A Brief History of Blackjack Card Game

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A Brief History

A theory states that Blackjack is a Roman invention. They were used to play this game with wooden blocks containing different numbers. This theory is not confirmed, but the interest of Romans in gambling backed this history.

There is another concept that Blackjack was originated in 1700 in the French casinos. Vingt-et-UN (means 21) was a term used for the French cards. At that time, these cards were derived from French Ferme and Chemin de Fer.

This game was played at the Royal Courts of France during the era of King Louis XV. Nowadays, you can trust situs poker online or other platforms to play online casino games.

Digging Deeper

18th Century and Card Game

Some card games determine the Vingt-et-Un development is the Blackjack forerunner. An Italian game is Sette e Mezzo that needs a deck containing 40 cards. Points for the face Ace cards are seven. Other cards carry standard value.

Old card games are originated in the 15th & 16th centuries. These games have influenced the card games of the 21st century. Each century noticed some variations in card games. The dealers are free to make their own decisions.

Games of 19th Century

The game became famous in America. In 1820, gambling halls were legalized in New Orleans. This era was notable for the tale of Eleanor Dumont. She was French by birth but immigrated to America. As a skilled dealer, she used to travel around and opened a hall for gambling in California.

Current Era of Gambling and Casino

For the casinos, the 20th century is a famous period. In Nevada, the name of Blackjack was 21. During this period, 21 were replaced entirely by Blackjack. After the authorization of gambling, new rules were introduced.

The initial counters for the Blackjack appeared in 1950. Four famous players McDermott, Maisel, Cantey and Baldwin wrote a book (Play Blackjack to Win) in 1957. This book has essential strategies to play a game. It failed to get sufficient attention by Casinos. In 1962, a book was in the market (Beat the Dealer) by Edward O. Thorp.

This book is famous even in the current era. Edward O. Throp (a mathematician) had devised a 10-count system. The system started with two numbers along with 16 and 36. It was related to 10’s in a deck.

At the start of the game, the author recommends to count backwards and divide a remaining number with the 10. This calculation is known as the “Thorp Ratio”. For this system, you have to play a game with a single deck.

You will need numerous decks to play the blackjack game. For this reason, this game can be really complicated. The Harvey Dubner, a computer scientist, introduced a high-low method of counting cards by 1963.

This system was introduced in the second edition of “Beat the Dealer” in 1966. Blackjack players can quickly use essential strategies with the help of computers. Moreover, blackjack dealers can use the basic strategy and offer the best advice to players to deal with stressful situations.

Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever played Blackjack?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Hargrave, Catherine Perry.  A History of Playing Cards and a Bibliography of Cards and Gaming.  Dover Publications, 2012.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by BuickCenturyDriver of a Blackjack hand, Ace of clubs and 10 of diamonds, has been released by the copyright holder of this work into the public domain worldwide.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland