More weird and wonderful facts from the world of gambling
Thought we were done with our weird and wonderful gambling facts? We’ve got plenty more where those came from – just take a look!
1. Reels and wheels. These days you’d expect to find slot machines at a casino, or even a pub or similar venue where gambling is allowed. Not in the 19th century though – because back then, if you wanted to spin the slots, you’d have to visit a car repair shop instead. It sounds incredible, but it’s true. In 1895, San Francisco car mechanic, Charles Fey, invented what we know today as the slot machine, one that he originally named ‘Liberty Bell’. Originally designed as way for customers to pass the time while waiting for their cars to be fixed, the slot machine soon grew to be immensely popular, and caught the attention of the casinos. While they were initially installed to give players something to do while waiting for a seat at a table game, they soon became overwhelming favourites in their own right – and thus slots gambling was born!
2. Feeling flush. How many times have you played a hand of Poker and hoped and prayed for a royal flush – a hand of 10, J, Q, K, A, all in the same suit? Probably every time, right? Chances are it hasn’t happened yet though, as while a royal flush is the highest value hand (and the most desired hand) in Poker, it’s also the rarest as well. In fact, the chances of you holding a royal flush are a miniscule 1 in 649,740 – mostly thanks to there only being four possible royal flush hands in each deck, but up to 2,598,960 possible hand combinations in in every deck as well. But while the odds are slim, they still exist, so don’t cut your losses quite yet – just don’t pin all your hopes on being dealt a royal flush either.
3. Not such a safe bet. Gambling advertising can be tricky – there are numerous rules and regulations to follow, and in some countries it’s completely banned altogether. However, as one group in Singapore found out, advertising anti-gambling can often be just as complicated as well.
In 2014, an anti-gambling group in Singapore used the upcoming World Cup to spread a message about the dangers of irresponsible gambling, using the example of a father betting all his life savings on Germany winning the championship. Unfortunately, the well-meaning message didn’t have quite the intended effect when Germany actually went on to win the World Cup – meaning the fictional father would have walked away with a huge windfall. The agency tried to rectify their error with a follow-up ad about the father’s continued gambling despite his big win, but we’re not sure if it had the desired result. The bottom line? Always gamble responsibly, whether in fantasy or reality!
4. Blue chip prospects. You know that the phrase ‘blue chip’ means valuable, particularly when referring to companies, but did you know that it actually comes to us from the world of Poker? True story. Back in the 1800s, three types of chips were used when playing Poker – white (lowest value), red (medium value), and blue (high value). As a result, blue chips came to be associated with high value items, and so the same term was assigned to valuable stocks on Wall Street in the early 20th century. The name stuck, and the association remains today. Now there’s a fact that’ll be super fun to talk about at parties!
Happy Spinning 🙂