As the most famous card game in the world, Blackjack is played in over 140 countries (yup, we’re starting with the facts right away). Even people who know the game inside and out are sure to enjoy these little known facts about it’s origin, strategies and some of Blackjacks most famous players.
These facts may not exactly make you better at the game itself, but they’re sure to make a great conversation starter the next time you’re at the tables.
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The casino and gaming world is rich with fun facts and cultural history. So rich in fact, that we’re positive even the most devoted gaming aficionado might not be able to name all ten of the fun facts we have listed out below:
Fact #1: The word casino is derived from an Italian word, meaning “small villa,” or “summerhouse,“ built purely for enjoyment. Later in the 19th century the meaning shifted to include public entertainment spaces, which is how it eventually became associated with the gaming world.
Fact #2: Those flashing lights on top of the slot machine are actually called candles — only these kind you don’t want to blow out. Instead, you hope they light right up!
Fact #3: The popular phrase “jackpot,” originated as a form of poker. In this variation, the pot continued to grow until a player could open the bidding with a pair of jacks or better.
Fact #4: Slot machine enthusiasts in Australia call their beloved machines “pokies!
Fact #5: Money raised from gambling and lotteries has been used to fund many public building projects, including construction of The Great Wall of China.
Fact #6: On that note, it is said that former President Richard Nixon used funds from bets he won playing cars in the South Pacific during WWII to fund his congressional election campaign.
Fact #7: It’s true that Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the U.S., but Macau is the gambling capital of the world, with bets bringing in $45.2 billion in revenue in 2016.
Fact #8: The first slot machines didn’t always pay winners in cash. In fact, the bar owners who housed these machines was at liberty to award prizes however he/she saw fit, most often in the form of free beer or cigars.
Fact #9: FedEx creator Fred Smith used the last of his company funds to take to the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. His hope was to win enough to pull his business out of debt, which he certainly did!
Fact #10: The Super Big Bertha is the largest slot machine in the world, at over 8 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide. It’s eight spinning reels make the odds of hitting a mere 1 in 25.6 billion!
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Here in the tri-state area, we have access to plenty of great casinos. Just take the Atlantic City strip for example, or ever popular Mohegan Sun casino so close by. But none of these can compare to the grandeur and luxury of the world’s top five casinos we’ve listed below.
This grand gambling complex was built in 1850 with ulterior motives behind it. It was meant to serve as a source of income for the House of Grimaldi, the ruling family at the time, to save them from bankruptcy. Though the casino underwent a full renovation in 2011, all the ornate ceilings and tapestries, as well as the crystal chandeliers were restored to their original glory.
Ahh, Baden-Baden. The town so nice, they named it twice! Home to one of Germany’s gaming and wellness hot spots, this casino began as an exclusive destination for European elite during the Prussian era. It has been called “the most beautiful casino in the world,” by German actress Marlene Dietrich, and rightfully so — boasting deep shades of crimson decor and massive crystal chandeliers held up by velvet ropes.
That’s right, one of the United States’ very own made the cut. The Wynn Las Vegas is stylish, sexy and luxurious, boasting a four-star rating. It’s full of whimsical artwork and exotic gardens that are sure to captivate. Plus, it’s home to a 26-table poker room!
If it sounds swanky, that’s because it is! This members only casino is tucked away in the basement of The Ritz London, an exclusive hidden gem. As if that wasn’t enough, they’ve even built some discreet gaming rooms for high-rollers looking to raise the stakes even more.
Modeled after it’s sister in Las Vegas, this giant casino and resort boasts 10.6 million square feet of gaming tables, slot machines, sports and entertainment arenas, shopping and even a faux-Venice gondola ride. Make sure you hit the Dragon Phoenix tables when you visit — an exclusive coin game that made its debut here in 2011. With luxury suites and over 550,000 square feet of gambling bliss, this casino is at the top of the list!
This gambling lovers dream is closest to our home here on Long Island! Foxwoods is not only full of entertainment and activity, but it was built amidst the lush green landscaping of the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation, creating a serenity not found in most other casinos. With over 380 game tables, 6300 slots and a child-friendly arcade, this is a great destination for weekend getaways and family vacations alike!
Located in the third largest hotel in the world, this casino is home to one of the largest gaming floors on the Las Vegas strip. Its 171,500 square feet host 139 tables and 2500 gaming machines. The casino encourages sports betting in their state-of-the-art sports area, equipped with 60 plasma televisions for your viewing pleasure.
