I have always gambled. At the start of WW2 all the men in my family "Joined Up". The women and children moved in with my Grandmother. a household that consisted of my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, a couple of aunts, a teenaged uncle and several assorted children. Our idea of fun was gambling nights. The stakes were high ! we played for matches, 4 a penny for the adults and 10 a penny for the children. We risked our pocket money ! But with no sweets or icecream what were we going to spend it on ??
The favoured game was Pontoon(blackjack). I could handle a pontoon bank before I started school. I learned of roulette at my Great grandmother's knee. From tales she told of her adventurer husband. He had run away to sea at 15 and spent more than 35 years in the China seas. Swopping Opium for tea. When he was "beached" by a falling spar. He found that his family disowned him and paid him a "remittance"(pension) to stay out of sight. He bought a cottage on the south coast and married a local girl 1/3rd of his age. Like many "remittance men" he used the casinos in France to enhance his pension. Using a system they made famous, known as the "Kitchen martingale".
I confirmed my interest with books on Monte Carlo from the library, and have been an addict since I was 8 !