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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Do you love playing poker, but wish you could win a bit more than you lose? Here are a few simple tips to help you improve your poker skills and take home the pot!
Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to fold. Playing every hand isn’t always best. In fact, it’s a common misconception that the more hands you play the better your odds. This is false and in actuality, failing to fold on bad hands will actually decrease your odds and make you lose more.
Tip #2: Keep your composure. It’s easy to toss back a few too many while sitting around the table with some buddies for a poker night, or even whilst playing in a casino, but that extra beer or martini can cost you. Poker is a real “thinking game” which means your head must be clear at all times!
Tip #3: Hold the bluffs. While bluffing can be a very effective technique, it’s important to know when to bluff and when to fold. In order to successfully bluff, the situation must be perfect and you must be able to read your opponents perfectly.
Tip #4: Don’t let emotions get in the way. Playing poker when you’re mad, sad or in an overall bad mood can be detrimental to your money pile. Letting your emotions get the best of you can cause you to make bad or rash judgement calls.
Tip #5: Pay attention! Make sure you’re keeping track of the cards that have been dealt and the moves that your opponents are making. Even after you fold, it’s important to continue to pay attention in order to understand and read your opponents for upcoming hands.
Do you have any great poker advice for fellow players? We’d love to hear all about it on our Facebook page!
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While going to the casino is all about having fun, winning money and making memories, it’s important to be careful not to take photos with friends near gambling areas. While it may be tempting to snap a shot of your best friend’s face when he or she hits it big, flash photography is severely frowned upon in casinos and can even get you kicked out of the establishment. This is due to the strict security measures that are taken to ensure that gambling patrons are not cheating.
If you’re headed to the casino soon, here are a few more etiquette do’s and don’ts that you’ll need to be aware of:
Now that you’ve got the basics down, we think you’re ready to test your skills at your own casino party with Casinos by M&M before hitting the big leagues!
While there are a wide variety of well-known sports commemoration sites, many people are not aware that the card gaming industry has a special hall to celebrate its greats as well. In fact, the Blackjack Hall of Fame is the only shrine in the gaming industry that pays tribute to some of the most skilled and successful blackjack professionals of all time.
In 2002, the Barona Casino in San Diego agreed to be the site of celebration for blackjack players worldwide. Convinced by Max Rubin, a highly regarded blackjack player and professional commentator, the Barona Casino agreed to house a blackjack museum. The museum’s purpose was to commemorate the history of blackjack, complete with a wide assortment of blackjack paraphernalia, gaming memorabilia and the world’s largest collection of antique devices from various different gaming eras.
In addition to the newly created museum, the casino agreed to hang photos of the members of the future Blackjack Hall of Fame, promising free rooms, food and drinks to all inductees. The catch however, was that while hall-of-famers were welcome to stay at the Barona Casino free of charge, they were asked to never play on any of the casino tables during their visit.
Once the museum had been established and the stipulations were agreed upon, 21 of the most notable blackjack players, authors, and experts in the industry were nominated for induction. Of those, the public voted 7 to the top, establishing the inaugural Hall of Fame Class of 2002. Beginning in 2006, each year one new member is inducted into the hall at the discretion of the current hall-of-famers.
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Whether or not you’re an avid card player, chances are you’ve shuffled the deck at least once or twice in your lifetime. After all, playing cards is one of the most common American pastimes of all time! While you might know the basics – 52 cards, 4 suits, 1 joker – here are some interesting facts that you may not have heard about playing cards yet:
Fact #1: The United States Playing Card Company (USPC) is the number one producer of playing cards worldwide. Located in Cincinnati Ohio, USPC has been pumping out playing cards since 1867, producing more than 100 million decks each year.
Fact #2: The origins of playing cards dates back to the Orient in the 12th century when the Chinese decided to reinvent the game of dominoes with heavy cardstock.
Fact #3: The diamonds, hearts, spades and clubs that we know today originated as coins, cups, swords, and sticks, respectively, in the Middle East.
Fact #4: When the first French deck of cards came to be, each face card (king, queen, jack) represented specific historical figures. For example, the King of Hearts represented Charlemagne, diamonds was Julius Caesar, clubs was Alexander the Great, and the spades was King David from the Holy Bible.
Fact #5: Traditionally the Ace of Spades in every deck of cards is unique from the rest of the other aces. The distinction originated when the French decided to put a tax stamp on this card specifically to increase their profits from selling playing cards.
Fact #6: Since the Ace of Spades was the only card in the deck that carried a tax, many people tried to dodge the extra expense by buying a deck without that particular card. This is where the common phrase “he/she is not playing with a full deck” originated.
Fact #7: The tallest playing card tower was built in 1992 by Bryan Berg, earning him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Can you believe that there’s so much history behind such a simple game? At Casinos by M&M we pay homage to playing cards by using only the finest, regulation casino playing card decks. In fact, all of our casino party supplies – from chips and dice to gaming tables – are 100% authentic!
Playing cards are a staple in the gaming world across the board. From gambling in casinos, to a night shuffling the deck with family and friends, cards are an international icon of fun! If you’re interested in learning how this simple, yet genius bit of pocket-sized entertainment was created, read on:
The origins of playing cards.
Though the French are credited with bringing playing cards to the forefront of entertainment and game play, the earliest known deck of cards actually originated in in Central Asia during the 10th century. Chinese gamers translated the already famous dominoes into paper form, and began shuffling and dealing them to create new and exciting games. By 1370, four suited decks with court cards had been created, and were discovered and imported by the Europeans.
Playing cards become affordable.
Early decks were handpainted, making their price point extremely high – a luxury that only the wealthy, upper class could afford. However, the 14th century brought the invention of woodcuts, a system where images and lettering could be carved into a block of wood that was then used over and over like a modern day stamp. This sped up the production process and brought the purchase point down considerably, allowing middle class folks to get a taste of the action.
The French take on playing cards.
The original decks designed by the French most closely parallel our modern day cards. France was the first to adopt the 4-suit deck of spades, clubs, diamonds and hearts that we’re all familiar with. They simplified the card designs in order to streamline mass-production, which was booming and exporting to England and the Americas in no time.
Americans produced their own playing cards.
Working off of the initial design and style that the French so fittingly laid out, Americans began reconfiguring playing cards and making them their own. Advancements like doubled-headed court cards, glazed protective surfaces and rounded corners were quickly introduced and adopted. In 1870 the joker card was born as a direct influence of the game “Euchre.”
Today playing cards come in all different shapes and sizes, but their basics remain the same: Fifty-two cards, four suits, nine court cards, and a bonus joker!
At Casinos by M&M we pay homage to playing cards by using only the finest, regulation casino playing card decks. In fact, all of our casino party supplies – from chips and dice, to gaming tables – are 100% authentic!