History of Blackjack

Blackjack. One of the most popular casino games in the world. It involves you, a dealer and if there’s any, other players in a bid to see who can hit a card combo higher than others, either lower than 21 or equally 21 which claims you a Blackjack win. It is widely known as a game of comparison. So you can see that by knowing how to win in this game, it’s a really popular choice for any casino player. Anyone, even the most rookie of rookies, can have a shot at the game and snag the win.

History of Blackjack

History of Blackjack

But before you start hitting and standing your cards, you have to at least know the history of blackjack. It may not give you the advantage of counting cards or knowing the strategy of winning but at least knowing how and when it started will surely enlighten you as you go on your journey in the world of Blackjack.

Before blackjack was known in its current form, it had an original form which was known as twenty-one. Recorded back in the 1600s, this game was depicted in one of the books of Miguel de Cervantes, who is popularly known for writing the world-famous novel Don Quixote. In of Cervantes’ books, it shows the characters, who are described as master gamblers, using the game to cheat out people. The game being described resembles the aspects and rules of blackjack: getting the card total to hit on a 21 or lower but must always be higher than the opponent or if the opponent exceeds, the special value of a hand is an ace, etc.

Besides its Spanish references, there are also references from other countries. There is still a debate going on whether the origins of blackjack were from Spain or in other countries but for now, the historians are picking the pieces slowly. One of countries that blackjack may have originated from is France. Blackjack’s original name in France is Vingt en Un which when translated is “21”.

Vingt en Un was similar to the modern blackjack of today but it had a few exceptions. One was the doubling method. In modern blackjack, the dealer and the player/s can double but in Vingt en Un, only the dealer had the option to double. Another was the betting option. In modern blackjack, you only bet once and whatever it is, you’ll stick with it until you either make a win or a loss but in Vingt en Un, you have bet each and every round. But the rules remained the same: it’s all about hitting the 21 or hitting something that won’t exceed 21 but must always be higher than the opponent.

Another country that blackjack may have originated from is Italy. Okay, technically it didn’t originate from the game that is about to be mentioned but the rules and terms almost apply, especially the term “busted” (which means you exceed the 21) — the game in question is called Seven and a Half. In this game, you play with a set of 7s, 8s, 9s and face cards. The goal was to hit a  7 ½ card combo or something lower than that. If you were lucky to get King of Diamonds, you can use it to substitute any card of your desire so it was classified as a wild card. If a player exceed 7 ½, he was considered “busted”.

Still, at the time blackjack was only a European thing. Not much of it was known in the world even in the United States. So when blackjack did make its way to the USA, this is where blackjack changed. People who took interest in the game saw the potential of it and decided to take matters into their own hands.

As the game was gaining popularity, gambling houses took to their gambles and offered higher payouts to get people interested. Soon, this move got doubtful and skeptical people to try it out. People saw how fun and engaging blackjack was. It was to become one of them most popular casino games in the world.

Through this move of going to the USA, blackjack earned its modern name. Some have said that it was due to a payout that has now been withdrawn from the game. People would give ten to one payout if someone hit a “blackjack”, a hand of ace of spades or a black jack — it was either you had a jack of spades or a jack of clubs which would give you a 21. This hand would stick out long enough to give blackjack its name.

And so that is the brief history of blackjack. There are also areas in its history where people attempted to study its intricate nature such as an IBM employee and a scholar. While you may not be someone who’d spend his time trying to study blackjack in its entirety, it’s still an interesting game with an interesting history. No one will surely know where blackjack originally came from but one thing’s for sure: it’s one of the most popular casino games and it still is.