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The joker card is a bit of an outsider. Many decks don’t include them and lots of us take them out before a game, so why was the Joker card added in the first place? If you’ve ever been curious about the Joker card’s origin, you’re in luck! Here’s a brief history of how the deck’s most unique card came to be.
The Beginning: Though playing cards have been around for thousands of years, the Joker is a relatively new addition, appearing for the first time during the Civil war. It was then that Euchre players created new rules for their game, one of which included adding another “trump” card — originally called the Best Bower.
The Hype: The Best Bower was widely used and sought after, so it wasn’t long before American and British manufacturers began including the whimsical card in their own decks. Soon, the Best Bower became known as the Jolly Joker, or Joker. At the time, there was no universal look to the card, so companies branded it with their own logo or design.
The Versatility: Unlike other cards in a deck, the joker has a different value and purpose in every game. It is considered the best card in Euchre, wild in poker and the losing card in the children’s game “Old Maid.” Despite its limited use today, the joker card is a favorite among players who love the history of the character and the cards ability to reflect the culture it was made in.
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From playing on the streets of Ancient Greece with makeshift game pieces, to the world of televised and online poker, gambling has been a staple for centuries. If you’re a gambling enthusiast yourself, here’s a bit of history about how your favorite pastime has evolved.
2300 BC: Gambling Emerges – It was in Ancient China that we saw the first evidence of gambling. Archaeologists reported finding tile etched with have lottery-style games of chance.
500 BC: Poker Chips Prevail – You can thank a group of young rebels in Ancient Greece for today’s poker chips. With all forms of gambling for money being illegal, players invented chips so that they could claim they were only playing for the small tokens, and not really money if seen by guards.
800 AD: Cards Are Coined – While little is known about their purpose back in 800 AD, the first deck of cards appeared in China at this time. Some believe they were traded like playing cards or used to play the first games of Chinese dominos. Regardless, they were drastically different from 52-card deck we know and love today!
1600: Blackjack Begins – Though the term “blackjack” wasn’t coined until the early 1900’s in the US, the game itself dates back hundreds of years. Evidence shows it was played in both Spain and France during the early 1600’s, but little is known about where the idea truly came from.
1638: The First Casino – The first gambling houses that would resemble today’s casinos started popping up in Italy during the early 17th century as a way to limit illegal street and carnival gambling. Though it had little success at first, it paved the way to lawful and regulated gambling.
1829: Poker is Played – The game of poker is believed to have spurred from many other card games over decades of play, but the first true game can be traced back to the United State’s own New Orleans in the mid 1800’s. With over 100 million players worldwide and 7 variations of the game today, it’s hard to believe that poker was originally a pretty unpopular game. It wasn’t until World Poker Tournaments began in the 1970s that the game began to garner worldwide attention.
1891: Slot Are Born – The modern day slot machine is based on a design first seen in San Francisco, where playing cards spun around and stopped at random. At the time, prizes like gum or cigars were won, but soon after machines began spitting out money and evolved into the electronic machines we play on today.
1910: Casinos Flourish – It wasn’t till the Great Depression the gambling in several states was made legal. With so many people suddenly out of work, many found themselves trying to make their livelihood through casino games, leading to huge interest in casinos.
1994: Online Gaming – Suddenly, you no longer had to go to a casino if you want to gamble! With dozens of virtual casinos popping up by the day, in less than 5 years, online gambling became a multi-billion dollar industry — one that’s still lucrative today.
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Whether or not you’re an avid goer, chances are you’ve visited at least one or two gambling establishments in your lifetime. But if not, what are you waiting for? The world of casinos and gambling is actually quite fascinating, and here are just a few fun facts to prove it!
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Whether you’d like to admit it or not, you know you’ve imagined what it would be like to wager your life’s savings in a Las Vegas casino and come out a billionaire. While the prospect of winning millions in a matter of minutes might be tempting, most people resist the urge for fear of losing it all to the gambling gods. However, there have been quite a few times where people let their curiosity get the best of them, and for some it paid off in a big way!
William Lee Bergstrom – “Go big, or go home” was definitely the motto of the day when Bergstrom walked into the Horseshoe in 1980 with $777,000 in a suitcase and bet it all on craps in one sitting. Luckily, his risky maneuver paid off, doubling his money in seconds.
John Hennigan – What happens when you bet a high-stakes, Las Vegas loving gambler that he can’t last living six weeks out in rural Des Moines, Iowa? Well, in Hennigan’s case, that gambler loses a $100,000 bet in just two days.
