Popular Luck Games in Ancient Kingdoms - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Popular Luck Games in Ancient Kingdoms

Luck-based games or games of chance are as old as humanity. Humans always believed in the concept of fortune which they were desperately trying to decipher for thousands of years. Therefore, these types of games were a great way to capture the essence of luck and try to understand it. However, nobody managed to do that to date.

Ancient kingdoms believed in the concept of fortune much more than we do today. They believed that everything that happened was the will of gods, even winning in a game of chance. Hence, many of those kingdoms are very interesting to explore from the point of view of someone who likes luck-based games.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greeks did not have the technology we have today, meaning that various goodies such as Vegas Casino platform were unavailable to them. However, they did have a couple of simple gambling games that they loved playing.

One of the first things one learns when exploring games in Ancient Greece is that they were present in some forms in Greek myths. In other words, even gods gambled in some of their stories and decided how to distribute their duties by pure luck.

Therefore, the citizens of Greek poleis were immersed in gambling activities on a daily basis, although many games were prohibited during certain periods. The games that were popular among the citizens were, believe it or not, checkers, dice, and heads or tails. These games exist even today as they are very simple and effective.

Ancient Rome

At one point in Rome’s history, gambling games were so widespread that they caused major addiction, even among some of the emperors. For that reason, they had to make games illegal. Types of games that Romans liked to play also involved some kind of dice, checkers, and even tabula — a game which is considered the predecessor of backgammon.

But there were also other types of gambling-related games which were flourishing in Rome for a very long time. Romans loved their horse races, chariot races, and gladiator fights, so it was only natural for them to have an extensive betting network which was available to emperors and slaves alike. In other words, everyone loved watching these sports and placing bets.

Ancient China

Many people don’t think of luck-based games and other forms of gambling when they think about China. But, believe it or not, many historians actually consider China the birthplace of gambling.

According to several published sources, gambling games were present on the territory of modern-day China even in 2300 BC, which was way before a pair of dice was found in Egypt in 1500 BC. In fact, all modern card games pretty much started their journey in Ancient China as it was the first country that introduced the concept of playing cards and paper money.

One of the games that is really popular nowadays is called Keno, but not many people know that it is actually a very old Chinese game which existed 2,000 years ago. Keno has a very interesting history — it was a part of many civilizations in one form or another.

Many card games that are frequently played in casinos are believed to have originated in China. Furthermore, the popular Mahjong game was developed from games such as Wei-Qi, Xuan He Pai, and Ma Diao Pai.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt was a rich country that inspired many slot creators to create slot machines inspired by the Pyramids, pharaohs, scarab bugs, and ankhs. Ancient Egyptians centered a lot of religious rituals around luck — those rituals involved throwing and counting stones to foretell the future and many other similar acts.

Even though these were not considered gambling acts, they eventually grew into luck-based games. Ancient Egyptians are the ones to thank for inventing dice cubes — these were found on many archaeological sites throughout Egypt.

Egyptians also had their version of backgammon which they called Senet. The rules were pretty similar to those of modern backgammon, so Senet is believed to be the direct predecessor of present-day backgammon.


As you can see, many people who lived more than 2,000 years ago considered fortune a very important force in their everyday life and paved the way for modern games of chance, such as casino games, lottery, bingo, and more. As a matter of fact, some of the games we play today are directly related to games that existed thousands of years ago!

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