Blackjack: The Evolution of a Card Game


Blackjack is a game that has been played by anyone who is into playing cards or gambling. It has been played over centuries and like anything else – that stands the test of time – has evolved over the years. When you sit to play a game of blackjack, it’s origin is the last thing on your mind, but many people are often interested to know how the games they know now originated and came to be what they are today.

Blackjack has evolved and been adapted throughout the ages and has become a popular casino card game. The thrill of using your skill and winning money in this game is what attracts people – whether played in a land-based casino or an online casino. 

card game

The origins of blackjack have many theories as to when and how the game started. It is common to have many different origin theories surrounding anything. Everyone remembers differently, and the experiences of different places shape out the stories to suit their versions. One widely accepted theory though is that the game started in the 18th century in France. Yet similar games that influenced this card game can be traced back even further in history.

The game came to America with French colonists. The game was then known as Vingt-et-Un and was popular in the courts of Louis XV. It quickly spread throughout North America called as 21, and in 1820, the first legalized house-banked game was played in New Orleans. In 1931, gambling in Nevada was state legalized and that lead to the popularization of the game of 21.

The Evolution of the Game

When the game was said to be played in Louis XV’s court, there were some differences to the modern game, of course. Bets were placed on every card that was dealt, and only the dealer was allowed to down – the basic objective was to get as close to 21 as possible without busting.

The ace being counted in the modern version comes from games like the Italian Sette e Mezzo, the Spanish Trent-Un, and the French Quinze – in these games the aim was to reach a specific number like in 21 and ace was counted as either one or eleven.

When the Nevada state legalization happened, there was a special payout of 10 to 1 – it was for a hand containing the ace of spades and a black jack (i.e. spades or clubs). This gave the name ‘Blackjack’ to the game. The large payout was soon removed, but the name stayed. The standard rules that apply now were introduced around this time by the Nevada Gaming Commission.

As time progressed, online casinos started booming, and the game was offered online as well. This is one of the games, that doesn’t let people miss out on not being in a land-based casino even if being played online. You can play in real-time with real dealers, and that is one of the biggest attractions of online casinos, even for traditional players and blackjack doesn’t disappoint.

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