Technology gets a bad rap sometimes. People go to great lengths to blame technology for everything from global warming to bad parenting. But in particular, technology gets the blame for consigning the games and leisure activities that were popular in the pre-digital age to obsolescence.
The truth is not quite so clear cut. Games have never had the longest shelf life. Pastimes that were popular in the late 1800s would have been out of fashion in the 1920s and nary a smartphone or games console in sight, so blaming tech for 20th century pursuits no longer being popular today seems a little rich. In fact, when you dig a little deeper, technology sometimes serves to revive games that would otherwise drift off into history.
Card games present a case in point. Almost all the card games that were popular 300 years ago have long been forgotten. The exception? Blackjack is based closely on the French game vingt et un, and is only as popular as it is today due to the online casino phenomenon. Blackjack is not the only example. Here are three other card games that were on the brink of extinction before being saved by technology.
When preparing the screenplay for Daniel Craig’s Bond debut Casino Royale in 2006, the decision was made to change the baccarat game that is central to the plot to Texas Holdem poker. This was purely down to poker being such a hot craze at the time. Baccarat was the game of choice when Casino Royale was written in the 1950s but was practically unknown 50 years later.
Over the past decade, however, there’s been a baccarat revival. Punto Banco, in particular, is a version that’s simple to play and has a low house edge, making it a great choice for punters who are looking to preserve a limited bankroll. $20 can be gone in five minutes on the slots, but with a good start, it could keep you in play at baccarat all afternoon.
Far from the card lounges of Monte Carlo, teen patti has been a traditional game played between different generations in households across India for years. Now, the online game teen patti is bringing it to a new global audience.
Conceptually, the game is not so different to 3-card poker, in as much as three cards are dealt to each player and hands rank in the same way as poker hands. Up to 10 people can play, and each must take it in turn to either raise the bet or throw in their cards. There is also the option to play blind – do so and you can stay in the game without having to increase your bet.
Invented by Cavalier poet Sir John Suckling, cribbage used to be played in practically every country pub in England. These days, the crib board and cards are a rare sight, but the game is still played by a select few in the remote Essex countryside who still know how.
Here’s a game that would surely have been destined for the history books were it not for the people at 1×2 Gaming, who have developed a simplified version that is becoming something of a cult hit in online casinos.