History of Blackjack

It is impossible to determine the exact origin of Blackjack. Blackjack is considered to originate from such games as the French ‘Chemin de Fer’, Italian ‘Seven-and-a-half’ and Spanish ‘One-and-thirty’. The aim of Seven-and-a-half was to get a hand with a total of the closest to 7.5 without going over it. The word that was used when someone exceeded the total was the same that we use in modern blackjack – “busted”.

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Nowadays most experts agree that the most probable forerunner of Blackjack is “Vingt-et-un”. The game was mostly played in France in the 18th century. The meaning of the name is “Twenty-one”. Vingt-et-Un had a bit different rules, nevertheless the basic aim of that game was to collect the biggest hand without going over 21 points, thus you can see it is the same as in Blackjack. The earlier version of the game differed a bit. The dealer dealt cards in rounds, which followed by betting and the person who could “double” was only the dealer. If the dealer had a “blackjack” he got a 3-to-1 payout.

When French colonists traveled to the North American continent at the beginning of 1800s they brought Vingt-et-Un with them, but the game didn’t appear in the casinos until almost the end of the 19 century. At first the game wasn’t welcomed on the continent and to attract players to the game casinos tried started to offer bonus payouts 10:1 for the combination that was made up of an Ace of spades with a black Jack (Jack of Spades or Clubs). It was the strongest hand in the game and it becomes clear where the name of Blackjack originated from. After the game had started to gain popularity, that bonus payout was eliminated. Nowadays a “blackjack” or a “natural” consists of an Ace and a card which is worth 10 and the payout for it is 3:2.

Though the exact origin of Blackjack is not clear, the one thing that is certain is its great popularity. Blackjack is played all over the globe, it is perhaps the most popular casino game all around. The combination of skills with luck and the fact that it is one of few games where the house advantage can be decreased by the player make the game extremely popular. Blackjack has conquered the World Wide Web. And in connection with the fact that the interest to online casinos continues to grow, Blackjack keeps conquering new places and love of more people.