Betting 101: How It All Started

4 min readAug 19, 2022


The ridiculously long history of betting

The feeling of being right and earning something in return is a given for people — as a result, betting is older than written history.

From ancient times to blockchain technology, the joy and tension of betting against groups of people have always found a place for themselves. Let’s hop on a little time machine to see how betting evolved throughout time 👇

The Earliest Evidence — 2300 BC

The earliest known form of betting comes from Ancient China. An immature game of chance appeared in China, which was being played with tiles. Apparently, the tiles may have formed part of a lottery-type game, according to “the drawing of wood” reference in the Chinese “Book of Songs”.

Dicing in Ancient Greece — 500 BC

The first mention of dice in Greek history was made by the Greek poet Sophocles; he claimed that dice were invented by a mythological hero during the siege of Troy. On the other hand, dice existed far earlier than this, since a pair of dice was uncovered from an Egyptian tomb dating back to 3000 BC.


Other than dicing, we know that Ancient Greeks and Romans loved to gamble and bet on all manner of things at any given opportunity. They loved it so much that all forms of gambling were forbidden within the city of Rome — and that is how gambling chips were invented 😎 Some citizens started to use these chips when gambling so that if they were caught by the guards, they could claim to be playing only for chips and not for real money.

Chinese Cards — 800 AD

Most scholars agree that the first playing cards appeared in China in the 9th century. Some assumptions claim the cards were played like a trading card game, in which the cards were both the game and the stake. Other sources believe the first packs of cards were paper forms of Chinese dominoes.


Middle Ages

  • Baccarat is the earliest game still played in casinos today, which is a two-player card game. It was first mentioned in the 1400s when it migrated from Italy to France. Of course, it took hundreds of years and various evolutions to arrive at the game we know today. Although different incarnations of the game have come and gone, the standard version played in casinos all over the world came from Cuba to the US.
  • Some suggest that the earliest forms of blackjack came from a Spanish game called Ventiuna (21). Others say that it is trente-un (31) from 1570. There are also people who think it is Quinze (15) from France. However, it is agreed that the French game of vingt-et-un from the 17th century is a direct forefather of the modern game and the name blackjack was an American innovation.
  • The earliest casinos started to appear in the early 17th century in Italy. They started to spring up all over Europe during the 19th century, while in the US more informal gambling houses were popular.
  • Roulette originated in the gaming houses of Paris. It took 50 years until the European version came out on top with just one green zero, and roulette players can be grateful for that. In the 19th century, roulette grew in popularity, and when the famous Monte Carlo casino adopted the single zero form of the game, this spread throughout Europe and most of the world.
  • Poker seems to have grown organically over decades and possibly centuries from various different card games. Some have poker’s antecedents coming from seventeenth-century Persia, while others say that the game we know today was inspired by a French game called Poque.

Online Betting

As technology evolved, naturally, the gaming and betting industry began to explore online environments for offering their services. Online gaming sites first started to appear in the mid-1990s. In 1998, Planet Poker was established, followed by in 1999, and many others after that. The years 2003 to 2006 were considered the “Poker Boom” due to the number of online poker players each year doubling.

The market became very competitive very quickly. As new operators appeared in the 2000s, offers evolved, bonuses grew, the games were improved, and loyalty schemes were introduced. Online betting sites were constantly improving their features.

Soon big progressive jackpots surfaced, multiplayer games were developed, themed slots and live casinos became a thing, and everybody was getting into online betting more and more. The mobile casinos available today are probably the cherry on the top. Being able to bet online on your smartphone or tablet wherever you went was something that the hardcore players had been dreaming of ever since the first iPhone appeared.

Here Comes the Blockchain

With the advancement of blockchain technology, betting has become easier, fairer, and freer than ever! With iBetYou, community betting is becoming more popular in the blockchain community. People can now bet on sports, cryptocurrencies, or literally anything within seconds — to top it all, it all gets locked in the blockchain! You can also join the public bets other people created and get the sweet earnings after the bet ends.

To learn more about public betting on iBetYou, check How to Easily Create a Public Bet on IBY.

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