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Blackjack from 1700 to the Modern Era

Published on December 13, 2018, 5:31 pm

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

Blackjack History

Blackjack is a game that is enjoyed by millions of players on a daily basis across the globe. Yet, researchers and historians are split on when exactly the game originated.

Most agree that it has simply grown and evolved over time into what we know it as in present day, but it all had to start somewhere, right?

According to The World of Playing Cards, French casinos in the 1700’s are accredited to have developed blackjack which was originally called Vinght-et-un, twenty-one to you and me.

The same publication also suggest that Spain might have had some influence in the progression of blackjack, utilising their own version except players had to obtain 31 as oppose to 21, using three cards instead of two.

Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, blackjack was played across a range of countries and even stretched as far as America, where French travellers and sailors introduced it. From there, the game has grown in popularity and continues to excite and stimulate players across the world, even today.  

20th century influence

After ‘21’ was legislated in the vast majority of western countries in the earlier part of the 20th century, the name ‘blackjack’ derived when the player made 21 with the ace of spades and either one of the black jacks, hence the name.

Casinos at the time offered a large pay out for those who obtained it and although the large winnings were eventually quashed, the name ‘blackjack’ certainly survived.

The Nevada Gaming Commission passed the full legislation in 1931, whereby a solid set of rules were put in place to maintain the high standards and enjoyable for players involved.

Nevada Gaming Statutes - Their Evolution and History
Nevada Gaming Statutes: Their Evolution and History (Robert D. Faissand Gregory R. Gemignani), UNLV University

The game itself is straight forward enough but the main guidelines that are applicable are that all cards have the value they represent, other than jacks, queens and kings which have a value of ten.

The ace is either 1 or eleven, depending on what the player opts for so an ace can be used in more ways than one. The dealer will distribute two cards to each player and then the user has the option to stick or twist (stick with what they’ve got or take a chance on another card, hoping that the total doesn’t exceed 21).

Online blackjack

After blackjack’s popularity continued to flourish throughout the 21st century, online versions became readily available so users can play from a variety of locations. Many will opt for a desktop computer but with the introduction of smartphones and tablets, the possibilities are endless.

There are many different versions of blackjack online, with many choosing to play the more standardised version but other tastes and requirements are met.

Online casinos also offer a variant of different prizes and features that make the game more appealing to the user. Something of which will always maintain blackjack’s high popularity across the globe.

For those who are engrossed in the online scene but still miss the reality of a real-life casino, live blackjack is another option that is proving a big hit with punters. Check out the latest blackjack games on Betfair, right here:


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