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As far back as 1797, Casino was described in books on card games. Though the game has quite a few details, it's easy to learn and fun to play, with lots of suspense and surprise.

Here are some important milestones in the history of gambling and casinos.

Gambling has existed since ancient times, and there is evidence that most cultures supported it in some form or another.

Implements associated with the practice of gambling have been found in ancient China sites dating back to about 2300 B.C. A pair of ivory dice made sometime before 1500 B.C. have been found in Egypt. In fact, writings mentioning gambling have been discovered on a tablet in one of the pyramids at Giza. Inhabitants of ancient India, Greece and Rome also practiced some form of gambling.

Playing cards may have developed in China, since the Chinese developed both paper and money made from paper. In fact, the Chinese are said to have come up with the practice of shuffling paper money about 900 A.D.

The gambling casinos of today have come a long way since their early beginnings. When America became an independent country in 1776, the newly formed, needy government used gambling as a way to cultivate large sums of money for its early activities. When it got out of control in the raucous days of the western frontier, Nevada actually made it illegal from 1850 to 1910. However, it was re-sanctioned in 1931, and Las Vegas began its rise as the greatest gambling phenomenon of the world.

The history of roulette is an interesting story as well. Roulette, which means "small wheel" in French, was modernized into the game we know today by Francois and Louis Blanc. These two invented the "Single 0" game in 1842, which was brought to America around the same time. It was the Americans who added the "Double 0" to the wheel, thus creating a different version - known as American Roulette - distinguishable from European Roulette. The origins of the roulette wheel itself are a little more ambiguous. Some sources espouse that the 17th century mathematician, Blaise Pascal, created the wheel. There is also information supporting the theory that the Chinese invented the wheel, and that it eventually made its way into Europe by Dominican monks. When Prince Charles of Monaco implemented the roulette wheel as a means of counteracting the financial problems of his kingdom in the late 18th century, the popularity of roulette skyrocketed.

The idea of blackjack and poker sprouted from the practice of shuffling paper money in China around 900 A.D. This evolved into card playing, which was consequently brought to Europe via the Mameluke Empire. Being followers of Islam, the Mameluke people did not have their playing cards decorated with human forms; Instead, they were adorned with intricate designs, reminiscent of Muslim carpets. When the cards made their way to Italy and Spain, card makers began distinguishing cards with the royal ranks of men who held power in the Royal Court. The Queen of today's decks did not appear on the scene until the 1500's, when the French got a hold of them and replaced one of the male cards with a female figure representing a Queen. This pack of cards became known as the "French Pack", and served as the prototype of the 52 card deck we are so familiar with today.