Gambling has been a part of the human experience ever since. Card games are among of the most popular form of gambling. History of any card games such as blackjack is still a sketchy history to say at least due to it was left behind by centuries. Full trace of the Blackjack game is likely debatable but certainly Blackjack has it’s own unique and interesting story behind it and tells that the rest are just history.

As early as 900AD playing cards were being used in Egypt, China and India as a form of social entertainment,mystical power, or currency which later turns as markers in games to simulate battle maneuvers. Black jack as hugely known card game said to reached American shore in 1800’s. It is one of the most famous card game known and most widely played banking casino in the world.

Gradually over time card games and playing card were brought and introduced into the Middle East, Europe and finally in North America. Dated from the 13th and 14th centuries playing cards were first mention in Europe which the first known and earliest examples were hand-painted paper. Then after wood-block cards during the 15th century were designed in Germany and exported in great numbers. Card playing increased in popularity due to the advances in printing.

So where did exactly this Blackjack originated?

Leading to the player being additionally rewarded the name BlackJack came around when a player got a Jack of Spades and an Ace of Spades as the first two cards. Most of the card games we know today has a sketchy history to say at least. Its origin is quite debatable due to the references of this game are to be found in France and Spain. Miguel de Cervantes a gambler-himself and author of Don Quixote wrote a book which the game is stated in the short story being played and refered as “veintiuna” (Spanish for twenty-one) and was written between the year 1601 and 1602.. Before or early in the beginning of 17th century the veintiuna was already played in Castilla and the object of the game is to reach 21 points without busting and that the Ace values 1 or 11. Another one is that it was called “vingt-et-un” which also means “twenty and one” and originated in French casinos. While other says that it originate from some French games such as “chemin de fer” and “French Ferme”. Somewhat the exact history of blackjack itself is cloudy.

How did playing of Blackjack develop in the form of serious gambling?

Since then, it has been played in North America after the it was introduced in United States in 1800’s. On its rise in popularity referred to as the French Pack the contemporary 52 deck used in England it was adopted becoming known as Blackjack in the United States. After Nevada re-legalized the casino gambling in the year 1931, Blackjack became one of the primary games of chance. Following in the year 1978, Atlantic city in New Jersey also legalized the casino gambling. A sudden boom of small independent casinos over 20 states started to sprout up such as Black Hawk and Cripple Creek, Colorado and in river boats on the Mississippim to name a few. Countries such as France, England, Monaco, Monte Carlo and quite a few in the Caribbean islands in addition to United States also started operating casinos.

How did the counting technique started?

The idea behind counting cards in blackjack is that a deck of cards with a high proportion of high cards (ten-valued cards and aces) to low cards is good for the player, while the reverse (a deck with a high proportion of low cards to high cards) is good for the dealer.

In 1953, first attempt to apply mathematical theories to Blackjack began. In 1956 “The Optimum Strategy in BlackJack” was published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association which was written by Roger Baldwin. In order to reduce the house advantage calculators and probability and statistics theory was been used by these pioneers.An American mathematics professor, author and blackjack player himself Dr. Edward Oakley Thorp refined the first basic strategy and developed the first card counting techniques. Entitled “Beat the Dealer” in 1962 he published the first book to prove that mathematically Blackjack could be beaten by card counting. Due to this book many casinos were scared and was affected that they started to change the rules of the game. The unfavourable rules resulted to protest of the players which in return many casinos loss their income. With this event casinos were forced to go back and apply the original game and rules.

Other major contributors in Blackjack winning strategy are Julian Brown which his conclusion on card counting was used in the second edition of Beat the Dealer, Lawrence Revere author of 1977 book “Playing BlackJack as a Business and Ken Uston “the hero of blackjack” a famous blackjack player, strategist, and author, credited with popularizing the concept of team play at blackjack. As of today internet blackjack is on the run having a massive popularity over casino onlines all over the globe.

By morris walker
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