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Blackjack Origins: A Game that Has Been Around Since the 17th Century

Blackjack is a very popular game in online casinos but many are unaware that this game traces back several generations. Although it started as a recreational game, it doesn’t seem like that anymore because the population of blackjack casinos has skyrocketed. Now players not only play it for fun but for real money too.

In this article, we hope to retrace the root of this popular casino card game and relay it to you in simple terms. Let’s get into it immediately!

Blackjack Origins

Blackjack wasn’t known by that name before; in fact, it was earlier called twenty-one. However, where did twenty-one source from? No one really knows! But historians estimate that it started sometime in the 17th to 18th centuries. They state that the Romans played the game with wooden blocks representing the numbers of the game. But all these are based on speculations and estimations.

The origin of blackjack in casinos dates back to sometime in the 18th century in France. The French version was called Vingt-et-un and it was a great combination like Chemin de fer which has a trace of baccarat.

Then the game advanced so much that King Louis XV sought for it to be played in the Royal Court in his days. After it rose in France, different people from France, Spain, and Italy and started creating more variations of it like:

  • Quinze (Fifteen)
  • Trente-Un (Thirty-one)
  • Sette e Mezzo (Seven and a Half)

Rise of Blackjack in America and Other Parts of the World

Blackjack got to North America first via the French colonists sometime in the 18th century. Then around 1820, gambling was first legalized in the US. Around that time, they officially took blackjack into gambling halls. Casinos experienced great success with the game as they gave players literal bonuses for getting a blackjack card. At that time, there was no game that could match up to that offer so it saw an influx of players.

Then around 1854, a French immigrant in Nevada City by the name, of Eleanor Dumont, opened a gambling parlor named Vingt-et-un. And due to her being so good at her craft, it rose to popularity and they called her the woman dealer and gamblers from both far and near traveled to witness this magnificent gambling site.

Eleanor Dumont also had a very distinctive appearance with dark hair on her mustache area, earning her the name Madame Mustache. The great Madame Mustache became late in 1879 but we left behind a gem for casinos to capitalize on. Casinos promoted blackjack so well because players loved it and it rose to what it is today. All through this time, the game was still dubbed twenty-one.

As for when it officially got the name change to blackjack, there is no official documentation for that. But reports state that it started around World War I since casinos were offering prizes to players that won a round with a starting hand of the blackjack and ace of spades. And it made perfect sense since players were aiming for a blackjack.

Wrap Up

For a long time, blackjack was regarded as a game that was purely based on luck but over time, several mathematicians worked on strategies and when they proved its effectiveness, it was accepted into the community. To date, blackjack remains a very popular game in both online and physical casinos. And now it retains the title as a card game with one of the lowest house edges.

Alexia Hope

Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.