Hello, hello, hello, gambling travellers! I see you heartily enjoyed the Asian Macau gambling paradise and are ready for the next and even more exciting gambling adventure, are not you? Although it seems to me that such a heady festive atmosphere of the Chinese gaming centre does not let you go and seduces with more of its attractions, is not it?
Yes, that’s why I’ll give you a special gift, and suggest another week of pleasure in the world of dizzy gambling entertainments and incredibly interesting sights.
So we stay in Macau for a week, which means that it is time to talk about the fact that China, as one of the most ancient countries, is absolutely gambling. And if in the past our meeting, we talked about “Macau”, the unusual Chinese gambling game of the XVIII century, today we will dive into the depths of history and reveal the secrets of the most ancient gambling entertainment of all time, which, as it turns out, has its origins in China. And that, fortunately, is not one of the legends, historians conjecture or unconfirmed researchers’ hypothesis – it is a fact, a reality that was proved with secular studies.
Well, gambling travellers and adventurers, you have already guessed, what will be discussed? What kind of entertainment that comes from ancient times and is still at the peak of its popularity for thousands of years I mean?
Let me prompt and reveal the intrigue, because we are waiting or many fascinating and little-known facts, the facts of the Keno game.
Yes, such a popular and well-known to every gambler game is one of the most ancient forms of gambling in the world.
From despair to success
And since our gambling cruise continues to stay in the centre of the worlds gambling, we have enough time to explore the pristine origins of the game of Keno.
As it turns out, about 200 BC in ancient China, it was created a game that allowed you to quickly win large sums of money. They called it keno. While it is not known for certain where this name came from, many scientists are inclined to the version of the Latin roots of this term. It is believed that it comes from the «Quini» and means “five of each.” Although there are a lot of fans of a version that assumes the French roots of the game’s name, namely the root word “Quine”, which translates as “the five winning numbers”. The only thing both sides agree, so it is that this game is the most ancient and extremely interesting.
With regard to the history of the Keno game, here lies a lot of nuances, but there are also irrefutable facts. So, one of the most beautiful legends, there was also a real chronicle of the history of the game.
The ancient Chinese scrolls dated back to the 200 BC year tells us about the hard times, when ancient China mired in wars for the division of territories between several rulers, and the economic condition of a great empire was so exhausted that even the maintenance of the army was not an affordable thing. So, one of the rulers of China, Cheng Lin, who was known for his military campaigns, faced with several problems that were closely related. The treasury does not have enough money for the army and he had to raise taxes. Residents of the province refused to pay high taxes, which threatened the dissolution of the army and the impending death of the ruler at the hands of enemies.
In this situation, Cheng Lin decided to use the greed of the ancient Chinese against them. So, he came up with an exciting and promising game, the proceeds of which were intended for the maintenance and expansion of the army. The idea of the game that could be paid off incredibly quickly and immediately gave excellent results. There are even some facts that the Great Wall of China was built on money earned on the unique Chinese lottery.
But the success of this outlandish game has surpassed all expectations of the ruler. The interest of the people was increased at an incredible rate and it was necessary to carry out the games even twice a day. The game became popular not only in his native province, but also far beyond its borders, conquering the entire expanse of the Middle Kingdom. Keno, like a fever, has spread all over China, and it was played by everyone – from children and young people to the elderly. So the game has evolved from a cunning political tricks in the real national culture.
What was unusual about the game, that is the fact that the link for the dissemination of the results of games and winnings payment was arranged exactly as the Swiss mechanism. Despite the fact that to notify the winners in different parts of China have been used post white doves, as the unreliable tool itself, not a single winner has not lost his winnings. Probably because of this accuracy and symbolism Keno was called a “white doves Lottery”.
For most people in China, this game has become almost the only chance to change their social status and get the full support for their families. The more popular the game became, the more respect she deserved, and very soon Keno was not only interesting gambling entertainment, but also a sign of good taste and good manners.
As a tradition to win
The Game of Keno in ancient times was a very simple and uncomplicated. Players were asked to note with the brushes several characters (the researchers say there were often five characters) of the total number of (120 pieces) symbols. The selected by player characters had to go into the top-20 winning symbols to bring a large pot and fast. Some evidence suggests that the players drew a few selected characters by hand instead of highlighting them. But, most of all, to paint a player’s choice had to be occurred much later, at the time when cheating was getting popular and fraud attempts becoming more frequent.
But, as is known, small spots of ink originally served as markers on the game canvas. It was believed that the ink determines the final selection and the inability to change the symbols at the last moment. It is from here were taken its origin in the name of Keno game bets, namely the “spot”.
As for the drawings of the process, they were in the morning and in the evening, when the ancient Chinese emperor pulled out small scrolls with written the winning symbols of characters on them. In cases where the winning symbols coincide with the symbols marked by players, the last received huge amounts of money.
For strict compliance with the rules and pay offs there followed special overseers, who controlled the process of choosing characters and made it impossible to cheat.
Late, but bright ascension
Due to the fact that China has always been a closed country, Keno has not been able to spread far beyond its limits. But as soon as immigrants from China started to scatter all over the world in search of better living and working conditions, they carried with them tiny pieces of their national culture – starting from the Chinese tea and silk to folk wisdom and a favourite game of Keno. So, at the beginning of the 19th century Keno got to America, where it had turned into just what were needed. After all, it was the gold rush, when Chinese immigrants were working on the construction of railways, and every American was insatiable for “luck catcher “. Everyone was trying to get rich in many ways, but only three things could bring maximum results: gold panning in the rivers, farming and Keno.
Of course, the original Chinese lottery has undergone some minor changes, but during the first days in America and in the world Keno got to be the most interesting gamble. Speaking about the changes: a new American version, which has often been called simplistic, changed the total number of characters from 120 down to 80 units, the characters were replaced by numbers, and instead of the scrolls off the boxes were pulled wooden beads.
Of course in the final version were used bags instead of boxes and wooden balls were replaced by ping-pong balls, but the main purpose and essence of the game remains the same. And this is perhaps the most important, because not every old game can boast such success and constant character.
Thus, ancient China has given mankind not only paper, silk, printing, gunpowder and the compass, still also the most exciting gambling entertainment that today are at the peak of popularity thanks to the large and fast winnings, just like in ancient times.
Well it’s time we once again return to the wonderful city of Macau and enjoy the authentic atmosphere of celebration and good luck. Embark on a tour of the best casinos and do not forget to try your fortune in the game of Keno. You certainly will get lucky!