The Fathers of Casino Gambling – Happy Fathers Day

Today we tip our hat to the Fathers of Casino Gambling on this Father’s Day! I look back at those who either invented a game or made it prominent in the industry’s casinos. So here are our Fathers of Casino Gambling.

The Father of the Slot Machine – Charles Fey 

The Fathers of Casino Gambling
Charles Frey and a picture of the famous “first” slot machine, the “Liberty Bell.”

Charles Fey was the father of slot machines. In 1895, he invented it and called it the Liberty Bell, then opened a slots manufacturing factory in 1896. Fey designed and manufactured the first slots by himself. They were soon placed into the local gambling establishments making Charles Fey the first recognized proprietor of slot machines.

In 1901, Charles Fey added a Draw feature to his trendy Slot machine, which held some drums when taking a second spin. This feature turned them into a skill-based gambling machine and set the stage for the future of video poker.

The Father of Card Counting – Ed Thorpe

During his tenure at MIT, former mathematics professor Edward Oakley Thorp brought card counting to modern Blackjack in 1962. When the father of card-counting published his book, “Beat the Dealer,” he came up with a model that could help decrease the house advantage. Although other famous books and methods have succeeded, Thorp’s Ten Count System is regarded as the first mathematically proven system for card counting made available to the general public.

The Fathers of Casino Gambling
Ed Thorp’s book was the ground-breaking counting system.

The Father of Casino Gambling – Modern Craps and  John H. Winn

American dice maker John H. Winn developed the rules allowing wagers 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 set up in the air-conditioned comfort of a casino.

The Father of Casino Gambling – Roulette and Blaise Pascal 

At 16, Blaise Pascal presented a paper about geometry that blew away Paris’s best math minds. But, more importantly to us, his connection to probability led to his influence on Roulette. Blaise Pascal created a formula to show the probability of two people winning in a casino game, which has become the essence of probability theory! So, when Blaise Pascal was trying to invent the perpetual motion machine, he invented Roulette instead!

The Godfather of Texas Holdem Poker – Benny Binion.

The Fathers of Casino Gambling

Benny Binion went to Vegas after the Second World War. Little did anyone know he would change Sin City forever. His motto, “If you want to get rich, make little people feel like big people,” quickly turned the Horseshoe into one of the best casinos in Las Vegas. However, his most significant achievement was the invention of the World Series of Poker. He was more responsible for putting Texas Holdem Poker’s game on the world map than anyone else.

Some recent Fathers of Casino Gambling (Inventors) of Casino Games:

  1. Sam Torosian (Father of Pai Gow Poker), 1985, had a brilliant idea. He took the play of Pai Gow Tiles and mixed them with elements of poker. This new casino game, Pai Gow Poker, was a perfect blend of old and new, East and West, luck and strategy, and it was an instant hit.
  2. Derek Webb was the first “inventor” of the casino variant of Three Card Poker in 1994 and patented it in 1997. He envisioned a game that combined poker’s excitement and regular casino games’ speed. His version of Three Card Poker is now a staple of casino table games.
  3. The RideJohn Breeding, the ShuffleMaster founder, invented the game intending to fuel demand for its shuffling machine.
  4. David Sklansky is the first person to want to take credit for the invention of Caribbean Stud Poker. Mr. Sklansky claims he invented a game that is fundamentally the same as Caribbean Stud Poker. His version did not include the progressive jackpot feature that Caribbean Stud Poker players know and love today. There are many variants of the origin of the game.

Related Post – Caribbean Stud Poker Basics – Your Ultimate Primer

We tip our NETG hat to the fathers of gaming. But most of all, we tip our hat to all the fathers out there.

That’s all for now.