Chuck-A-Luck: It’s a lively game where three dice tumble in a spinning cage and you place wagers on how many dice will come up with your chosen number when the cage stops spinning. It probably originated in British Pubs many years ago and started without cages. Instead, gamblers used a horn-shaped chute made of leather or metal to “chuck” the 3 dice across a table and then take their “luck” on how they landed.
Las Vegas Roulette: Roulette comes from the French term for “small wheel”. Variations of wheeled games have been around for millennia. Legend has it that Roman soldiers tipped their chariots over to play games on the spinning wheel as a diversion between campaigns, and others tell of monks bringing a wheeled game back from China in the middle ages. By all accounts, roulette became widespread in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries, especially in France and Monte Carlo.
Sic Bo: known by some as Tai Sai, is an ancient Chinese game of chance. It may have originally used a pair of dice shaken between a plate and an overturned bowl, but today it commonly has 3 dice in a cage for tumbling. Extremely popular in Asian cultures, this exciting, engaging game is winning new converts in many casinos around the world.
Keno: The word “Keno” has French or Latin roots (Fr. quine five winning numbers, L. quini five each), but by all accounts the game originated in China over 2000 years ago. Legend has it that the invention of the game saved an ancient city in time of war, and its widespread popularity helped raise funds to build the Great Wall. According to one source, results of Keno games in great cities were sent to outlying villages and hamlets by carrier pigeon. Eventually, Chinese immigrants introduced Keno to the West when they sailed across the Pacific to help build the American trans-continental railroad in the 19th century.
Scratch Ticket: It’s is a fun casino game based on familiar lottery tickets. Lottery games have been around for much of human history, dating back to the time of the Caesars in Europe and the Hun Dynasty in China. The term “lottery” is believed to come from the Italian lotto, meaning destiny or fate.
Slot Machines: A man named Charles Fey developed the first commercially successful slot machine in his San Francisco machine shop around 1896. Made of cast iron with three internal reels, a slot for taking in coins and an external lever for activating the machine, it quickly became a staple of saloons, gambling houses and even many retail stores (where patrons would trade their winnings for goods from the store – hence the term “trade goods”).
Deuces Wild: Just as poker began dominating card tables in America’s Wild West, some enterprising enthusiasts added the concept of “wild” cards. The term may have derived from the famous wildcats, or mountain lions, that would occasionally come down from the hills at night to add a good deal of excitement to a mining camp.
Jacks-or-Better: Everybody has a theory as to the origin of poker. Suppositions range from China to India, from Persia to Egypt and thence across the Mediterranean to Europe. Regardless of its ancestral journey, there is strong evidence that it came to America with the French settlers in New Orleans who played a card game called poque involving bluffing and rounds of betting. This poque deck may have been the first to use suits of spades, hearts, diamonds and clubs.