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Casino Favorites by Country

Casinos are popular all over the world. Whether online or offline they allow us to relax and have fun. If we're visiting a brick-and-mortar casino we might even be able to fit in a bit of socializing too; they're an important hobby for many of us. Unsurprisingly, the way that countries and cultures think about casinos differs, and one of the most interesting ways that it differs is by the games we like the most. Here are some of the most popular casino games and the countries that most enjoy playing them.

Roulette differs between countries, the French version may in fact favor betters.

Poker, UAE

Whilst poker has a long history spanning almost the entire globe, online poker in Arabic countries is perhaps where it is the most popular. Unlike poker is particularly popular in the Gulf countries, that is the ones bordering the Persian Gulf. This came about through the proliferation of tourists to these areas, particularly the United Arab Emirates, during the last couple of decades. Before then, poker was not widely played at all, and sports betting held the vast majority of the online gaming sector.

Nowadays whilst land-based gaming is still disallowed in most of the Gulf countries, it is easy to play online. You won't find enormous poker tournaments in glamorous settings as we have in America, or Europe in the Gulf countries, but you can play safely online with no trouble as long as you are using a website that is based outside of the Arabic regions. This rule has allowed poker to become popular with those passing through the Gulf countries.

Blackjack, USA

Played in more than 140 countries across the world, Blackjack is a favorite for many of us. It is thought to have originated in Spain as mentions of a game called veintiuna (twenty-one) have been found as far back as the early 17th century. The other famous Spanish player is Don Quixote of course! His adventures often contained details of the game, perhaps even helping to bring blackjack to a wider audience.

Interestingly, blackjack was very quick to gain popularity in Europe, but took a little longer in America. Its European popularity was likely helped by its early presence, its favor with notable people including Don Quixote and Napoleon Bonaparte. Just like the influencers of nowadays, royalty had a huge impact on the interests of the general public. However, when the game hit America it took one special detail to pique our interest and it is where the game got its name from. Until now there had been no bonus for getting a black jack, that is a hand with an ace and one of the black jacks. This rule was invented and the house began giving out ten to one payouts on such a hand, sealing its popularity in America forever, and giving the game its name. Of course, the chances of getting such a hand, as anyone who understands blackjack strategy will know, are very slim, but that makes the payout even sweeter.

Roulette, France

Most of us have heard of Russian roulette, but that's an entirely different kettle of fish. French roulette is what we're interested in today. The main difference between French roulette and American roulette is in the numbers on the wheel. An American board has two zeros, whilst a French board has just one zero. For those who are good at statistics you'll know that therefore, the house edge is greater on an American board, 5.3%, compared with 2.7% on a French board. Also, the layout of the numbers varies between American and French, though statically this makes a far smaller difference to outcomes.

The way a zero is dealt with also differs from country to country. In the American version, a zero means that all bets are lost, regardless of where they were placed. In the French version, there are different outcomes that can play out. If you're playing the 'en prison' rule then as the name suggests your bet stays jailed, it doesn't move. If your bet wins the second time, then you're paid out as normal, if the zero is rolled again then you lose. If you play the 'la partage' rule then only a part of your bet is returned to you and you can use that same half to bet in the next spin of the wheel.