Fun In The 1800s: How The Aristocracy Spent Their Free Time

We take a look back at how the aristocracy spent their leisure and free time in the 1800s and why the excitement of gambling made it one of the most popular pastimes for the who’s who.

With so much technology around and with many different sources of entertainment utilising it in abundance, there may be some that would think that fun could not have been had before it had been invented.

These days, much of the world’s population will have their head buried in computer screens, on their phones and tablets, or their eyes fixated on a television screen as they binge their favourite TV programs and films, or play the latest and best video games to have been provided.

In fact, it would seem rather rare that board games and a good old-fashioned book would be the popular choice when looking for a method of entertainment despite the fact that they were amongst the very first things to have ever been made available and was also a favourite pastime of the aristocracy.

Naturally, technology has had an impact on a number of different games around the world with many suggesting that it may have been negative, however, there are plenty of positives that it has provided, with a number of games from the 17th century having, arguably, been improved over time via its introduction.

We take a look back at how the aristocracy spent their leisure and free time in the 1800s and why the excitement of gambling made it one of the most popular pastimes for the who’s who of the era and why these games are still enjoyed by millions today.

Blackjack

Fun In The 1800s: How The Aristocracy Spent Their Free Time

Blackjack is a game that has remained incredibly popular with those that enjoy playing card games, whether for fun or at a casino and playing for money. The game, which was once known as Vingt-et-Un (21 in French), was popular in European casinos in the 1700s and has remained a favourite amongst bettors all around the world.

According to data that had been researched, it was understood that up until the mid-2010s, Blackjack (as it is more commonly known around the world) generated the most revenue for casino table games at US casinos, thus highlighting the appeal the game has had around the world despite having been around for centuries.

In addition, there are some doubts about the game’s history, with “Don Quixote” author, Miguel de Cervantes writing about a couple who were allegedly cheating at a game of Veintiuna (Spanish for 21). The short story was written between 1601 and 1602, so there is a reasonable suggestion that the game has been around for a lot longer than initially thought.

Roulette

Fun In The 1800s: How The Aristocracy Spent Their Free Time
Roulette has always been a favourite of the aristocracy for centuries.

Roulette is another game that has proven to be an incredibly popular casino game that has stood the test of time and has seen a number of variations are brought to the live casino scene via the technology that has been made available. Indeed, titles such as Monopoly live game, Lightning Roulette, Crazy Time, Mega Wheel, Mega Ball have all been created and have each proved to be amongst the most popular and best roulette titles to have ever existed.

The original roulette game – which was known as the ‘Little Wheel’ – is widely believed to have been introduced by Blaise Pascal after taking inspiration from the Italian game of Biribi and became popular in the 1790s within France among the aristocracy. The only real difference from the game when it was first introduced as a casino game is that zero and double-zero were red and black but were made green in the early part of the 1800s.

Baccarat

Fun In The 1800s: How The Aristocracy Spent Their Free Time

Baccarat was a game that is believed to have been created in Italy in the 1400s by an individual who was known as Felix Falguiere or Falguierein. Despite having been invented around 600 years ago, it remains a popular casino game for many in different regions around the world.

The game took off in the 1800s in illegal and legal casinos around France, England and the United States of America with those who were aristocrats or considered to be upper-class gamblers, whilst the rules – which involve the number 9 – instantly appealed to players in China; given the significance of the number as it is associated with the Emperor.

Poker

Fun In The 1800s: How The Aristocracy Spent Their Free Time

Although casinos can now typically offer so many different variations of poker, the early forms of the card game are thought to date back to the 1800s. It is believed the earliest games of this popular playing card game first started to take place around the 1820s.

Players were initially dealt five cards that were face down and would then be required to place their bets. Of course, the game has undergone several changes since then, with variations such as 3 Card Poker, Omaha and Texas Hold’em proving to be popular choices when playing at online casinos and physical establishments.

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