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The Blackjack History

The original blackjack that gave the name to the game

The original Blackjack that gave the name to the game

The Beginning of the Blackjack History

The precursor of Blackjack as we know it today was "vingt-et-un" ('21' in French), played in French casinos in the 17th century. However, as it happens with most other gambling games, this information is unproved, and the precise historical origin of Blackjack still remains to be a question. Only speculation is left for those who want to know about factors, people and places in the Blackjack history that brought us this popular game. Some believe that Blackjack originated from similar card games played in France, although it is very debatable as the most crucial tactics all French card games involve lies in accurate, well-balanced and precise calculations, and also due to the fact that most casino games rarely end up mutating into another of their own accord.

Nonetheless, as some gaming scholars who investigated the Blackjack history believe, Blackjack belongs to the same family of games as Baccarat, Seven-And-A-Half and Vingt-et-Un (North America's '21' and Australia's Pontoon).

These names might ring a bell, but despite their differences, they do have common features. These games all claim to be or are credited to be the ancestors of today's Blackjack. Although the evolutionary track of blackjack history is still to be investigated.

New age of Blackjack History in the US

The Blackjack history goes further, bringing the game across the ocean. The United States first saw the Blackjack shortly after the French Revolution (1789), and it became rapidly popular after various bonuses were offered to gamblers (e.g. if a player's hand comprised a both Ace of spades and Jack of spades, he was granted a 10-to-1 payout, thus explaining the origin of the name of the game, even though the bonus payouts were soon abolished). Manipulating the odds and bets became the great source of gain for professional gamblers. Absence of governmental regulations facilitated and accelerated the evolution of this unique game up to the beginning of the nineteenth century, it was when the US government discovered the influence gambling industry had upon the level of corruption and organized crime which lead to future changes in the Blackjack history.

Unlike other US states, that claimed to be more conservative, and did not welcome the idea of introducing the casino gambling, Las Vegas, restored after the turmoil, became the cradle of the growing popularity of the Blackjack, attracting gamblers from all over the world, starting a new era of the Blackjack history, making Blackjack one of its most popular games.

Blackjack gets its modern look

The year 1919 in Blackjack history marks the production of the first special green-felted Blackjack table, and in 1931 Blackjack took the third place after Roulette and Craps as the most popular Nevada casino game. By 1948 it became second only after Craps. The first ratified Blackjack basic strategy appeared in 1958 and Blackjack stepped well on its way to become number one. Nowadays the game of Blackjack is played at practically all the casinos around the world, bringing enormous profits to the casino owners, and it makes us wonder, would the game have a different look if something went wrong in the course of Blackjack history?

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“Remember this: The house doesn't beat the player. It just gives him the opportunity to beat himself”

Nicholas (Nick the Greek) Dandalos