The Culture of the Casino

The Culture and Superstitions in Gambling and Casino

The word "casino" has Italian and Latin origin and literally means "house" (root "casa-" (house) and the diminutive suffix "-ino"). The first gambling house recognized by the government was the Venetian Il Ridotto in 1638. However, the Italian term "casino" was not used until 1744. At one time, the word "casino" in Italy called villas or summer houses. Later this word began to be called the place where people spent their leisure time, including gambling. In 1820, the English book on Italy stated that the word "casino" has several meanings, including "farming, a local government, a gambling house, and a card game."

Popular casino terms

Wherever you play - in the gigantic entertainment complexes of Las Vegas or Macau, or at Online Casino, while at home - the casino uses a universal language that has developed over the centuries. This language has penetrated even into everyday life. The expressions we use to denote concepts such as victory, loss, luck, common sense and even death reflect the importance of gambling in our lives.

Cards and life - you can succeed if you manage your cards correctly. When you need to be honest, you put your cards on the table. Are you surprised? Someone must have confused your cards. You are not to blame - the game was not in your favor. Unpredictable people, like jokers.

Bets and life - A conservative person insures his bets. A cautious man keeps his cards to himself. To attract interest, you may need to raise bets.

Good Luck and Life - Are you doing well? You are on the wave of success. When you're lucky, you hit the jackpot. Or maybe even tearing the bank. People do not often say that they are lucky. As a rule, life situations are roulette; it all depends on how the card lies, and all you can do is hope for a happy occasion. Got rejected or burned out? You had no chance. The language of the casino is encouraging in difficult life situations, for example, when all bets have been placed and there are no more bets, and you need to put the last penny on the line and go all-in.

Life and Death - Many popular expressions come from long-forgotten games. At the end of the nineteenth century, the game of the Pharaoh was one of the most popular casino games in the United States of America. You could go into the saloon and catch Wyatt Earp or Doc Holliday playing the Pharaoh. Numerous expressions from the Pharaoh game survived the game for at least a hundred years: playing both ends against the middle, breaking even (go to zero), shoestring (lace, i.e., in dire need of money), in hock ( bookmark), string along (dynamite), case the joint (probe the soil), take a tiger by the tail (bite off more than you can swallow), punters (players), keeping tabs (keep records), and stool pigeon (snitch ).

Other "tenacious" expressions came from games that only a few players now know about: left in the lurch (left in trouble from the French board game "lourche" or "lurch"), rigmarole (something boring, gimp - from the eponymous medieval game), riffraff (punks), hazard (danger - from the Hazard game).

Popular Roulette Phrases

Roulette. Roulette appeared in France and got its name from the French word meaning "small wheel". The famous scientist and mathematician Blaise Pascal may have had a hand in the invention of roulette. A byproduct of his quest for the perpetual motion was a roulette wheel that spins almost without friction. Old English games, which were similar to roulette, included the roles of poly, ace of hearts and even-odd. Ancient Italian games with similar rules, some of which were even mentioned in Casanova's memoirs, include Biribi and Hoka.

American and European Roulette: Even though America is trying to set its standards everywhere, it failed in doing it in roulette. In addition to the numbers from 0 to 36 European roulette, the American version added the number 00, and the payments were kept at the same level, giving the casino a huge advantage. The European version provides additional incentives for players, such as en prison and le partage bets, which help protect bets from falling out of the ill-fated zero. In turn, in American casinos, players are given chips of different colors - an unnecessary trick in an unpopular game. In this case, the French names were also used: the word "ficheur" refers to a mechanical device used to sort multi-colored chips.

Russian roulette. Not a game, not roulette and not Russian. In Russian roulette, participants literally load a bullet into a revolver, rotate a drum (like a roulette wheel) and pull the trigger. This "game" is described in several Russian novels of the nineteenth century, and after the First World War, the myth of reckless (or ruthless) Russian officers who allegedly played it became widespread. In reality, there are not so many reliably recorded cases of “playing” Russian roulette, and it gained its fame largely thanks to literature, cinema, and stories about the war. Typically, an expression is often used in popular culture as a metaphor for the cruelty of fate.

Popular blackjack phrases

The game, which today is called blackjack or 21, people have been playing by different rules and under different names for over 600 years. Written references to the Spanish game trente-un (31) date back to 1440. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, outlined the rules in a 1613 novel. In other countries, there are variations of the game such as quinze in France, ventiuna in Spain, sette e mezzo in Italy, and bone ace in England (it is believed that in the game "bone ace" the ace first began to count as one or eleven). The most popular type of game was vingt-et-un (21), which became widespread in France at the beginning of the 19th century thanks to Napoleon Bonaparte. At the beginning of the 20th century, some American institutions, trying to increase interest in the game, began to offer players a tenfold bonus for a real 21 with a jack of spades. The bonus was soon canceled, but the name remained.

Popular phrases about craps

Craps: The modern casino dice game is called craps. In most countries, it is known by this name. Dice in other languages: dado (Spanish), Würfelspiel (German), kosci (Polish), zaruri (Romanian). The origin and etymology of the craps game, like many other casino games, are controversial issues. Azzahr dice, common on the Arabian Peninsula, became known in England as the Hazard. The weakest combination of dice was called crabs. According to another version, the name comes from the French word crapaud (frog), because craps were played on the streets and sidewalks, and players had to squat to reach the dices. Craps. Dice was the starting point for the casino. The oldest playing equipment found by archaeologists were bones made from lamb ram (bone above the calcaneus). The first hex bones dated 3000 BC were found in Mesopotamia (northern Iraq). Dots, not numbers, are marked on the dice, since these symbols were in use (1300 BC) before the appearance of the Indo-Arab numeral system (700 BC).

