Origins of Blackjack

Origins of Blackjack

We all enjoy a great game of Blackjack, but how many of us actually know how it all started? Now there’s no need to wonder, find below a brief overview of where Blackjack originated – view at Slotzo after you read below.


What Is Blackjack?

Blackjack is a popular card game offered at land-based as well as online casinos. The game is played with five to seven other players, plus the dealer. However, instead of the players playing against each other, each player’s goal is actually to beat the dealer.
To win at Blackjack you need to draw a hand that values 21 before the dealer does or a hand higher than that of the dealer. If the dealer’s hand is bigger than yours or your hand totals more than 21, you lose.

Where Blackjack games Originated

While no one can be 100% sure where Blackjack originated, there are quite a few theories. Games similar to Blackjack has been played all over the world, and the most likely scenario is that they all influenced each other in one way or another, eventually leading to Blackjack as we know it.

As is obvious from the rules of the game, the number 21 plays quite a big role in Blackjack. This is the key to understanding where the game originated. The first mention of the game twenty-one occurred in the 1600s in a book by Miguel de Cervantes. The book mentions a game called Veintiuna, the Spanish word for twenty-one. According to the author the game was played without 10s, and Aces were versatile, meaning they could carry either the value 1 or 11.

A game similar to this was popular in France during the 1700s. The game was called Vingt-et-Un, which if directly translated from France meant twenty-one as well. In Spain another similar game was played. But instead of reaching 21, the goal of this game was to reach a total hand of 31 by using three or more cards. Some also believe that a game similar to Blackjack as we know it, was being played during the Roman Empire. Allegedly they used wooden blocks that had numbers on them.

Reaching the US

No matter where the game originally came from, it is a fact that the game eventually made its way to America in the early 1900s via French colonists. However, the rules were a little different from Blackjack as we know it. These included more betting rounds and the dealer’s privilege of being the only one who could double.

Blackjack As We Know It

It was only during the 20th century that this popular card game’s name was changed from 21 to Blackjack. The rules also changed shortly after.
It was roughly 1950 when the first Blackjack card counters appeared on the scene. About seven years later, 1957, a book titled Playing Blackjack to Win was published. This book essentially taught readers how to start counting cards. In 1962 yet another book on card counting was written. This one was titled Beat the Dealer. To this day card counting is heavily frowned upon by casinos.


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