Deck Design – The Queen

How Playing Cards Got Their Queen

Can you imagine a royal flush without a queen?

For almost a thousand years, women were not represented on playing cards.  The earliest evidence for playing cards could be found in 9th century China, but didn’t arrived in Europe until the late 1300s as an import from Egypt.  These early European decks infiltrated France in 1377 and made their way to Germany by 1480.  Continue reading “Deck Design – The Queen”

The Longest Poker Game

The Longest Poker Game

Longest Running Poker Game in History at The Bird Cage Theater in Tombstone, Arizona

In 1881, inspired by the packed houses of San Francisco, Billy and Lottie Hutchison opened The Bird Cage Theater.  They hoped to bring respectable entertainment to the inhabitants of Tombstone, Arizona, and profit from the silver mining boom.  The Hutchisons quickly learned that reputable entertainment would not draw the mining crowd.   Continue reading “The Longest Poker Game”

Slot Machine Symbols

Fruits and Bars: How Slot Machines Got Their Symbols – Slot Machine Symbols

You’ve deposited your coin in the slot. A tug on the handle sends the three reels spinning as you watch with giddy anticipation.  You can feel it; this is the spin that will win.  The first reel clicks into place. It’s a Bar. The second reel stops, another Bar. The third reel slows, ticks past a cherry, then lemon, and stops.  The final Bar aligns with the rest – you’ve hit the jackpot! Continue reading “Slot Machine Symbols”

Card Shoe

The Card Shoe: Automatic Card Dispensers at Casino Gaming Tables

The “card shoe” guarantees that cards are dealt fairly to the players.

Constellations are named after Greek Gods, cities after explorers, and scientific discoveries after famous scientists—but do you know what the casino’s card dispenser is named after? A shoe! Early versions of the device looked like a woman’s high heel shoe, and Continue reading “Card Shoe”

Cheating Gamblers Were Thrown Off The Riverboat

Cheating Gamblers – If You Don’t Want to Be Thrown Off a Casino Riverboat, Don’t Cheat!

Think back before regulations, before surveillance teams and before security cameras and you’ll be back to an era where gambling and cheating often went hand in hand. In the early 1800’s the best transportation in the US was still by river or around the coast by ocean. Paddleboats, riverboats and steam ships transported goods all across the country, and for Continue reading “Cheating Gamblers Were Thrown Off The Riverboat”

Sports Betting

Sports Betting – How Much Do You Bet Your Favorite Team Will Win?

So you love your favorite sports team, but just how much? To an unidentified gambler in 1995, the answer was $2.4 million dollars’ worth. Walking into the Vegas Mirage Casino, the man wagered that the San Francisco 49ers would defeat the San Diego Chargers during the 29th sports game event. His belief in the underdog payed off, and his winning bet scored him $300,000. At the time, it was the largest bet ever placed on a sports game. Continue reading “Sports Betting”