The history of Blackjack runs deep. The game has been played for centuries now, albeit under different names. Now you can play Blackjack Classic online as well as in casinos. It is straightforward to learn how to play Blackjack online in case you are new to online gambling.
However, if you ever wonder how the popular game of Blackjack came into being, the answers remain debatable to this day. The most widely accepted theory is that Blackjack originated in France in the 18th century. However, some believe that the game’s roots run deep into the 15th century.
So, if you want more insights into the theories of Blackjack’s origins, you have come to the right place. We dug deep through the pages of history and found the most interesting insights to offer you.
The Curious Case of Blackjack’s Early Origins
Before the 19th Century
Blackjack’s origin remains hotly debated to date. However, amongst the debated theories, the most popular and widely accepted theory suggests that the game traces back its roots to the 18th century France.
A famous game, called Vingt-et-un, was played in the courts of King Louis XV. The french vingt-et-un means 21 and evolved to become what is now known as the game of Blackjack.
According to famous historical research on Blackjack, the Italian game of Sette e Mezzo, the french game of Quize, and the most famously, the Spanish game of Trente-un inspired the birth of Vingt-et-un.
Sette e Mezzo, meaning seven-and-a-half, dates back to 16th century Italy. The name Seven-and-a-half gets its derivation from the rules that state that an ace can have up to seven points while face cards fetch half a point.
The old Spanish card game, Trente-un, dates back to the 15th century. It requires you to collect points that range close to 31. The face cards have varying points. The Jacks fetch 11 points, while the King and the Queen cards fetch 12 and 13 points, respectively.
Much like the game of twenty-one, and the modern-day version, these card games require you to keep drawing cards until you reach a specific closing value. Thus, it is very likely that these older games probably inspired the game of twenty-one in the courts of Louis XV.
By the 18th century, the game of twenty-one had reached America along with the French colonizers. However, the rules of 21 went through several stages to become what we now know as the modern-day Blackjack.
Why Is It Called Blackjack?
The game of Vingt-et-un reached North America as early as the third decade of the 19th century, and people could play it at legalized gambling halls in New Orleans. The game quickly became popular because it involved players in exhibiting their wit and intelligence, instead of just sheer dumb luck.
The transition into the 20th century brought along the age of casinos, and they started to pop-up in Nevada. However, Americans found the game to be boring and not rewarding enough in terms of payouts.
The Nevada Casino, intending to popularize the game, decided to offer a lucrative payout. Every player who was successful in making a 21-point hand, that had an ace of spades and a black-jack, received a 10-to-1 payout.
This 10-to-1 payout was so attractive that the game finally became popular in casinos. However, in the process, the name of the game of 21 changed to black-jack, after the black-jacks card game. The attractive payout involving Blackjack and ace of spades is not on offer anymore, but the name blackjack stuck. However, it is not called blackjack everywhere.
What Is Blackjack Called in England?
It is called Pontoon in England. Since the first world war, vingt-et-un is popular as Pontoon in England. It is similar to Blackjack; however, it does not have any structured rules. It varies from region to region and does not have specific rules. Players aim to come close to a total value of 21 before the dealer does.
Is It Called Blackjack or 21?
The game of 21 is a predecessor of Blackjack, but it has evolved in its way. The main aim of 21 is to hit the sum 21 or the closest number below it.
However, the main objective of Blackjack is to bust the dealer. So, Pontoon and Blackjack are derivations of 21, but they all differ slightly in rules, with Blackjack taking the crown for popularity.
However, to become the game that is so famous today, Blackjack went through many more evolutions. Let’s continue or journey through the history of Blackjack.
Blackjack as We Know It Today
Americans might have messed up the name of Blackjack, but they revolutionized the blackjack card game. Blackjack rules, as we know them today, are courtesy of Americans.
In none of its predecessors could you see the dealer’s upcard before throwing in your decisions. However, this became a common practice in America. Moreover, they made a law that dealers had to follow a pattern of hit or stand where they must hit on a 16 and stand on a 17.
The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC), during the 1930s, established the rules of Blackjack that we follow now.
Beating the Game Through Card Counting
Players tried to beat the game through card counting after the establishment of rules by the Nevada Gaming Commission.
The fame of Blackjack brought with it numerous players to Las Vegas who strategized and came up with systems with ways that would beat the game. Around 1950, the first card counters emerged. A famous player, Jess Marcum, was so notorious for his card counting skills that many casinos banned him.
Sadly, for the casinos, card counting did not end—the knowledge about the Blackjack games being beatable spread as fast as fire. In1957, four players, Baldwin, Cantey, McDermott, and Maisel, wrote a book titled “Playing BlackJack to win.” popularising basic counting strategies.
The book had fundamental strategies that taught readers how to keep track of cards. The casinos did not think much of it and did not pay heed. However, people were hell-bent on beating Blackjack-the card game.
In 1962, Edward O. Thorp, a mathematician, released his book, “Beat the Dealer.” Using computers, that themselves were in early stages, Thorp came up with several card tracking strategies that would let the player gain a clear advantage over the dealer. Soon after getting published, his findings got attention from casino goers and casino owners. Casinos in Las Vegas started to increase security against card counters.
And then in 1966, Thorp struck again. This time with the second edition of “Beat the Dealer.” He did not want casino owners to catch a break.
The game remains beatable even today. If you enter a Las Vegas casino right now, a player will be playing the game of Blackjack and trying to beat the dealer. However, the systems are now more complicated. Only very advanced and experienced players know how to beat the dealer. Moreover, in online casinos, like vegascrestcasino.ag, there is no possibility of card counting. This is the reason why experienced players prefer playing Blackjack at land casinos.
Which Hand Is Considered the Worst in Blackjack?
There are a few scenarios where even card counting cannot help you. Every starting hand has a value associated with it.
A player’s total of 16 is considered to be the worst hand in Blackjack. Suppose the dealer has ten up cards, the total yields a negative expectation of 0.5398. This means that a player can lose $53.98 for every $100 that he bets.
Blackjack Post Tech
Despite all the hurdles like card counting, etc., Blackjack remains one of the most popular card games in the world even today. The game continues evolving, and game-makers continue to bring out newer versions. If you get tired of playing Blackjack, you can play blackjack party or learn how to play Blackjack 5 boxes.
Online blackjack games give players the comfort of playing from their own homes and at their convenience. However, many missed the hype of playing in land casinos. This led to the breakthrough of live blackjack games, where even interacting with the dealer is a possibility.
In addition to this, Blackjack is now available not only online but on mobile apps as well for added convenience.
Play Blackjack Now
Blackjack has a colorful history, and while we might never find out its true origins.
You can play Blackjack for real money in online casinos, or you can indulge in other online slots to play if card games aren’t your thing. In addition to this, if you do not like to play with cash, some online casinos give you the option of Bitcoin tables.
Regardless of whatever games you choose to play, we can confidently say that Blackjack is here to stay!