Blackjack – History Of The World’s Most Strategic Casino Game
Blackjack is a popular casino game. In fact, it is still one of the most popular in the world, although it was theoretically invented in the 17th century.
Even more incredible is that although there are currently several different versions of the game available at a casino online, the rules are still largely identical to those of their century-old ancestor.
Let us take a closer look at this betting phenomenon, see where it originated and understand how it still accounts for so much of online gambling today.
Unfortunately, there is no accurate information on how blackjack officially came into existence. This may seem unusual, but given the massive explosion in the popularity of the game casino in the early days and the lack of accurate recording, much accurate information on the subject has been lost.
Some have theorized that it was the ancient Romans who invented the game, given the love of gambling in the region. But this has never been confirmed...
It is well known that at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century, French casinos mentioned a new game that received a lot of attention, called Vingt-et-un, which is directly translated to 21. The main reason why this information is known is the widely celebrated book Don Quixote, written by Miguel de Cervantes. Vingt-et-un is mentioned repeatedly in the book and proves that it not only existed, but was popular enough to turn it into a novel!
But who knows where the casino game was conceived?
A smash hit from the 18th century
Predictably, the popularity of 21 soared during the 18th century.
It is well known that the famous military leader and French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte loved to play cards regularly, his preferred game being Vingt-et-un.
It is said that he would play not only to relax, but also to celebrate after a military victory. However, he would not allow his soldiers to play, because he felt that a casino game would only serve as a distraction.
In the early 1800s, 21 found its way to North America. French colonists brought the game with them as they traveled across the ocean, with New Orleans being a gambling epicenter. Unsurprisingly, 21 drew attention almost immediately, and it wasn't long before card enthusiasts could be seen in virtually every casino in the region.
An interesting story is that of Eleanor Dumont, an experienced card player dealer, who made her living after immigrating to America at 21. When Nevada finally legalized gambling in 1931, she opened her own hall, which quickly became one of the most popular venues.
The name of the hall was of course Vingt-et-un!
But it was not the name of the establishment that attracted so many customers. Eleanor Dumont was the main attraction, because a female dealer was very rare. It seems that the Americans were so taken with a female croupier that they travelled for miles just to play in her hall.
A name change
Until this point in the early 1900s the casino game was still known as 21.
But in an effort to attract new players, the arcades offered promotion. Additional payouts were offered when the player drew a Jack of Spades or Club, combined with an Ace of Spades.
It was this promotion that would shape history, and many players simply started calling Blackjack the official name.
Interestingly, the additional payout also stuck and became an official rule. Though, Blackjack now refers to any combination of a picture card and ace combination.
Taking Blackjack To The Internet
Many changes occurred in the gambling industry during the 19th century. But perhaps the biggest leap forward was the birth of online gambling.
Predictably, Blackjack was one of the first games to be transferred to the digital world. Although it was initially only the standard version of the casino game at first, many new variants began to appear.
There are now a huge number of versions that can only be played online, officially ushering in a new era. Some gambling sites even offer their own exclusive variants with additional side bets and special features.
Although, it should be noted, the basic rules of blackjack still apply and have remained almost completely unchanged since the 17th century.
A Live Dealer Blackjack Revolution
In recent years, online gaming has seen an increase in the popularity of live dealer games. These games involve a live video feed of a real dealer and are perhaps the most advanced digital evolution the casino world has ever seen, blending land and online gaming to create a truly authentic experience.
Once again, blackjack was one of the first games to be incorporated into this new format.
We wonder what Eleanor Dumont would make of that!