For as long as there have been humans, the concept of betting on games of chance has had an unstoppable appeal. There has been evidence of gambling found at some of the earliest settlements, including everything from early card games discovered in ancient China and rudimentary dice discovered in ancient Egypt.
Ancient Romans and Greeks painted scenes in which bystanders were betting on the outcomes of fights between animals and, inevitably, there were breeders trying to create more likely prospects in order to capitalise on these types of game. Organised gaming was the next natural step for those who enjoyed this kind of game to take, and it wasn’t long before small groups of people playing against one another gave way to the kinds of gaming houses and casinos that we see today.
While there were popular games played in gaming houses in China as far back as 200BCE, more recent history suggests that casinos as we would recognise them were first established in Italy, in the 17th century. Venice was home to one of the first, ‘The Ridotto’, and the idea soon spread to the rest of Europe throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.
Games such as Vingt-et-un and roulette were becoming more and more popular, and they have remained top choices with casino-goers ever since. There have always been some gamblers from all walks of life, with many choosing to play online now at sites such as time2play.com and others preferring the in-person experience of playing in a bricks-and-mortar casino.
Many celebrities choose casino games as a way to blow off steam, appearing in the top destinations all over the world to take a punt on their favourite games, including:
The actress and musician who starred in the Dukes of Hazzard is such a fan of gambling that she guaranteed herself a room for the night at the Palm Casino Resort in Las Vegas by buying one. Not only is this a shrewd investment, but it means that shecan indulge in one of her favourite pastimes whenever she wishes before retiring to a luxury penthouse with all the mod cons that a superstar in her league could wish for.
As one of Hollywood’s most enduring stars, with credits for writing, acting and directing to his name, Ben Affleck has also made a name for himself as a fan of card games. Such was the extent of his skill at blackjack that he was actually banned from playing in all the casinos in Las Vegas in 2014 after winning too many hands.
He has also been feted for his poker-playing skills, beating off the competition to win the California State Poker Championship in 2004. Such is his love of the game that he organised a poker tournament with some of his top celebrity friends in 2020, raising over 1.7 million dollars and cementing his place as one of the most fanatical players in Hollywood.
Not only has Jennifer Tilly won hearts and minds with her performances in films such as Child’s Play, Liar Liar, and The Fabulous Baker Boys, she has also become a big name when it comes to playing poker. Having begun to learn from her father at an early age, Tilly’s fascination with poker was reignited when she moved to Hollywood.
She beat six hundred other players to win the World Series of Poker in 2005, earning herself more than $150,000 in the process. She also came third in the World Poker Tour Ladies Invitational Tournament in Los Angeles in 2005, and the Game Show Network Poker Royale Series. She has played in a number of televised tournaments, including Celebrity Poker Showdown and Poker After Dark, and was nominated for a Spirit of Poker Living Legend Award in 2014.
After her incredible success in American Pie, Shannon Elizabeth not only impressed the world with her comedic acting skills, but she has excelled as a poker player as well. Having competed in several tournaments, including Celebrity Poker Showdown, she competed in the first annual Nicky Hilton New Year’s Eve Poker Tournament at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in 2006.
She beat the other ninety-one competitors, coming in first place and taking home a large proportion of the $120,000 prize for her efforts. Although she had played poker with her family from a young age, her interest was piqued when she became a close friend of Jennifer Tilly and some of Elizabeth’s success can be attributed to the skills she learned from her poker-playing buddy.
After taking on the challenge of learning to play casino games to make him more convincing in his role in Ocean’s Eleven, Brad Pitt discovered that he had more than just a professional enthusiasm for a number of the most popular games. His passion is for games of skill such as blackjack and poker, pitting his wits against opponents and trying to spot their tells at the table.
The lure of casinos has appealed to people for centuries, so it’s no surprise that celebrities are just as enthralled as the rest of us. Any player can enjoy the high-rolling fun of a casino from the comfort of their own home thanks to the variety of online casinos.
The flexibility of online gaming means that there is always a table ready to welcome any player, and the variety of table games available is enough to satisfy gamers of all persuasions. From the most prominent celebrities to players who just want to enjoy some casino fun at home, online gaming offers a chance to enjoy the A-list experience without ever leaving the house.