Luck of the Cards, Divine Intervention or just luck
Prehistoric man, with a decision to solve or a problem to resolve, sought to know the will of his gods by divining or skrying. The medicine man, the Magus, the shaman or the private diviner shuffled or tossed sticks, bones, cards, or dice and indulged in any behavior believed useful to presage the future, propitiate luck, or win supernatural advice. How many of us today indulge in our own small rituals of petitioning the gods or goddesses of divination and chance as we sit before our laptops while playing online blackjack?
Native Americans, like the men of "all" earlier civilizations, believed that their gods were the originators and sponsors of gambling games and made the games their very own. The twin elements of chance & divining were inextricably linked as when the Onondagas at various feasts or festivals, played a sort of dice to predict the next year's crop harvest, basically using the very same game on which they bet their possessions in gambling sessions during the rest of the year.
Stones were ground down into rough squares with rounded ends and were painted white on half of the faces, black on the opposite ones. Sound familiar to you? Gambling was often an incidental diversion during ceremonies. The tribal members divided themselves into teams and bet on the results of their play. This could be the scene for any gambling event at either a brick and mortar or online casino.
Challenged and challenger chose their champion gamblers who prepared for days ahead, shunned the company of their wives, fasting for 24 hours before the game and spending part of the preceding night with their support staff practicing shaking the dish that contained the dice. When they went to sleep that night they hoped for propitious dreams and in the morning any familiar objects they had dreamed about were collected and taken along to inspire good luck. And old men were regarded as the personification of good fortune.
It was not uncommon for a venerable patriarch to perch on the shoulders of a stalwart young man, sometimes the ace gamblers back himself on the way to the scene of the duel. This could be the scene from any poker, blackjack, craps, roulette or other casino tournament. The parallels are quite uncanny. The next time you login to your favorite online casino, take out a moment and remember what it is that makes these games we love so much so enduring over the thousands of years of recorded history.