History of Blackjack

The researchers still cannot discover the full trace of the blackjack history and there are various theories as to the actual place of origin of the game. It is considered that the blackjack originated from a game, called Vingt-et-un, which first appeared in French casinos during the 17th century. Vingt-et-un is in French and it means Twenty-one. Although, it resembled blackjack and the main goal of the game was to reach a total 21, its rules were not quite the same. In Vingt-et-un only the dealer could double, and the player had to bet after each round.

Another theory states that blackjack originates from a Spanish game, that was called Veintiuna which is in Spanish and means Twenty-one, as well. The first written reference of this could be found in Novelas Ejemplares, a book written by Miguel de Cervantes who was said to be a gambler himself. The goal of Veintiuna was to reach 21 points without busting and just like in the modern blackjack, the Ace was valued 1 or 11 points.

When blackjack was brought to North America, it became widely popular since there were no laws against gambling in the United States of America at that time. Many professional players started going to North America to play blackjack and soon, in the beginning of 19th century, the US government prohibited it. The prohibition didn’t discourage the players – game was being played underground and was getting even more and more popular. In 1931, the state of Nevada legalized the gambling and Las Vegas became the world’s most popular gambling place, while blackjack became one of the most popular card games ever.

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