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Aristotle and Nixon: how gambling influenced the destinies of great men — interesting stories

Gambling is more than just entertainment. The gambling world has had a major impact on the history of many countries, being a powerful catalyst for development or, conversely, a cause of failure on a global scale.

History is replete with cases in which the powerful have become avid gamblers. The craving for entertainment has always been intrinsic to man, and has played an important role in the formation of civilisation. Despite the stereotype that gambling is a waste of time, they spent a lot of time at the gaming tables, and did not consider it a disadvantage.

BestAuCasinosOnline talks about the role of gambling in the fortunes of prominent historical figures. History is replete with examples where the powerful have taken an interest in games and have seen nothing wrong with it.

Aristotle and the game of dice

Plato’s pupil and educator of Alexander the Great, Aristotle, spent his entire life trying to study human existence in its various manifestations. His famous writings influenced the formation of politics, religion and science, and certain concepts have been taken as the basis for ideas about the modern world and are still regarded as true, not even refuted.

Dice is a popular gambling pastime in the time of the great thinker. Aristotle constantly observed the eagerness with which people in those days attempted to guess and also achieve winning combinations, and wanted to understand it scientifically. For supporters of dice games, his findings were depressing because the philosopher was able to prove that the chances of the same combination often falling out are minimal.

Referring to his own notes, the ancient Greek scholar created a “theory of probability” and applied the basis of dice to a view of the universe in which chance plays a major role. What’s more, in one of his notes, Aristotle described some topical tips on how to play dice and increase your chances of winning. Today, millions of gamblers use his recommendations.

Blaise Pascal and the game of roulette

In the mid-17th century a physicist mathematician originally from France, Blaise Pascal, developed an interest in probability theory. Pascal was encouraged to solve difficult problems in mathematics by Damier Mitton, an avid gambler. At first, the French scientist, like his predecessor Aristotle, turned his attention to dice.

The unorthodox approach to the problem of winning probabilities soon caught the interest of other prominent mathematicians as well. For example, Christian Huygens, a scholar from Holland, was impressed by Pascal’s work and even wrote a treatise on “Calculus in Gambling”.

Whereas Blaise himself went even further in his own assumptions and did not confine himself to dice. He began to study probability theory in greater depth on his own invention – a wooden wheel and a precisely defined numerical sequence.

This mechanism is considered to be the “parent” of the modern roulette wheel, which has won the hearts and souls of millions of people all over the world. After the death of the eminent physicist, roulette became the most popular gambling game in offline casinos in Europe.

Giacomo Casanova and the lottery

Casanova devised several lotteries, seeing the game as a tax on surplus money that would otherwise be spent in an even meaner way. But the most radical project, replacing numbers with syllables (“The Grammar Lottery”), was apparently inspired by the Kabbalah (as he understood it). In his opinion, the one thousand three hundred syllables he selected would cover most of the French vocabulary, and three thousand syllables would give the total of all the words of all the languages of the world.

Richard Nixon and the game of poker

Nixon was the 37th President of the United States and an avid poker player. Arguably the most powerful politician of the 20th century became interested in card games during World War II while serving in the Navy.

At the time, officers’ pay was as high as $150, and the future president spent most of his pay on poker, playing at the table with fellow officers. During his service Nixon managed to win decent money, which he invested in a campaign for self-nomination in the American Congress.

A successful career as an American politician provided Richard Nixon with the opportunity to assume the presidency and make his mark on world history as an individual. Even while serving as head of the US, he often resorted to skills learned in poker.When assessing his opponents, the politician equated political action as a bluff at the card table.

René Descartes

Gambling attracted the future scientist from his early youth. Who knows what would have happened had he decided to pursue this path further? It is known for a fact that the scientist was not shy about card games, and regular visits to Paris for this purpose, brought him a solid income, thanks to which he could afford to conduct scientific research. Remarkably, René Descartes preferred to play with visiting gamblers.

Relying on mathematical calculations and knowledge of psychology, he gained a huge advantage over ordinary gamblers, regularly robbing them blind. Later, the scholar’s experience prompted him to carry out his own research into gambling activities and games in particular.

The impact of gambling on history

To show the full extent of the impact, suffice it to mention that one of the greatest monuments of architecture, the Great Wall of China, was created with funds from the state lottery. Other prominent personalities who allowed cards and other forms of gambling are worth mentioning:

  • Claude Monet;
  • Charles the Second;
  • Jerome Cardan;
  • Michel de Montaigne;
  • John Montague.

Of course, these are not all of history’s prominent gambling personalities. You, just like the famous historical figures, can try your hand at gambling at high roller casinos. Luck is unpredictable. Who knows, you may be able to use it to change your life for the better in the near future.