Beginners learning the blackjack game rules for the first time often remark on the strange nature of the game; how exactly did casino blackjack evolve from a simple deck of cards? The history of blackjack is no doubt a long and twisted one. Just as many blackjack pros argue about the perfect way to play blackjack, blackjack historians argue about where blackjack began. Regardless of which theory you choose to believe, we hope that knowing a little more about the game will make playing blackjack that much more fun.
References to a card game similar to today's blackjack game first appeared in the 17th Century. This is a point that most historians agree on. Where they disagree is whether the game originated in France or Spain. The first French blackjack game was “Vingt-et-Un” or Twenty-One. The first Spanish blackjack game was called “Veintiuna” which also happens to mean Twenty-One. Similarities like these make it hard to distinguish which game was the first and which was the copycat.
In both countries fans of the game were playing blackjack in casinos, suggesting that it had already become more popular than whatever street game it was derived from. American gamblers didn't get a chance to play blackjack until French immigrants brought it across the Atlantic in the 18th Century. While casino blackjack is incredibly popular today, it was not an instant hit back then. To entice other casino players to the blackjack tables, many casinos had to get creative with their payouts. While few of these original changes endured, they nevertheless did their job at the time by inspiring Americans to play blackjack.
Casino blackjack has changed very little in the last 200 years. The invention of online casinos made blackjack available to the world and solidified the game's place on both live and virtual casino rosters.
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