Ever since Hollywood began its love affair decades ago with the myth and mystery of Ancient Egypt, it’s been engrained into Western Society that the imagery of Kings, Pharaohs and Sphinx’s relates to glory, greatness and wealth. Las Vegas is home to the third biggest pyramid in the world, as well as the infamous Sphinx, so it’s no wonder the time period is so popular in the gambling world.
Gaming in the Ancient World
While they didn’t have slot machines (shocker), the ancient Egyptians did still have gambling. Cards making their way from China passed through Persia and the Middle East on their way to Europe (as well as other games). These transitioned into Mamluk cards, cards that held the familiar suits of Persian games (Swords, Polo Sticks, Cups and Coins) but featured intricate and beautiful artwork. Card playing was a hobby solely reserved for the high-born, something only accessible to the wealthy elite and prosperous. There have also been recovered finds of dice with multiple sides, carved from bone and of excessive size, that were believed to have been used to gamble but there aren’t many records as to what games are associated with them. Continue reading