As a casino game blackjack is among the big favourites and it’s definitely one of the most played games through the years. But what’s the history behind blackjack? How did it began?
History of the game
Blackjack originates from the french gambling culture from around the middle of the 16th century, where the game called “vingt-et-un” was played. The name means 21, which is the central number of the game, as we will explain in more detail further down in the article. The modern type of blackjack, which is the one we play both on physical casinos as well as online, had it’s big breakthrough sometime in the 30s in the US in conjunction with the legalization of casino games. The official name was given to the game since extra profits were given to the winner with Jack of spades or Ace of spades in the first deal of cards.
Since blackjack’s early days there has been different strategies and systems that’s been used to win against “the house” or “the dealer” as they’re often called in this context. One of the most famous strategies is “The optimum strategy” from the late 50s, which was a mathematic calculation developed by the American Roger Baldwin. The book “Beat the Dealer” was a great success in the casino world where a professor called O. Thorp seriously dreaded many casino owners with his concrete analyses of the game.
Blackjack is, together with other table games like e.g roulette, among the classic casino games with its unique environment that you’ll often spot in movies. Today the game is huge also online and you can pick and choose among sites that offer blackjack in their range of games. Of course, the feeling isn’t exactly the same as when playing on a physical casino while playing in front of the computer, however, modern live sections have made blackjack a great experience even on online casinos.
Blackjack gameplay and rules
One of the reasons for blackjack becoming so popular is the simplicity of the game along with the fact that you don’t need a lot of pre-game knowledge. However it’s worth to mention that the exciting blackjack game is among the favourites for casino professionals, they will often use special mathematics for them to raise the odds of the game and win against the dealer.
Blackjack is normally played with one deck of cards, but several ones can also be used. Gamblers will be dealt their cards by the house dealer, which is positioned on the opposite side of the player. You’re always playing directly against the dealer and trying to defeat him or her. No matter how many other players are seated around the table the only important thing is to win against the dealer.
The purpose of the game is to get the value 21, or rather to come as close to 21 as possible. Hence the name of the original game version which we mentioned earlier on. If you would get a value higher than 21 you’ll be “busted” and out of the game. Every round starts with the dealer sharing two cards to every player and one card to himself. Then every player in every round can choose either to take a new card (hit) or stay (stand) and keep the cards you’ve already been dealt. You can continue to take new cards until you reached more than 21 when you lose straight away. The concept “split” means that you choose to split two cards of the same value and you get to play two “hands” and the bets are doubled.
The dealer can’t affect how the game ends, it’s the cards that’ll decide whether the player wins or loses to the house/dealer. If neither the player nor the dealer gets 21 it’s the one with the highest value (closest to 21) that wins the round.
If you have come this far then you’re definitely ready to start playing blackjack, the basics are simple but to become a really good player it takes some practice!