1638 in Venice, Italy, constructed by Casanova as a place for good times. That’s not just a pie in the sky statement. The word ‘casino’ is derived from the world ‘casa’, which means villa or house and is associated with a place of pleasure. The first casino featured games, dancing, music, and of course gambling.
But while that was the world’s first casino, it’s not necessarily the first instance of gambling. Casino style wagering can be traced back to ancient times, with evidence of gambling occurring throughout history. We’re talking caveman times.
Citizens of Monaco are forbidden to enter the gaming room
Monaco is renowned for its opulence. Its citizens are among the wealthiest in the world and the streets are home to some of the most expensive cars you’ll ever see. But if you think Monaco residents got wealthy playing casino games, think again. They didn’t. At least not casino games in Monaco. It turns out if you are a citizen of Monaco, you are not allowed to play in one of the local casinos.
The restriction dates back to 1856 when the Prince of Monaco decided that it would be best for citizens to not play so that they wouldn’t find themselves in debt. Ergo, Monaco citizens can work in a casino, but they can’t play in one. That said, they’re free to travel elsewhere and enjoy their favorite games.
What are the chances that would happen?
Are you familiar with the Gambler’s Fallacy? In a nutshell, it means that regardless of how often an event has occurred in the past, the odds of it happening again soon don’t change. For example, just because you hit 15 reds in a row on Roulette, it doesn’t mean you’re due for a Black on the next spin. The odds of hitting Black and Red are the same.
Unfortunately, gamblers fall victim to the Gambler’s Fallacy daily, thinking that they’re due for a win. But back on August 18th, 1913, the Gambler’s Fallacy victimized more people than just a handful. The black ball hit 26 times in a row, forcing players thinking they were due for a Red to bet against Black over and over again. More players than you can imagine lost millions of dollars, which is equivalent to tens or hundreds of millions by today’s standards.
From $50 to $40 million
One of the biggest success stories in gambling history is that of Archie Karas. The Greek gambler steamrolled $50 to a whopping $40 million. That’s not a typo. It happened back in 1992, when Karas stepped into Mirage in Las Vegas and turned a $50 bankroll into $30,000 playing RAZZ. Armed with an impressive bankroll, he used the money to skyrocket his earnings into over $40 million over the course of a few years. He did this by playing poker, Baccarat, pool, and dice games. He was so successful that he eventually couldn’t find anyone willing to gamble against him.
Of course, when you play live poker, you don’t have a choice of who you play against, particularly if you’re talking about poker tournaments. During his successful run, Karas played against famous poker players including Chip Reese, Doyle Brunson, Stu Unger, and Johnny Chan.
Nevada has a banned players list
Getting caught counting cards will get you kicked out of a casino, but it won’t necessarily get you banned from all casinos in one shot. Sure, some casinos work together to share information, but card counting isn’t illegal, so the state doesn’t care.
But every now and then, a player pops up who is either too good at casino games or is somehow cheating the system. The state maintains a list of banned players known as the Gaming Control Board Excluded Person List. Some on the list have ties to organized crime. Others have a history of gambling related offenses that include cheating. There are 33 people on the list, including Archie Karas (mentioned above). He’s one of the only players with no details on why he’s on the list (the others have a brief synopsis of their offenses). It’s safe to assume that his only crime is that he’s too good at gambling, which technically isn’t illegal.
You don’t have to travel to Europe to play European Roulette
Traditionally, if you wanted to play the European flavors of some of your favorite games, you’d have to actually head to Europe. For example, just try playing European Roulette in Las Vegas. Chances are you’ll only be able to find the American flavor because, well, you’re in America. But online at Prism Casino, you’ll find American Roulette and European Roulette, side by side. We have the American and European versions of Blackjack (bet you didn’t know there was a difference) so you can play whatever you’re in the mood for. All it takes is a free account to get started. You can sign up right now without having to make a deposit, so come join the excitement.