Names of Casino Games

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Casino games fit into one of three categories: table games, random number games and gaming machines. Historically, casino games are played in an actual casino, but since the late 1990s, casino games have become increasingly popular to play online. Online casinos make the drive to an actual casino unnecessary as gamblers can simply log on from a computer anywhere, anytime. Whether played in a casino or online, there are several casino games that are tried and true classics.

Poker

  • Unlike other table games, poker is played against other players and not against the casino. Groups of two to 10 players are dealt "hands" of five cards with the goal of compiling card combinations that will outrank opponents' combinations. A royal flush is poker's top-ranking card combination while other high-ranking combinations include a straight flush, four of a kind and full house. Variations of poker include crazy 4 poker, pai gow poker, stud poker, 3-card poker and Texas hold 'em poker. Believed to have evolved from a combination of card games since 10th century China, poker appeals to the novice player to the professional player who applies the psychological and mathematical probability aspects of the game to expert levels.

Blackjack

  • Another popular table game in which players are dealt an initial hand of two cards with the goal of combining card value combinations to equal 21 or to get closer to 21 than the casino and other players do. Numeric values for cards are the face values of number cards two through 10 while face cards (jacks, queens and kings) are worth 10 each. An ace is worth either 10 or one.The game of blackjack got its name in the 1930s when special odds were given if the winning combination of 21 was achieved with the use of a black jack (a jack of spades or clubs). Over time, the special odds of a winning hand involving a black jack was dropped, but the name stuck.

Roulette

  • This table game involves a spinning wheel with 37 numbered slots and a small ball. Players place wagers and predict where the ball will land when the wheel stops spinning. Introduced in the U.S. during the early 19th century, the name "roulette" means "little wheel" in French. Seventeenth century French mathematician Blaise Pascal is widely believed to have invented an early version of the roulette wheel. In 1842, a game involving Pascal's roulette wheel was created by Francois and Louis Blanc, but because gambling was illegal in France at the time, the game was introduced in Germany.

Craps

  • This table game involves the rolling of two dice with the intent of rolling winning number combinations. Craps is believed to have evolved from an ancient Roman game in which soldiers would roll cubes made from pig knuckle bones into their shields. It is also believed that the game is a direct offshoot of the English game Hazard. The French changed the name to crabs and the name changed to craps shortly after it was introduced in the U.S.

Baccarat

  • Believed to be one of the oldest card games still played in casinos, the object of baccarat is to draw a two or three card hand that totals closer to nine than the casino (house) does. Number cards are worth face value in this game while 10, jack, queen and king are worth zero. There are no "bust" hands in baccarat. It is believed that baccarat's origins can be traced back to the Middle Ages. Baccarat's name stems from the Italian word "bacara," which means zero and refers to card values used in the game.

Keno

  • In Keno, players select four to 10 numbers in the attempt to match numbers that are randomly drawn by the casino. This lottery-type game is believed to have been invented over 2,000 years ago in China and was brought to the U.S. by Chinese immigrants in the 1800s.

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  • Photo Credit poker - a pair of aces with poker chips 5 image by Andrew Brown from Fotolia.com
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