Step right up and try your luck with the classic card game of Blackjack, also known as 21. With a history dating back to 17th-century French casinos, this game has stood the test of time and has now become accessible from the comfort of your own home. Don't miss out this blog post as we delve into its history!
What Is Blackjack?
Casinos around the world widely recognize Blackjack as one of the most popular card games. The game's objective is to get a card value of 21 or as close as possible without exceeding it, compared to the dealer.
Aces have a value of either 1 or 11, face cards have a value of 10, while the rest have their index value. If a player gets two cards of the same rank, they can split them, creating two separate hands.
Usually, if you have two cards that add up to 11, you can double down your bet and receive another face-down card. Some games reward players with extra rewards if they get five cards without going over 21.
Who Invented Blackjack?
There is much debate over who invented Blackjack, as the game has evolved over centuries from various card games.
However, it is widely believed that the modern version of the game originated in French casinos in the 1700s under the name "Vingt-et-Un," which means 21 in French.
From there, the table game spread throughout Europe and eventually made its way to the United States, where it became known as Blackjack.
Journey Through the History
Discover the origins of Blackjack and its history through the ages with Wild.io:
Dutch painter Jan Lievens created a painting called "The Arguing Card Players and Death" during the Thirty Years' War. The artwork showcases French playing cards used in earlier versions of Blackjack and features two players in a heated argument while standing in front of the Grim Reaper.
During the 18th century, the French royal court was fond of Vingt-et-un, also known as 21, which eventually became popular throughout Europe. Some believe that the game may have been influenced by earlier games such as Trente-un from Spain, Sette de Mezzo from Italy, and Quinze from France. These traditional card games aimed to reach a specific number of points without exceeding it.
The game of 21, also known as Vingt-et-un, gained popularity in New Orleans as the first casinos opened. You only needed a deck of cards to play, making it easier than roulette.
Eleanor Dumont, a talented French dealer and player, made her way to Nevada City, where she quickly gained fame as a female croupier in Blackjack. However, she later grew a beard and earned the nickname Madame Mustache. Unfortunately, she was eventually swindled out of her possessions and left by her lover. Sadly, she passed away in 1879 due to a morphine overdose.
Las Vegas casinos gave a payout of 10:1 to players who scored 21 with an ace of spades and a Blackjack, eventually leading to the game being known as Black Jack. However, the bonus payout was discontinued when the Nevada Gaming Commission established standardized rules.
The book "Playing Blackjack to Win" by Herbert Maisel, Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, and James McDermott is considered the birth of card counting. Edward O. Thorp popularized the 10-counting system. This led to casinos increasing the number of decks used to two, four, and eventually eight.
Al Francesco, a skilled Blackjack player, made $5,000 by participating in counting teams with his brother. However, his methods were exposed in Ken Uston's book, resulting in Francesco and other card counters being banned from numerous casinos. Despite this setback, Francesco earned the nickname "The Godfather of Blackjack" and served as an inspiration for the MIT Blackjack team.
During the early 2000s, there was a surge in attention towards Blackjack strategy, specifically card counting. The release of books such as "Bringing Down the House" by Ben Mezrich and its subsequent film adaptation "21" captured the public's interest in the MIT Blackjack Team's card-counting methods. As a result, many individuals were motivated to learn and test their abilities in card counting.
With the increasing technological advancements of smartphones such as iPhones and Android devices, the availability of mobile Blackjack apps and online casino websites has become more advanced and easily accessible. These options have greatly improved the casino experience by providing realistic card animations and a more comprehensive range of Blackjack variations.
Evolution of Blackjack
Blackjack has evolved significantly in modern times, gaining more followers interested in finding the logic behind this simple game. Mathematicians, such as Roger Baldwin, have designed intelligent gaming systems that optimize the chances of winning at Blackjack. These strategies have been developed over time and have marked the types of bets in Blackjack.
Despite its analytical nature, Blackjack maintains a simple style that attracts diverse players. It is now one of the most popular card games worldwide. The evolution of Blackjack in modern times is truly remarkable and worth exploring further.
Early Evolution in The United States
"Vingt-Un" spread across Western Europe in the 18th century and was called by its French name in Britain and other countries.
The game came to the United States in the 19th century, where it quickly became popular in saloons and legalized gambling houses under the name "Blackjack." The reasons for the name change are unclear.
Online & Live Casino Blackjack
Online Blackjack has become a popular way for people to play the game. While RNG-based versions failed to catch on, live casino Blackjack has become prominent by combining live streaming technology and real people dealing with real cards.
New game variants have also succeeded, including tables where players share a single hand and exotic versions like Lightning Blackjack.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Where Did Blackjack Come From?
The origins of Blackjack can be traced back to the early French gamblers. The game compares cards where each player competes against the dealer. Blackjack’s immediate precursor was the English version of 21 called vingt-un, a game of unknown (but likely Spanish) provenance.
2. What Is Blackjack?
Blackjack, also called 21 and pontoon, is a gambling card game popular in casinos worldwide.
3. Why Is Blackjack Called Pontoon?
Since World War I, the informal game has been called pontoon in Britain. Its origin is disputed, but it is certainly related to several French and Italian gambling games.
To sum it up
As mentioned before, the Blackjack game has a long and varied history, with rules and variants that were different depending on where you played. However, in the mid-20th century, Las Vegas emerged as the world capital of gambling and helped to standardize the game.
The Nevada Gaming Commission formed and outlined the first official Blackjack rules, now commonly referred to as 'Vegas-style.' Today, Blackjack is enjoyed all over the world. It is considered a serious and legitimate game.
Wild.io understands the importance of offering a variety of Blackjack versions for fans to enjoy at our popular crypto online casino. Put on your gentleman hat and feel like a classical Blackjack player.
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