Where do the names of the various casino games come from?

In the casino, various casino games are played which are all known by their own name. Have you ever wondered why the games were given that name?

We went in search and dug up the archives about the history of certain games and how it got its current name.


To start with, we mention roulette. It will certainly not surprise you that this is a French word. The word roulette means nothing more than “little wheel” and this is where the game got its name. Roulette involves playing with a wheel, so the name makes sense. The game was invented by Blaise Pascal in an attempt to create a perpetual motion machine. The latter failed, but the roulette wheel and thus the game were born.

Different versions of the game

The game has been the most popular in casinos to play in France for many years. Roulette exists in both a European and American version with the main difference being that the European version uses only a 0 while in the American version there is also a 00 present. Thus, they work with one more digit in addition to the 1 through 36 that are also present in Roulette.


There are several theories about the origins of the game Baccarat. The most obvious is that it originated centuries ago in Italy but it could also have come originally from France. In both Italian and French, the name baccarat refers to the number zero, which is how it got its name.

Chemin de Fer or Punto Banco

The game was very popular among the French elite for centuries and spread further across Europe to England in particular in the 19th century. Here mainly the Chemin de Fer version was played but as another version with modified rules emerged it was given the name Punto Banco. This version crossed the ocean to countries like Cuba and the Caribbean and was introduced to the United States in the 1950s.

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Another game that is very popular in the casino to play is Craps. This game is played with dice and not cards. The object of the game is to gamble on the outcome of a roll of two dice looking at the number of pips thrown. The game was originally known as Hazard. The name Craps is derived from the French word Crapaud.

This means as much as seat. Perhaps because the game can be played from the comfort of your armchair it was given this name. The game was popular in France and the United Kingdom and was carried on mainly by the French to Canada during the colonization but also from there to the United States.


The name Poker covers several variations of the game. In the United States, for example, a version is played under the name Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hold’em. The original name of the Poker game was Bluff. This word may have different origins but it is not entirely clear exactly where it came from. It is believed to be an English term of origin (bluffing) but it could also have a German origin in the word Pochspiel or even be related to the French word Poque. By the way, the German word Pochen also simply stands for bluffing.


Finally, we mention the popular game Blackjack. The game originated in France and Spain. The game and its name come from the French term vingt-et-un or vingt-un which stands for twenty-one. This is the exact number you need to hit in order to win at Blackjack. If you go over 21, you are out. In Blackjack you play with other players against the bank or the one who deals the cards. Blackjack became popular in the United States in the state of Nevada because gambling was first legalized there.

Choose a game that appeals to you

Whichever game you choose can be played either in a land based or online casino. It’s just a matter of which way you like to play. At home you can play quietly without others around but at the casino it’s of course also fun to play with other people. All of the above mentioned games are played at a table with other players, and a croupier or dealer. This way they are all suitable to play with friends or to get to know other players and make nice new contacts. If you are playing the same game you already have a nice hobby in common.