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Blackjack History

We all know that Blackjack is one of the most well-known card games around the Globe and its rules are very popular. If we take a look at some old movies or scenes, the game of Blackjack shows its importance and fame as people are sitting at a round table and playing this type of card game. Although it may seem a very easy game, it is a complex one and what’s more important is the fact that it requires specific skills.

But what about the real background of Blackjack? Where does it originate from?

The game of Blackjack appeared around 1700 in France and it has been played in different casinos known as “Vingt-et-un”, which means “Twenty-one”; even today it is called this way as well. This name derives from the particular object of the game, as whenever a player was dealt an Ace of Spades and Jack of Spades, he was the one who benefited of winning, consisting of a certain amount of money. The full development and progress of Blackjack cannot be totally discovered. As in the 17th century it was called “21”, when we compare it to today’s Blackjack we can notice that there are slight differences, which is obvious, that rules have been changed from that time. During the game of “Vingt-et-un” the only one who could ‘double’ was the dealer himself and each player had to place a bet after every single round. Then, what is the connection between Vingt-et-un and Blackjack? And where the name comes from? Well, ‘Blackjack’ is an English word and it comes from a specific payout in case the player was dealt a Jack and Ace of Spades while playing Vingt-et-un.

During this period of time, another game has been played in Italy known as ‘Seven and a Half’ which was consisting of getting a hand that resulted in a value of seven and a half. Whenever players exceeded seven and a half points, the specific word for this was ‘busting’. This word is used in the game of Blackjack also when the player’s hand is higher than 21, in this case they are ‘busted’ and this is why it is said that some features of Blackjack resemble to the game played in Italy. A significant period for Blackjack has been felt after the French Revolution, when this card game became popular in North America; and at that time unofficial gambling was not banned. Some professional gamblers put into practice the basic strategy of Blackjack so that they could increase the winning odds. With the passing of time, by the beginning of the 19th century, as this game became more popular, the US government has prohibited gambling for the reason that there was a strong possibility that it gave a ‘free way’ for organized crimes and society corruption.

Later on, in 1931 the state of Nevada has legalized the gambling activities and this gave birth to Las Vegas. After this, in 1953 a person named Roger Baldwin started analyzing and studying the game of Blackjack, and then in 1956 he published an article (“The optimum Strategy in Blackjack”) in the Journal of the American Statistical Association. This was the very first guide of blackjack strategy.

In addition, the next significant step for the progress of Blackjack was made by Professor Edward Thorp; in 1962 he wrote his book which was entitled “Beat the Dealer” – this included the . One year later, this writing has become very successful and the system was applied in casinos, so the blackjack rules were changed due to Thorp’s book. Besides these, gamblers have lost lots of their money, as ‘Beat the Dealer’ was quite hard for them to understand, so they started using the ‘old’ Blackjack rules. Another contribution to Blackjack was made by Ken Uston who has described several tricking methods which were used in casinos during this card game.

Even though many years back, gambling was banned (for instance in 1978 only in Nevada, Atlantic City and New Jersey were the states where it was legalized), now we have the opportunity to play Blackjack in land based casinos as much as in online casinos, whenever we want.

The history of Blackjack plays an important role as it has a great impact on gamblers because of its wonderful value.

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