Popular slots phrases

Traditional slot machines began to appear in the 70-90s of the 19th century. Coin-operated machines soon became known as slot machines because of a slot for lowering coins. In England, they are called fruit machines because of the popular images of fruits on drums. In the first slot machines, mechanical drums were used, and the owner of the establishment paid off with the owner of the machine. The first popular “modern” Liberty Bell slot machine was built by Charles Fey in the 1890s. Liberty Bell reels stopped in turn, player coins were collected in a bunker and paid out automatically, falling into a bucket. The metal ringing of coins or tokens, especially when winnings poured into a bucket, has become the signature sound of a casino, where slot machines have become a popular form of entertainment. In addition, thanks to the lever for rotating the reels, the slot machines received the nickname of "one-armed bandits." Slot machines remain popular, even though the changes affected almost every original part. Digital indicators and computers have replaced mechanical drums. Buttons supplemented or replaced levers. Even the sound of coins has subsided significantly: today, players silently insert banknotes. Winnings are issued in the form of tickets that can be exchanged at the box office or ATMs in the casino. The distinctive accessories of slot lovers, such as special gloves and giant plastic coin buckets, have also almost disappeared.

Popular phrases about baccarat

Baccarat: The name comes from the Italian game baccarà, and most varieties of the game retain the original name. The term punto banco refers to a player and a banker, i.e. to two participants in the game, although the word "banco" is also spoken by the player who wagers all his money. This is one of the few casino games that have retained their name after several centuries. The word "baccarat" means the worst hand in the game, the total score of which is zero. The game uses French terms such as La Grande, i.e. natural nine obtained by dealing the first two cards, and La Petite, i.e. natural eight. A banker is an active dealer (croupier in France), i.e. the one who leads the game and deals cards, and the bank (sometimes a shooter) receives cards and goes last. Sometimes the game is lead. Palette - A wooden tool used to move cards that are stored in a shoe. If the results of the player and the banker are the same, this distribution is sometimes called standoff (draw).

Superstitions and Casino Traditions

Lucky and unlucky numbers. Each casino game is related to numbers. Therefore, players have superstitions for most of them.

Six: The number 6 is considered unlucky because of the “number of the beast” (666), which is mentioned in Revelation 13:18. Moreover, in Asian culture, this number means that "everything is going as it should." Everyone who plays roulette steadily ignores the following superstition: the sum of the numbers on the wheel is 666.

Seven: Legends of "happy 7" exist in many cultures. The ancient Greeks considered the number 7 to be lucky. Pythagoras considered the number 7 perfect. The number seven was also associated with the Roman and Egyptian gods, the wonders of the ancient world, ancient Buddhas and Japanese gods of fortune. The Old Testament says that on the 7th day God rested from work. The Israelites brought down the walls of Jericho, passing around them 7 times. The New Testament describes 7 seals in Revelation, 7 virtues, and 7 ordinances. These ideas contradict Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai traditions, in which 7 is considered an unlucky number.

Eight: the happiest number in Chinese culture. Several eights are considered even greater fortune, since the word "eights" in the Mandarin dialect of the Chinese language is consonant with the word "prosperity." In Cantonese, the word "eight" is consonant with the word "wealth." The number eight is considered unlucky in India because of its connection with words meaning "destruction."

Thirteen: The fear of the number 13, in fact. This superstition came from the biblical legend that Judas, who was the thirteenth guest at the Last Supper, laid hands on himself.

In fact, there are many other numbers that can be considered lucky in different countries and cultures, and vice versa. The number three is considered lucky in Sweden and Italy, and unlucky in Vietnam and Japan. The number four is considered lucky in Germany, and unlucky in China, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. The number nine is considered lucky in Norway, and unlucky in Japan. The number seventeen is considered lucky in Italy. A parishioner of one of the churches in Monte Carlo, located not far from the casino, after Sunday service decided to play roulette and, trusting his intuition, put a bet on number 36. In the church, he sang the anthem number 36. He won, told his friends about it, and they all came to church the next Sunday. After the service ended at anthem 27, a crowd of believers went to the casino to bet on this number. The number did not fall out. However, next week there was a rush of a church again. The pastor began to suspect that the service contributes to the popularity of roulette and ordered to sing hymns with numbers greater than 36, i.e. the maximum number on the roulette wheel. Soon, church attendance fell to its original level.

Talismans. In the book Monaco and Monte Carlo (1912), Adolf Smith described several superstitions he had witnessed at the Casino de Monte Carlo. One woman carried a five-franc coin in service with the Pope to consecrate it. With the blessed coin, she went to the casino and won at roulette. Nevertheless, her companion lost and was so lamented about this that the woman allowed him to hold a lucky coin in her hands. Her friend immediately bet and lost a coin. Smith also described an elderly woman who showed him the heart of a bat, which she carried in her purse and applied coins to the bat’s heart before playing roulette on them.

Casino Entrance. Some players believe that before the game you cannot enter the casino through the main entrance, so as not to frighten off luck. So, the MGM Grand hotel complex, which opened in 1993 in Las Vegas, scared the players seriously by its main entrance, made in the form of a giant lion's head (the MGM logo was a roaring lion). Perhaps the players didn’t really like to go straight to the lion's mouth, or maybe it was Asian superstitions about cats that bring failure, but one way or another, after only five years, the entrance to the casino was completely rebuilt.