Over the years, the origins of blackjack have long been fascinating to researchers, and to this day the history of blackjack remains the subject of heated debate. Up until now, there has been no clear agreement, but many experts believe that blackjack was probably born in French casinos around the beginning of the 18th century. Back then, the game was called ‘21’ in French. You will soon find out why it is connected to the magic number 21.
The origins of blackjack
Most people think that blackjack originated from the French card games ‘Chemin de Fer’ and ‘French Ferme’, which both were at the peak of fashion at the time.
However, In Spain, another version of a similar card game was popular; it was called “One and Thirty”. The main rule of this version was to reach 31 points with a minimum of three cards.
There is also a theory that blackjack was a much more ancient invention, originating in Ancient Roma. It is believed by gaming industry historians that the Romans played a similar game with wooden dice of varying numerical values. This version has some weight because it is known historically that the Romans loved to gamble.
Among the different versions of the game, the French Twenty One continued to enjoy its popularity and reach around the globe. Thanks to the French colonists, blackjack gradually spread to North America, both Canada and what would later be known as the United States, and soon afterward it was played all over the continent. The rules then were somewhat different from those of the modern blackjack version. In this form of blackjack, only the croupier (dealer) was allowed to double up. In addition, there was a round of trading between each hand of playing cards.
Why blackjack is called blackjack
The game was still called ‘21’ by the ultimate number of points to be collected when it entered its next stage of development, gaining popularity in Nevada in 1931. It was the first US state that decided to make gambling legal with Las Vegas developing very fast back in the day. To attract more clients from all over the United States, some casinos offered a special bet in the game of 21.
Here it is: a 10-to-1 payout was made if a player was dealt an opening hand consisting of an ace of spades with a jack of clubs or jack of spades. As both clubs and spades were black suits, the name ‘Black Jack’ stuck. Then that bet was canceled but, over time, this is how this card game has become known universally.
Blackjack’s justified popularity in history
Blackjack is equally known as Twenty-One. This exciting game has very simple rules and fine opportunities for winning strategies. An experienced player who applies his or her mathematical skills, and knows how to count cards, has a good chance to win.
And even a casual participant who makes a good enough play has a better chance than the casino, that is, the house edge is smaller. Although blackjack’s popularity began during World War I, and its roots can be traced back to 1760s France, blackjack is the only card game that can be found in every casino.
As a popular table game, various blackjack versions have slightly different rules. In the classic casino version, the House is the dealer. In a land-based or online casino, the dealer stays on his or her feet and the players sit. The dealer is fully responsible for all aspects of the game, from shuffling and dealing cards to handling bets. In a house game, all players have the option of being the dealer one by one in an agreed order.