Gambling is one of the oldest pastimes in the world, with evidence to suggest that some of the most ancient civilizations indulged in games of chance or wagered on a variety of games and sporting events. Casinos as an organized venue for gambling can be traced back to 17th century Italy and began to gain widespread popularity throughout Europe from th early 19th century. Today, global statistics show that over a quarter of the population of the world enjoys gambling, with around 26% admitting to indulging. This represents over 1.6 billion gamblers worldwide. The advent of video games and online casinos has only increased access to this favored pastime.

While a 2016 survey found that only 3% of adults in the U.S., the industry is certainly growing. In the UK, around 17% of the adult population gamble online, testament to the attraction when the games are made available. U.S. gambling revenue in 2018 reached $306.5 billion and has been climbing ever since. Some states have achieved record-breaking revenue figures following the introduction of sportsbooks and online gambling services, with New Jersey and Pennsylvania leading the way. The growth of casino games is largely due to an increase in the quality of the games on offer, as well as increased accessibility.

Casino games for consoles offer players further options to improve their skills, sample new styles of gameplay and enjoy all the fun of the casino from home or with friends. One of the earliest ever home video game consoles, the Magnavox Odyssey, came packed with board game accessories including dice, chips, play money and game cards, mimicking both casino games and board games. There are several popular casino games available for the Xbox platform which allow players to immerse themselves in an authentic casino experience without breaking the bank.

Pure Hold’em

Pure Hold’em from VooFoo Studios is part of a range of “Pure” games for Xbox that recreate real-life games, including pool and chess. The main appeal of this series is how closely gameplay represents real-life events, with facilities allowing for tournaments with strangers or a group of friends, or offline play against up to seven AI characters, each of which has a

different style of play to be read. Tournament play comes in a range of difficulty levels, with money (points) accrued in the easier tournaments allowing entry to the harder levels. Navigation is simple, with all possible moves displayed on screen at all times but without feeling too cluttered. New players can work through a primer to learn the rules and start at tables that are a little easier for practice before moving on the harder competitors.

Four Kings Casino and Slots

Four Kings Casino and Slots from Digital Leisure Inc. is an immersive casino simulation based on the social MMO format of gameplay. Players begin by creating their own personalized avatar who will then represent them throughout, with further options for customization added as more points are gained, such as being able to buy new clothing or accessories. There are multiple facets to the game, just like a real casino – solo players can spend time gambling on the slots, while groups of players can get together for a few hands of poker or blackjack, or take a spin on the roulette wheel. The game works in three-month seasons, with exclusive rewards for the highest ranked players at the end of each season.

Casino Nights

Casino Nights from GZ Storm has been around for a while, having launched in 2010, but is still one of the most popular casino games. This is due in part to the impressive portfolio of games available for players to choose from, with a realistic atmosphere reminiscent of some of the best and most immersive online casinos. Casino Nights awards a series of trophies to players as they advance through the games, with a random number generator ensuring all results are fair and payouts are in line with real casino percentages. All the most popular online casino games are featured, divided into six gaming categories in straightforward 2D view. Sadly for fans of Casino Nights it is no longer available for Xbox.

Late in 2020 the all-new Xbox Series X was released, representing the next level in console game playing. Xbox game designers are led by consumer trends and anticipate shifts in demand. With the increasing numbers of people choosing to play online casino games, it is entirely possible that Xbox players could see some real-money multiplayer casino games becoming available in the not too distant future.