“An individual plays only when he is human in the full sense of the word, and he can be wholly human only when he is playing”. Friedrich Schiller
The history tells us that in 49 B.C. the famous ancient Roman commander Julius Caesar, having won brilliant victories over barbarian galls, wanted to seize supreme power in the Eternal City. Then the frightened senators forbade him and his troops to return to Italy.
Without hesitations, the commander announced about his decision regarding the senate ban by saying “Alea jacta est” (“The die has been cast”) and crossed the border river Rubicon. This led to lingering civil wars in Rome, which became one of the most significant events in ancient history.
The words of the ferocious dictator became proverbial, however, today there is hardly a person who thinks about its real meaning. As it turned out, the Great Caesar actually cast the dice. So great was his passion to gambling, that he deeply believed in the magic ability of the dice to predict the future.
The public opinion hardly favors gamble and everything connected with it. Conversely, in those times the word “player” was nearly a swearword – so huge was the contempt of the majority of people to those who gave the game its due.
But at the same time ancient people understood perfectly well that the thirst for gambling could not be eradicated. The Greeks with their characteristic rich imagination invented a myth about the goddess of the fate Tyche (the Romans called her “Fortune”), who gave birth to Zeus’ daughter, and this girl was endowed with the gift of inventing various dangerous amusements, which caused the people to lose a lot of money, cheat, scuffle and committed suicides.
Tyche loved her daughter and thus winked at her cruel pranks. She even presented her with a large beautiful house, to which her daughter allured the most credulous players to make them miserable.
More than two thousand years passed since those times, and today hardly anyone believes in fortune-telling by throwing lot and myths about the goddess Tyche, but there is one thing that has not changed. It is the human need for the game. This unquenchable desire stipulated for the fact that in the course of time special premises were built for gambling – as if the ancient Greek legend came true.
In these establishments visitors played with each other in these and paid a part of their winnings to the owner – or played with owner and then, if they lost, they were to pay the whole amount of the bet to the casino owner. Approximately in the 16th century such establishments came to be called by the Italian word “casino”, which has not changed its meaning up to now.
Gambling houses irrepressibly attracted people with different characters, different talents and varying financial possibilities. The list of famous casino frequenters, compiled by the largest casinos in Europe, includes such celebrities as chancellor Bismarck, composers Berlioz and Brahms, the writer Dostoyevskiy, the poet Mayakovsky and the automobile king Citroen.
Reverberating fame, however, did not prevent these people from insidious tricks of Fortune. Admittedly, some celebrities were often lucky and they won a lot. For example, Citroen was such a lucky player. He loved to play for high stakes, in order to impress other rich men. Journalists never grew tired of writing that the automobile king is as lucky on the green cloth, as in business.
Others mostly lost. For instance, Mayakovskiy was such an unlucky fellow. He loved billiards, cards and particularly the roulette. During his trips abroad the poet run into unprecedented debts, because he was lucky only at billiard table, but by no means in the roulette.
Gambling houses are known not only by their frequenters, but also by various legends that surround these establishments. The most enduring is the story how a certain Frenchman monsieur Blanchard won twice in “Casino Monte-Carlo”. When he intended to enter this casino for the first time, his hat was spoilt by the dove. Blanchard interpreted this as a good sign and was right. The player managed to win several thousands. Then he intended to go to casino once again, but on condition that a bird would spoil his hat for one more time.
He had to wait for the new dove for several days, but his expectations paid for themselves. The Frenchman was lucky that time and he won even more than before. After this, the doves displayed no interest in Blanchard and he could not win. However, all inveterate players believe that if the bird marks you before the visit to the gambling house is a true sign of good luck.
Clearly, it is nearly impossible to get rid of all possible troubles completely, because even trifle losses somewhat spoil the mood. But they also make the triumph more delightful and allow you to feel the sharp fascination of victory over chance. Thus, it is hardly expedient to worry in advance, you should just be always be at the ready and treat the game lightly, although with deep respect, as if it were a close friend of yours.