Blackjack History: An Introduction
The best way of learning more about a present day event or article or sport is to start at the beginning, go back to its roots, and this holds good for the game of blackjack as well. Blackjack games are always interesting, and have been that way ever since the game first came into existence in the 17th century.
From those early days to today, when you can play blackjack online and also in land-based casinos, the game of blackjack has come a long way. In this article, we will take a brief look at the history of the game of blackjack.
Blackjack: The Early Days
Most people agree today that the game of Blackjack actually originated from a French game called Vingt-en-Un, which was popular in the casinos in France during the 17th century. Vingt-en-un translates to -21- in French, which is also another name the game of blackjack is known today as. It is also known as Pontoon.
There was another game popular at around the same time, i.e. the 17th century, in Italy. This game was called Seven and a Half, and involved the face cards and the 7s, 8s, and 9s of the card deck. Face cards were valued at half a point and the regular cards (7s, 8s, and 9s) were valued at one point. The wild card in the deck was the king of diamonds. A player was -busted- when he reached seven and a half points. This is where the term -bust- that you use in blackjack came from. Incidentally, the player who reached seven and a half points first won the game.
Blackjack Comes to North America
The game of blackjack made the jump across the oceans and towards North America some time after the French Revolution. The game slowly gained in popularity in North America. One important factor contributing to the growing popularity of blackjack in North America at that time was the lack of prohibitory rules against card games.
Once people, mostly the gambling professionals, realized the enormous possibilities that blackjack brought, and the money that could be made by winning, they started formulating strategies to ensure they won more than they lost. This is when the concept of using strategy to win in blackjack officially kicked off.
Towards the beginning of the 19th century, the attitude of the U.S. government towards gambling underwent a radical change. Identifying it as a corrupt influence and the breeding ground for violent crime, the government of the United States banned gambling. This was another cornerstone in the checkered and colorful history of blackjack.
With laws prohibiting gambling in place and Federal Marshals trying to ensure there was no gambling, the game of blackjack went underground. Once it went underground, the popularity of blackjack soared even further. Finally, the government yielded and the state of Nevada gave official recognition to gambling legally, and the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, was born.
The History of Blackjack: The Modern Days
Once gambling was legalized, casinos sprung up in Las Vegas, and you could now freely walk into a casino and play blackjack there. The popularity of the game continued to rise, though it was not a very rapid rise. That soon changed, once the Internet came about in the 1990s.
With the advent of the Internet, the gambling establishment went online, and the popularity of most of the gambling games soared sky-high, including blackjack. Now you could play blackjack online. Online blackjack was even more fun than playing at a land-based casino, because of the bonuses and the perks and other benefits that came from playing blackjack online.