The games played in Greece were surely wagered on by the onlookers to the athletic events.So with the games held in Greece this year, the venue has come full circle. This is where this event originated and like now there are favorites for different events and also matters of opinion that could be wagered on.
Greek mythology is filled with gambling scenes among the Gods. Their love of chance was obvious in their literature and their plays. The Greek legislature is like the American right and opposes gambling on public morality basis.
The public however liked gaming and chance and even formed clubs to have a go at dicing. Like today there were people who became addicted to gambling and could not stop until they ruined there lives. But like today the biggest part of the population was interested in gaming for fun and were not out of control. They played dice, bet on cock fights and sporting events.
They may have invented casinos for their pastimes. The ancient Greeks use houses with beautiful lights and other inducements for people to visit and gamble. Sounds just like modern Vegas to me. So again there is nothing new under the sun.
Palamed was the inventor of dice, a game that has attracted players or hundreds of years. He was one of the smartest heroes of that time and an inventor of many useful things like weight of coins, distance measuring and the uncovering of Ulysses false insanity. His idea of army control was all about a 3-level hierarchy. The first pair of dice was sacrificed to the altar of Tycho.
There were two types of dice in ancient Greece. One set was like the modern dice you see in any casino in the world. These were called Casks and three then two of these casks were used in a gambling game. The other dice were called astragales' and had four facets marked one, three, four and six. Four of these were used in gambling games. The Greeks used a cup to "hit" the dice and the most popular of all of the dice games was who could hit the highest score on a hit. The various scores that could be hit were named after famous people.
The lowest score was known as dog and the highest score was named after Aphrodite. The dice games were played in special establishments, prototypes of the modern casino, that had all of the equipment for the games.
I wonder if the players of that era were yelling come on 24 instead of seven and little joe from Coco mo was called four fours. It excites the imagination to think of the pantheon of famous Greek warriors sitting around a table and gambling their warrior's fortunes on a hit of dice.