The Ups And Downs Of Gambling

By | September 28, 2019

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Las Vegas Strip. Source: (

It would be a safe bet to say that gambling is one of mankind’s oldest pastimes. Evidence has been found which suggests that games of chance were played dating back as far as the cavemen. And, of course, where there are games of chance, there are also people who try to cheat at those games of chance.

The oldest evidence of gambling was dice-like objects made from sheep or dog bones which are estimated to be 40,000 years old. Additional evidence has been found in the form of cave drawings. The discovery of weighted pairs of dice among the ruins of Pompeii suggests that perhaps it’s not such a good idea to attempt to control fate. The origin of poker has been traced back 3,500 years to the Minoan civilization. Ivory dice from around 1500 B.C. were found in Thebes, indicating that gambling was also practiced in ancient Egypt. There is also evidence of gambling in the Roman Empire, even among children. In the bible, Roman guards cast lots to see who would get Christ’s garment during the crucifixion. 

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Dice discovered in among the ruins of Pompeii. Source: (

Gambling seems to have been particularly prominent in ancient Greece. In fact, it is said that Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon decided who would get the heavens, the seas, or the underworld by throwing dice. Doubles sixes was known as the “throw of Aphrodite” and was a winning throw then as it is today. Despite the participation of the gods in these games of chance, the pastime of gambling had early detractors. This was probably due to the fact that people were just as likely then to gamble away their fortunes as they are today. As a result, the practice was criticized by philosophers who considered it to be a plague and eventually came under government regulation.