Blackjack History


Blackjack History

Blackjack is almost synonymous with casinos and gambling these days. It carries everything that people look for in a game: it has a certainly level of skill to the game, it is sophisticated enough that you can enjoy it but not so much that you feel out of place doing so. But when and where did this game start? That is a tough question to answer. Many games with similar characteristics to blackjack have existed for centuries, so pinpointing the exact origin of the game is nearly impossible.

Dating back all the way to 1440, you will be able to find games in Spain, Italy and France that bear a strong resemblance to what we know as blackjack today. Namely these games where, “Vingt et un”, “Sette e Mezzo”, “Trente-un” and “Quinze”.

All of these games where played with a deck of cards, something resembling the modern playing cards that we play with today. The resemblance came in that all cards had a numerical value associated with it. This value would then be used to give each player a score. The aim of the game was then to get as close to a defined value without going over it, much like the 21 used in blackjack.

The specific rules of many of these games differed to what we play today but the core concepts remained. Blackjack introduces a lot of intricate rules to the betting rounds that, in many cases even differ depending on where you are playing.

Most blackjack games allow for splitting of all pairs and doubling down on certainly values. However, some establishments allow you to double down on a wider range of values, splits more than once, double more than once, double after splitting etc. The amount of rule variations can be truly staggering.

However, much like the early descendants we have spoken about, the game always holds true to some very simple core concepts. This is what draws people to the game. It is not difficult to understand, you can start playing almost immediately. What keeps people playing is the intricacy that can be found when you dig a big deeper into the game. The difference between playing a correct strategy and just guessing can be considerable.

Blackjack is a game that, in one form or another has been around for centuries. It has most certainly stood the test of time, and that should be a testament to this great game and the many people who worked to forge the way forward for its popularity. Long may it continue.

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