When it comes to ancient civilizations, it is not much older than those of Mesopotamia and Egypt. In fact, according to current scientific knowledge, people first decided to leave nomadic life behind and settle in Mesopotamia. So it is no wonder that the first evidence of the games can be found there.
Very little is known about the game artifacts recovered from those locations, but it is believed that many of them also involved a healthy dose of betting on their outcome. One of the earliest recovered game objects are four-sided Astragalus, also known as knots . They were originally made of animal talus bones and were later recreated with various materials such as wood, metal and stone. They were mainly used as a more primitive version of the dice, before the six-sided mold was created.
The ancient Egyptians also used both knots and dice. At first, however, they were used to communicate with the gods. It was widely believed that the result of a roll of the dice might reveal the heavenly answer to specific questions. A 2012 discovery also proves that they used a 20-sided mold . However, it is not known what his purpose was (probably not for the Dungeons & Dragons sessions).
Of course, the Egyptians also found the value of gaming entertainment, so they later began using dice in various games, including the most famous board game – Senet. Its name translates to “the game of passage,” but today’s historians still argue its rules. They managed to rebuild the rules of the Royal Ur Game, however, a board game found in the Royal Tombs of Ur, Iraq, in the 1920s. This game made its way to Egypt as Asseb , but Senet predicts it up to 900 for years.
Throughout history, China has been (and still is) the capital of gambling in the Far East. Despite the fact that gambling has been banned there for long periods of time, it has always been a mecca for those who want to bet some of their hard-earned money. In fact, most historians believe that the origins of gambling can be traced back to ancient China.
It is known that gambling has existed since the reign of the Xia dynasty (1900-1600 BC). However, even then, most of the country’s leaders acknowledged the significant risks they posed if it became an obsession. Therefore, gambling was usually under very strict control or was banned entirely in Ancient China. However, people cared and this was still one of the most important passions for the ancient Chinese. When gambling was finally legalized, it was done because it introduced great financial benefits to the government. It was a good way to get money from ordinary people, relying only on their own free will to play, instead of forcing additional fees on them.