The Evolution of Gambling Games: Retro Play for a Digital Era

There is no doubt that gambling games have always been a popular way for people to have fun – and also try to win some money, of course. Over the years though, this has seen a real evolution in how we play gambling games. Gambling first got organised when land-based casinos began to crop up across Europe after the very first was built in Venice during 1683.

This real-life way of gambling on classic games such as poker or blackjack remained unchanged for many years until retro video games and then online casinos moved the goalposts. Early retro video games such as Monte Carlo Casino for the Commodore 64 may not have seen you play for real money, but they were a fun way to enjoy your favourite game nonetheless.


The internet sparks a new way to play casino games

Following on from these retro gambling video games to play purely for fun, the invention of the internet saw a massive change again. Online technology and the secure e-payments that it facilitated made playing real gambling games for real money entirely possible from the comfort of your own home.

This led to the rise of online casino sites where you could sign up and play a variety of gambling games over the internet. Where are gambling games now? For many, the latest and most exciting development has been mobile gaming. This is a niche projected to be worth over $70bn alone by 2024 and is a way that many people love to play gambling games now. The convenience that it offers and the ease that it delivers for playing games in short bursts are behind its popularity.


Can you still have retro gambling fun on modern smartphones?

Of course, the big question for all lovers of retro gaming is: can you still get some old-school fun and nostalgia from playing gambling games on your mobile device? Luckily, the answer is a resounding “yes”. What retro gambling games are available on your smartphone now? Luckily, with pretty much all online casinos offering a mobile-friendly version of their site, there are many from which to choose.



If you want to go really old school with your gambling games, then slots are hard to beat. Granted, online slots have slowly taken over from their competitors – convenience truly is king, after all – but slot games have been around for a long time, since first being invented by Charles Fey, and the one-armed bandit is a cornerstone of any casino. If you love seeing the reels spin and waiting to find out if you have matched up any symbols, then this is the choice for you. Whether you go for modern slot titles such as those from top developers including Quickspin or prefer those that mimic real-life fruit machines from back in the day such as Jackpot 6000, this is one type of retro gambling game that is going nowhere.



Developed sometime during the 19th century in the US, gambling games do not get more retro than poker. Poker lives through variation – Texas hold’em is often considered the definitive way to play now, but held almost no interest until the 1970’s. This variation lent itself fantastically to a wealth of old school games, which could re-use the sprites for several different iterations to optimise the small storage space available to developers. Poker Plus on the Atari 2600 bragged about its inclusion of four games.



Another retro table game classic seen throughout the history of gambling is blackjack. This was first invented around the early 1600s in Europe before coming over to America where it became the game that we know today. The best thing is that it is simple to understand and is also one of the classic games that offer the best chance of winning at – if you play it right! The SNES had one of the classics of the retro gambling world in Vegas Stakes, which still manages to surpass some modern gambling games by daring to make an attempt at a story campaign. Get $1000, and make it $1,000,000! Simple? Absolutely, but effective at getting you invested nonetheless.


Retro is still a big trend in gaming

Whether you like to play on your smartphone, your modern PC, or retro consoles, playing games with an old-school flavour is increasingly popular. This is true not only for gambling games as the above shows but also for standard video games. 2-D sidescroller classics such as Sonic the Hedgehog can be downloaded onto your mobile phone and re-releases of old consoles such as the SNES were real hits. It seems that despite all forms of gaming evolving over time, we all still like to look back a little.


Scroll to Top