History of Blackjack

The History of the Game—European Roots of Blackjack

blackjack-cardsIt is said that blackjack was introduced in Europe somewhere around the 17th-century. It seems that the origin of blackjack comes from the French “vingt-et-un” games, where the meaning of the word “vingt-et-un” is “twenty-one”. This game was played by the French men by sitting in the saloon of Lords. “Veintiuna” is the Spanish word for “twenty-one”, and nowadays there is the Spanish 21 game. Great Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes wrote a great story about blackjack where he created two characters. Sancho Panza and Don Quixote are being remembered by their skill on blackjack. They are also remembered for their battles and their great blackjack cheat. Furthermore, there is an Italian game “Sette e mezzo” (played by the nobility) that means “Seven and a half” and it is similar to blackjack. However, in all cases, a losing hand leads to losing the game.

Blackjack History—Las Vegas

It seems that modern casino games that are mostly played in American casinos were brought by the immigrants. It also appears that blackjack is one of them. It is said that blackjack was introduced in 1931 and slowly became a major blast in modern casinos, like those in Nevada. The rules are fascinating and easy to learn. Not to mention that if you are lucky and you get your hands on  the Jack of spades and an Ace, you are most likely to win the next 10 hands.

Card counting and strategy charts

In the middle of 1962, the mathematician Edward O. Thorp developed a formula and used it to analyze the blackjack hand distribution. The basic blackjack strategies were formed based on it and lead to one of the most remarkable changes in blackjack history. Using Thorp’s theorem, it is now possible to stand, split pairs, hit and double down.

Cheat scheme

Some students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created “MIT Blackjack Teams” and applied Thorp’s teachings during the 1980s and 1990s. They made a remarkable change in blackjack history. They worked on strategies, card counting, charts, and rules that can be applied to casinos all over the world. They also published a book called“Breaking Vegas. “21” was also developed by them and became the mega-hit movie at that time. In brief words, they made a significant change in blackjack strategies and casino policies.

1990 is the year of online casino and the development of software technology. They brought a revolutionary change in the casino world. Starting from then, anyone can play blackjack via the internet with no time restriction. The most popular games played nowadays are Pontoon blackjack, blackjack switch, and Vegas strip, alongside with the original version of blackjack.