You’ve probably come across articles like “Interesting facts about casinos”, “Startling observations about slot machines” or “Amazing stories about roulette”.
This publication is sustained in the same format, but it did not include the banal stories. Most likely, most of them you will hear for the first time. Though many of our readers are quite erudite. Surprising them is not an easy task.
The poker game of eight years
You’ve been in a casino for a couple of days and you think you’re almost a marathon runner? That’s nothing compared to playing poker non-stop for nearly eight and a half years.
In 1881, Billy and Lottie Hunchinson opened an establishment called The Bird Cage Theater in Arizona. It operated a high-stakes poker room in the basement. Behind it was a 24/7 game. It didn’t stop for eight years, five months and three days.
It was a legendary place, visited by almost all the best poker players. During that time, tens of millions of dollars passed through the table. The amount of the owners’ income was not specified, but they were known to take ten percent of the pot.
Video pokers with no cash payout
The vintage video poker machines were mechanical. They appeared as early as the nineteenth century. Most often they were installed in bars and other pubs.
The device was as simple as possible:
- On the five rotating drums depicted cards.
- Payout table was not originally assumed.
- When a poker combination was made, the lucky man would go to the bartender for a reward. Most often meant cigarettes or liquor.
The modern system of calculating and accruing payouts was invented somewhat later and soon became a standard for this genre of gambling.
Dice for a snack
Legal gambling with official licensing system originated in the United States in the first half of the twentieth century, but Americans started gambling long before that. Many of them preferred to try their luck at early versions of craps and other gambling games with six-sided dice.
If the cops showed up unexpectedly in the midst of underground gambling, the lawbreakers would try to get rid of the evidence as quickly as possible. The small dice were easy to hide in the stomach, so they were immediately swallowed. It’s hard to say if this trick caused digestive problems, but it sure helped to avoid trouble with the police. It is said that in the nineteenth century, British underground casino owners hired people to swallow dice during raids.
The first casino license in Las Vegas was obtained by a woman
You think at the dawn of gambling in Nevada, only male gangsters opened casinos. The first official gambling license in Las Vegas was obtained by a respectable woman, the wife of a railroad worker and mother of three sons.
On September 5, 1920 Mamie Stocker opened the Northern Club on Fremont Street. In 1931, when casinos were legalized in Las Vegas, she immediately purchased a license, becoming the first legal gambling establishment operator in the city. Five games were available at the Northern Club Casino: stud poker, draw poker, lowball poker, bridge, and 500. Mamie lived to be ninety-seven years old, outliving many Nevada gambling gamblers.