Quick History of Chinese Gambling

By Ernest Hamilton , Updated Aug 01, 2019 08:30 PM EDT

Las Vegas and Atlantic City are some of the most popular cities in the United States; the rest of the world is quite familiar with the notoriety of these American tourist spots.

Although there are flashy places to visit, both cities are known for one thing, and one thing only: casinos. 

People travel from all around the world to get a taste of playing a hand of blackjack or poker to enhance their chances of walking away from these cities with more money than they entered them.

Of course, casinos exist in many other cities and countries, where they are a great option for a fun night out on the town.

Casinos, in general, have been evolving with the times;  casinos on land are not the only places to access this kind of entertainment.

Online casinos, along with mobile casino gaming, have become a trendy way to gamble safely (check out OSG for example). Whether through an Internet browser or a mobile device, gamers can win good money while playing their favorite casino games.

The future of casinos extends in every possible direction, but the real mystery is where the concept of a casino, gambling, and the games themselves originated.

The first case in history showing any signs of gambling was in China. The Chinese culture has a long-documented past in gambling that ultimately paved the way toward modern-day gaming.

Tracing back approximately 4,000 years, the first recorded act of gambling appears in the Chinese text the Book of Songs. Tiles dating back to 2300 BC were used to play a game of chance. 

Most scholars believe that the first playing cards appeared in China in the 9th century. The exact rules for any games played with these cards have long ago been lost, but knowing the origin of these playing cards is a significant step towards the popular games of blackjack and poker.

Some believe the cards were used for trading, causing the objects to become both the game and the stake. Others, however, claim that the first pack of playing cards served as a paper form of Chinese domino. 

A study published by Yale University explains that ancient China had a version of a lottery with tiles resembling keno slips that, incidentally, were also used for gambling during the construction of the Great Wall of China.

The general Chinese history, specifically focusing on the entertainment and border-line gambling portion, showcases how much Asian culture is immersed in gambling.

Not only is Macau, an equivalent Chinese version of Las Vegas, surpassing Las Vegas itself as the largest gaming city in the world, but people in Asian countries put their roots down in gambling and casino-based games every single day.

Although gambling seems to be out of control, Chinese culture has a different and more dominant perspective on this form of entertainment. In fact, they believe they can control the outcome of several games, including blackjack, sic bo, and even the lottery.

With this thought in mind, Chinese gambling can best be characterized as embedded within the country's beliefs and overall culture.

Ancient beliefs, especially Confucianism, laid the foundation for modern Chinese values. On a more general note, the ancient belief of heaven, earth, and rituals to please the gods is a stepping stone for the further development of the Chinese people's fascination with the supernatural, such as luck, fate, and destiny.

Chinese culture connects to the existence and overall goal of gambling, as can be seen in the valued belief that luck, fate, and chance are the controlling factors within their lives.

Wherever there is control, superstition is not far behind. The Chinese peoples' unique outlook on lucky and unlucky objects essentially created a high illusion of control while also enhancing the entertainment they sought from gaming activity.

Oddly enough, this advanced level of belief in one's culture may have played a helping hand toward high risk-taking and eventual gambling within Chinese history. 

Even though ancient beliefs and superstitions have a role in shaping Chinese gambling, so do the rewards that reap from this activity. Money winnings have become a way to move from one social class to another (usually in the upward trajectory). 

The widening gap between the rich and the poor, as well as the drive for achievement, can be yet another reason for the still-evolving practice of gambling in China.

Although the monetary gain from gambling is a plus, Chinese people simply enjoy playing games, including multiple forms of gambling. Money does not dictate everything; the entertainment and social interactions during a simple game of poker or blackjack are the main reasons to indulge.

Gambling is an accepted practice not only in casinos but also in Chinese homes and social events, where even children are encouraged to join. The Chinese New Year becomes a time when wagering becomes more heightened as a way to say farewell to the bad luck of the old year while welcoming good luck for the new year.

The history and culture of China showcase the gradual evolution of gambling from centuries ago to the modern-day. 

From simple playing cards that perhaps served as lottery tickets, all the way to online casino websites, Chinese gambling has helped shape casino-based games and the concept of gambling.

Although gambling addictions are a real and diagnosable illness, casinos in any form have been ridiculed for eliciting this kind of behavior. However, the Chinese culture and overall outlook on gaming have proven the positivity and safety found in gambling.

Websites like OnlineCasinoGems, share information about trustworthy, fair games, various helpful bonuses, and popular online casino games. 

The future of gambling looks quite promising, as cryptocurrency gains popularity and mobile devices attract more users to download casino apps. 

Now, people can have fun on the go with safe banking method options available. With these kinds of technological advancements that essentially promise a safer experience, Chinese gambling is becoming more influential by promoting a positive view on the topic. 

As casinos make more of an effort to limit the risks of gamblers by enhancing security software and placing limits on bets, the culture of responsible gambling activity is spreading all over the world.

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