Bob Stupak – In 1989, Stupak went down in history as the man to place the single largest bet Las Vegas has ever seen. A casino owner himself, Stupak had a soft spot for gambling on football games — a soft spot that made him a pretty penny after betting one million dollars on the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl that year.
Stu Ungar – A man of mysterious memory abilities! Ungar is noted as one of the best blackjack players of all time, due in large part to his ability to keep track of cards as they land on the table. Our football gambling millionaire friend Bob Stupak decided to challenge Ungar’s skills, betting him $100,000 that he couldn’t memorize three decks of cards in a row — and boy was he wrong!
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Today, poker chips are a staple of casinos and gambling worldwide, but this was not always the case. In fact, these valuable tokens were not even a thought until the 1880s.
Way back when, in the nineteenth century, poker players would wager small tokens of value in place of modern day poker chips. These included tiny nuggets of gold and even gold dust. While wagering personal property and gold as currency was the norm back then, the need for a standardized betting solution was definitely evident.
In reaction to this desperate need, casino and saloon owners began handing out their own standardized substitutes, including pieces of ivory, bone, and clay. However, as you can imagine these were very easy to replicate and many early gamers caught onto this quickly. This prompted owners to begin customizing their betting tokens with personalized symbols.
And so, the idea for a standardized poker chip was born! In the 1880s entrepreneurs began to realize the potential capital gain that would come from mass producing a standard poker chip, and so they set out creating them from clay composition — just like the poker chips we know today.
The invention of the poker chip changed the way the game of poker was played and revolutionized the gaming industry as a whole. These days, casinos owners and poker chips manufacturers are better equipped to handle and catch counterfeiters. Each chip has it’s own unique weight, texture and feel. Some are even manufactured with microchips or serial numbers for added protection.
Here at Casinos by M&M, we take our poker chips seriously, using only the most authentic chips for our wide variety of poker game options. If you’re looking for a genuine, real-life casino experience, we’ve got you covered no matter the occasion!
Gambling is just one of the many great American pastimes, and boy do we have the statistics to prove it! The National Gambling Impact Study Commission (NGISC) has suggested that Americans spend more on gambling than on recorded music, theme parks, video games, spectator sports and movie tickets combined. In fact, they estimated a whopping $910 billion is spent on gambling country-wide per year. However, some US states are bigger gamblers than others, and we’ve brought you the top five grossing gambling states to confirm it!
While there are many wonderful casinos out there nationwide, there’s nothing quite like a night spent pressing your luck from the comfort of your own home or a local neighborhood venue. No matter what the occasion is — wedding, birthday, bar/bat mitzvah, corporate event, fundraiser, etc. — bringing real life casino action to your guests will make your party a memorable one.
To learn more about the services and casino games that Casinos by M&M can provide, click through our website or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter for the latest in gaming tips and trends!
The origins of roulette date back to the 17th century, when French inventor Blaise Pascal created the first roulette wheel. Pascal had been studying probabilities and invented the wheel as an accident, looking to create a perpetual motion machine. The roulette wheel quickly became a popular gambling staple in Paris and before you know it, it made it’s way over to the United States. Since it’s creation, the roulette wheel has undergone several reconstructions, mainly to improve the house odds. Here’s a quick look at the game setup, rules, and what it takes to win:
The Table: A roulette table has a wheel at one end and a numbered chart in the center of the other. The chart has three columns of twelve, numbered from 1-36 and pictured on a red or black background. There are also two boxes above the “1, 2 and 3” for 0 and 00. These make up the possible “inside bets.” To the side and bottom of the numbered boxes there are boxes for “outside bets,” which will be explained later on.
The Wheel: A standard roulette wheel has 38 numbered slots picturing numbers 1-36, 0 and 00. The background color of each number – red or black – will match what is shown on the table grid. The dealer spins the wheel in one direction and a small plastic ball the opposite direction. Whichever number/color combination the ball stops on is what hits for that round.
The Objective: In order to win in roulette you must bet on a space on the table that corresponds with the number that has hit. Depending on how you bet, you may win on exact number, color, even or odd, or a combination of all three.
The Rules: When making a bet you must place the amount of chips you’d like to wager on your desired inside or outside bet. There are a ton of ways to bet on a roulette table, but here’s a quick breakdown of the two basic types:
The best part of this game is that it’s completely up to chance, which makes it perfect for players of all experience-levels!
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