Blackjack is a popular card game that is currently played all over the world, and is the most widely played of any casino banking game. It is also known as Twenty One or Pontoon, and involves the player simply attempting to reach twenty one with their deck of cards. In Blackjack the Ace card can equal either one or eleven, depending on which is better for the player. Once the player has a deck that is worth more than twenty one they are out of the game.
Blackjack has an interesting history, as no one is quite sure when it was first invented. The earliest mention of it is in Miguel de Cervantes’ short story Don Quixote, which was written between 1601 and 1602. In the story, two men play and excel at cheating in a card game called Vientuina, which translates to mean twenty in Spanish. The game described here has the same rules as the modern day game of Blackjack. This appears to prove that the game was played socially in Castilia at least from the beginning of the seventeenth century, and was presumably also played before, since Cervantes was writing in this period. It is speculative to say that Cervantes’ may have developed the game himself, for the purposes of his work, but it is possible when it is considered that there are no mentions of it at all before 1601. Further references to the game are found in French and Spanish literature, but this was later.
Blackjack was unpopular when it was introduced to the USA, so bonus payouts were offered to successful players. This practice died out, however, when the game became more popular.
Today, the game of Blackjack is played recreationally, between families and friends, as well as for money in casinos. It is not always played for money, although this is sometimes still the case. The fact that it is the most widely played card game in casinos proves its staying power, and popularity.