Merchant houses are prototypes of the first Russian casinos

Merchant houses are prototypes of the first Russian casinos

Small institutions where it was possible to play cards or bones were open in the Russian Empire many centuries ago. In spite of deceptive similarity to real casinos, merchant houses differed greatly. Actually, there was no organization in those establishments and everyone could visit them to play few card games.

The things radically changed in the 19th century. Numerous clubs similar to modern casinos were officially opened in some Russian cities. Those institutions were intended for gamblings. And a very strict social class division was their main feature. Only a few tables were located in such casinos. Some tables worked only for nobleman, others for merchants and the rest for officers. Such a rule was extremely important and couldn’t be violated under any circumstances.

Several years later a decision to open separate clubs for each social class was taken. Right then «merchants clubs», «officers clubs» and «noblemen clubs» were being opened everywhere. Some people praised such a division while it seemed really strange for others. At the end of the 19th century it was possible to find both mixed and separate gambling houses in different cities.

 
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