Ancient Rome

Gambling has been present since the outbreaks of human civilization way before modern online casinos and sites with sports betting tips from professional betting tipsters. Gambling was always a form of the enjoyable pastime and especially in the civilization that was a precursor for modern civilization – Ancient Rome. 

Gambling Addiction

In ancient Rome, gambling was an everyday thing. Everyone in Rome used to gamble from the slaves to the emperors. The Romans developed an addiction to gambling since it became a part of everyone’s everyday life. Mostly men gambled with an exception of overly rich women and the exception for other women was in the form of a festival called “Bona Dea” or beautiful women when only women gambled. 


Even though gambling was a part of everyday life, it was still prohibited at one moment. Prior to the prohibition, gambling occurred in homes or special places such as taverns. After the prohibition, the culprits would receive punishment. During a festival for the god Saturn called Saturnalia, gambling was legal and this was a gambler’s paradise in ancient Rome. Still, even though it was illegal to gamble outside of the festival, its emperors used to frequently gamble which is why the ancient writers used to write satires about them. 

Ancient Games

Ancient Rome had two types of games. The first type was based on dices and the other included dices, board, and pieces to be moved when the dices are thrown. The boards mostly had thirty-six squares with varying symbols. Most games included from two to three dices and sixes were the best throw much like today. 

One of the games that Romans loved was actually a predecessor of what is nowadays known as backgammon. This game, as most of them, originate from Ancient Greece but has been perfected by the Ancient Romans. They called it 12 lines and three dices were used, a board and fifteen pieces. 

Another game that the Romans loved playing was using knucklebones. There were two main types, a game of luck and a game of skill. The game of luck involved four knucklebones that had the values of 1, 3, 4, and 6 marked on them. The bones would be thrown and depending on which side they land, provide some result, much like with dices. The best throw was four sixes and it was called ‘Venus’ and the worst was named the ‘Dog’. The game of skill included five knucklebones that were thrown in the air and a player needed to catch them.