The History of Blackjack
The origins of Blackjack is still under debate, but researchers agree that Blackjack probably originated in the French casinos around 1700. The French cards were called "Vingt-et-Un," which translates to "Twenty-one." These cards are probably derived from card games Chemin de Fer, which were popular at that time. The card game was played at the French Royal Court during the reign of King Louis XV.
The Origins of Blackjack
There is actually a theory that Blackjack is an invention by the Romans. The theory stands because Romans loved to gamble, but it is not confirmed. It is believed that Romans played this game with wooden blocks with different numbers painted on them, instead of paper cards.
Besides the various versions of Vingt-et-Un, the popularity of the card games expanded through North America. The card game has made it to the American shore in the 18th century with the help of French colonists. The game couldn’t spread and develop in France in the 19th century. However, during this time the game evolved and gained popularity in America. The game would be seen in New Orleans in 1820 at the legalized gambling halls. Interesting enough, during this time the rules were different than the contemporary Blackjack we now know. For instance in the earlier form of Blackjack only the dealer was allowed to double.
Also during this time, there was a tale of Eleanor Dumont. She was born in France and immigrated to America. She was a skilled dealer and was traveling around until she opened a gambling hall in Nevada City, California. Ironically, the place was named Vingt-et-Un. People were coming from all around the country to play against Eleanor, just because she was considered a rarity between card dealers.
Modern Day Blackjack
In the 20th century, the precursor of the blackjack was still called 21 in Nevada.
But it was during this time the card game 21 has changed its name to Blackjack. Gambling halls and casinos needed a way to promote the game. They offered bonus payouts, including one that paid extra if a black jack (a jack of spades or clubs) was dealt along with an ace of spades. As the game became more popular, the bonus payouts became less common but the informal name was already stuck.
The rules have also changed following with the legalization of gambling. Defined by the Nevada Gaming Commision, the game rules are still used nowadays.
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