Origins of Blackjack


Blackjack is one of the most popular card games in the world, it is widely played at casinos and other gambling establishments including The game can be played with a simple deck of cards, as long as the deck contains all 52 cards. Blackjack is also known as twenty one and in some European countries it is known as vingt-et-un.

For generations, players have tried their hand at Blackjack. It has proven to be a very enjoyable game for players even when they lose. A big advantage that Blackjack has over other casino games is that it is not all based on luck, even memorising basic strategies can improve your chances of winning. Blackjack is a game that seems like it has been around forever. The truth may be stranger than fiction.

Unconfirmed Early Origins 

The early days of Blackjack are unclear, there is persistent speculation that the game originated in Roman times. Allegedly the Romans enjoyed gambling and created a variation of Blackjack which was played with wooden blocks with numbers written on instead of playing cards. Another theory which is much more likely is that Blackjack originated in Spain. The earliest reference to Blackjack came from author Miguel de Cervantes, who was also a gambler in his spare time, the short story was called ‘Rinconete y Cortadillo’ and featured the main characters playing a game which is remarkably similar to Blackjack. The short story was written in the early Seventeenth century. The earliest record of the game being played came just over a hundred years later in the Eighteenth Century!

21 (Vingt-Un) 

The game was first introduced to France around the mid Eighteenth century, with the year 1768 being the most likely candidate. Now known as Vingt-Un, the game quickly expanded across the globe. England was documented playing the game as early as the 1770s. Despite this, the first collection of rules were first recorded in England during the early 1800s! The game eventually made its way across the pond to America, where it found a brand new audience and experienced even more success. The timing varies, with some saying it came to the United States during the mid 1800s as the game could be found in New Orleans while other historians argue that the game went to the United States much later, during the first World War! No matter when it made its way to the US, Vingt-Un was soon about to change into the game we all know and love today! 

Modern Day Blackjack 

Known as 21 for a long time, eventually casinos and gambling heads decided to change the name of the game to Blackjack. Not only did this help them to promote the game better but it also gave them the chance to add bonuses that played on the game’s name, such as when the player receives a black jack alongside the ace of spades. 

In Summary 

Blackjack has come a long way, its earliest days still remain unclear and there is certainly a lot of mystery surrounding the changes made to the game in the past, learn more here. Whether Blackjack first originated in Spain or Rome, it is clear that the game had an enduring popularity still felt today.

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