No one can be sure when gambling first started. It is just known that the ancient Greeks, the Romans, and the Chinese have played games of chance for centuries. In China, evidence has been found of gambling dating back as far as 2300 BC, and in Egypt, dice dating back to 1500 BC have been discovered.
Most gambling took place covertly in gambling dens or in the back rooms of saloons, and there was not anywhere designated for this pastime until 1638. Then the local council in Venice opened a building for trouble-free gambling during the carnival season. The Casino di Venezia still stands, although at the time of its inauguration the word casino was not actually in use.
Europe was the first to embrace the idea of casinos with places such as Baden-Baden in Germany and Monte Carlo erecting extravagant buildings as casinos. This encouraged the rich of the time to enjoy the pastime, which in that era was mainly involved playing cards.
The USA was a bit slower on the uptake until the development of Las Vegas. The casinos built were not like the palaces of Europe, and people from all walks of life enjoyed them. To start with, the casinos were more like illicit gambling dens, as gambling was illegal when the first ones were erected for the use of the workers building the railroads. By 1931 however, Nevada realized they would be better off making them legal, which would stop a lot of the trouble that was associated with them.
The Golden Gate was the first legal casino in Las Vegas, but by 1941, resort casinos had started to appear. Now they were being built with swimming pools and other facilities, as well as the casino games.
Poker Raises Its Head
The game of poker was born in the USA in the 19th century. Some people think it came from the French game known as poque, and there are similarities between the two. The name comes from the German word pochen, which means to brag or to bluff. The English played a game called brag, and it is thought that both the French and English games influenced poker to make it the game we know today.
Modernists tend to reject the suggestion of these origins, stating that there were many games similar played in the late 18th century. In 1829, poker was recorded as being played in New Orleans, and it seems to have spread from there to become one of the most popular card games of all time.
Different variations of the game have evolved as it depended on which type of playing cards were being used. Some packs only had 20 cards and it was not until the mid-19th century that the 52-card pack was deemed to be the one needed to play. This lead to the introduction of the flush as one of the acceptable hands.
It took until the 1980s for the game to be accepted as a popular pastime when it was featured in several TV series. Star Trek was a typical example where the crew had a weekly evening of poker. By the 1990s, its popularity has spread worldwide and by 1998 the first online poker games had been launched.
Being able to play online opened the game up to many more people, and it also greatly increased the numbers that play in physical casinos. People who had never played before learned the rules and tactics online, and then tried out their new skills in the bricks and mortar casinos
The Emergence Of Rozvadov
It was 2003 before the first casino was opened in the town of Rozvadov in the Czech Republic. In 2009 it was made into a poker-orientated casino. It has the largest poker room in Europe and plans events for every day of the year, including over Christmas and New Year. It is said that the only thing that would make King’s close its doors is the death of the Czech president, when it would close for three days over the official mourning period.
The casino still has all the other casino games you would expect, but the focus it puts on poker has made it a very popular venue for some of the largest poker tournaments in the world, including WSOP Europe. This will run from October 9 till November 2 2018, and will have prize money exceeding 25 million euros.
In 2017 there were more than 7500 entrants to this tournament, and because of its success in Rozvadov, it is set to be held in the Czech Republic for the next few years at least.
The World Series Of Poker is not only the longest-running poker tournament, having been started in 1970, it is also the most prestigious. Every player is hoping to win the gold bracelet they award, as this is globally recognized to be the games top prize.
WSOP Europe will not be the only world-ranking tournament held in Rozvadov. There are several others who are keen to utilize the wonderful facilities to make their tournament the best, and some of them have already been played there.
Although Rozvadov joined the casino industry quite late compared to other places, it has very quickly established itself as a premier poker venue, catering for all the needs of the players. There are hotels, restaurants, and the customer service exceeds most other places.
Getting A Taste Of Eastern Europe
Rozvadov is a brilliant place to stay if you want to sample Eastern Europe. You will find the people very friendly, the food is delicious, and nothing is overpriced. The King’s for instance, charges a $10 entrance fee, but that entitles you to as much free food from the buffet as you can eat and free drinks.
The population is hard working, King’s is open 24 hours a day, and they are committed to providing the best service they can.
Now Rozvadov is considered to be the Las Vegas of Europe and that is a reputation that has been well earned.