The Thrill of the Dice

The Thrill of the Dice

The Thrill of the Dice – We all seek a degree of excitement and thrill in our lives. Without it, life can gradually become a little mundane and stale. This expectation isn’t just modern-day living it dates back for centuries.

Our need for “thrill-seeking” depends on our personalities and individual interests. This can range from the most extreme adventure thrills like skydiving, bungee jumping and swimming with sharks to a more subdued thrill of watching a scary movie, winning a line at the local bingo hall or travelling to a foreign country you’ve never been to before.

Both types of activities make similar use of the brain’s reward system too, by increasing neurotransmitters such as dopamine, adrenaline, and endorphins. So, the “rush” you get from skydiving can often be very biologically similar to the “rush” you get when you win big at the casino.

As a form of entertainment, sport and thrill-seeking humans love to gamble and have done in some form or other, for hundreds if not thousands of years, it dates back to the Palaeolithic period, before written history. 

From ancient China where indications of primitive games of chance were discovered on tiles to Egypt where the oldest known six-sided dice were excavated, to scenes on Greek and Roman pottery which indicate that betting on animal fights was commonplace. 

Lotto games and dominoes appeared in China as early as the 10th century. Playing cards appeared in the 9th century in China. Poker, the most popular U.S. card game was based on the Persian game As-Nas, dating back to the 17th century. The first casinos or gambling houses appeared in Italy in the 17th century and through their popularity continued to do so throughout continental Europe in the 19th century.

Most early gambling – especially in Britain – revolved around lotteries. And then they disappeared until the National Lottery arrived in 1994. As a nation, we already enjoyed bingo, horse-racing, the dogs and casinos. For a small stake, you had an evening’s entertainment and the chance of winning some money. 

For those who wanted more than just a small flutter, there was the football pools and Premium Bonds where even if you didn’t win, you could cash in your entire stake. 

Over the past two decades, the gambling landscape has continued to evolve. Technological advances have attracted a new generation of players both male and female taking the thrills and excitement from home entertainment into a full-time profession.

Internet users are using numerous resources ranging from desktops to use handheld devices for convenience and simplicity allowing your favourite games to be played in the convenience of your own homes as well as whilst on the move too. Top sites like have recognised this shift in usage and now there are many more opportunities for mobile online gambling.

We are now seeing a transition once again with esports and to a more ‘integrated’ form of gambling – where gambling is merged so closely into the fabric of video gaming. 

If you look at the basics, nothing has really changed: only now it’s not just cards and dice, a whole new arena has opened up for the taking. It looks like the popularity of thrill-seeking entertainment is certainly here to stay.

Poppy Watt

Welcome to Women Talking.

Keep up to date and informed with our monthly eNewsletter
[wpforms id="1539"]