The Fathers of Gaming

01-rushmore-dean.franklinSo many times, the “Mount Rushmore” of this and that is considered as a tribute in sports, entertainment, etc. So, who can be considered the “fathers” of certain areas of gambling. So, here’s what I came up with, with obvious omissions.  Interesting considerations for future posts would include the Mount Rushmore of Modern Las Vegas, of Early Las Vegas, and of the Poker.  Here are some important Early Fathers in the development of gaming :

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Ed Thorpe

The Father of Card Counting – Ed Thorpe
It was during his tenure at the MIT that he came up with the thought of using his knowledge of mathematical principles to come up with a model that could help decrease the house advantage. Unlike casino games like craps or roulette, the odds in blackjack can be varied to the advantage of the player

The Father of Modern Craps – It was American dice maker, John H. Winn, who developed the rules further to allow betting for or against the shooter, thus becoming the father of modern Craps.His influence on the game brought us the game as we know it today, a full table setup in the air-conditioned comfort of a casino.


Charles Frey and a picture of the famous “first” slot machine the “Liberty Bell.”

The Father of the Slot Machine – Charles Fey 
1895 was a year of slots invention when Charles Fey represented his own brainchild called Liberty Bell. It is significant to know that the popularity of the slot machine was so astounding that allowed the inventor to open the factory of slots manufacturing in 1896. The first slots were designed and manufactured by Fey himself. They were soon placed into the local gambling establishments on the basis of the 50 rent percent. Hence, in addition to being the first inventor, Charles Fey was recognizable as the first proprietor of the slots.

The Father of Roulette – Blaise Pascal 7752180
So, how did he get that title as the father of Roulette? At 16, Blaise Pascal actually presented a paper about geometry that blew away the best math minds in Paris during that period! He ended up making many math formulas and ideas that are still used today. More importantly to us, he was also the inventor of probability which led to his connection with Roulette. A friend of his, Chevalier de Mere posed a question to him about gambling. Blaise Pascal created a formula to show the probability of two people winning in a casino game, and this has become the essence of probability theory! Now, at one time, when Blaise Pascal was trying to invent a perpetual motion machine, he invented Roulette instead!

BinionThe Godfather of Texas Holdem Poker – Benny Binion. The reason why Binion earned this title is not just that he had a past with a few major question marks around it, but because he, more than anyone else, was responsible for putting the game of Texas Holdem Poker on the world map.

I’m sure there are more – interesting who might be other fathers of gaming.  Maybe another post in the future.

That’s all for now.




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