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Why is Blackjack so Popular?

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Are you a fan of table games? If so, do you like to play blackjack?

Today’s gamblers are being offered more casino games than ever. Many of them seem to come and go, depending on what the latest craze is. Very popular right at the moment with rolling lockdowns and limited opportunity to get out there in person are live blackjack online casinos. There is however one casino staple that remains a hugely popular on- or offline game, even though it’s over two centuries old…

When was blackjack invented?

Are you wondering where the game of blackjack came from? You’re not alone. There are many stories and theories around where and when the legendary card game was first invented.

However, there was a written mention of a game played with all the likeness of blackjack that appeared in a book by the famous Spanish writer, Miguel de Cervantes, in 1602. In 1768, another written account came out of France. A few years later, a game called Ving-Un (the original version of blackjack) appeared in Britain with the first written rules being recorded. After this, an American version started to become popular, which was renamed blackjack around 1899. From here its popularity grew and grew as bigger and better casinos started to crop up.

Blackjack has had its fair share of problems. Card counting methods became increasingly popular in the second half of the twentieth century. Gamblers would try to gain an advantage over the gambling house by keeping track of cards that had been dealt during past hands. Casinos stood to lose a lot of money. Nowadays, single deck games of blackjack are a thing of the past and casinos have come up with very complex ways to counter the risk of card counters.

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Photo by Michal Parzuchowski on Unsplash

Just how popular is blackjack?

Back in the late 1980s when it was all about brick and mortar casinos there was a point when blackjack made up 75% of all table games played on the Las Vegas strip. In 2007, this percentage had reduced to 55% and has more recently gone down to around 50%. Even though it’s not played as much as it used to be, it’s still far more popular than any other table game.

What makes blackjack so popular?

Unlike certain games like craps where you have a seemingly endless list of rules to remember, the sheer ease of playing means you can get started at the blackjack table pretty quickly.

Your chances of winning a hand aren’t too bad either, given the house edge can be as low as 0.5%. This is if you follow what’s known as the basic strategy. The more you deviate from this, however, the higher the house edge.

To win at blackjack you have to beat the dealer. For each hand, you get dealt two cards. Add the two values together and the total will be between 4 and 21. Your goal is to get the highest possible total without going over 21. You can ask for additional cards from the dealer to get your total up. If you do go over 21 then you “bust”. This means you automatically lose. When you’re happy with your score, you “stand” and it’s now the dealer’s turn. If the dealer can’t beat your score or busts then you automatically win. If the dealer’s score is equal or above your score then the dealer wins.

There are a couple of rules that make things a little more interesting known as splitting and doubling. With splitting, you can choose to play two separate hands if you initially get dealt a pair. With doubling, you can choose to double your bet each time you ask for additional cards.

A popular choice for online punters

If you’re keen on a game of blackjack and you prefer to do your gambling from the comfort of your own home then you’re in luck. It’s very easy to play online blackjack since just about every online casino has it.

Unlike brick and mortar casinos, you don’t get a live dealer to compete with. However, playing online allows you to play at your own pace and enjoy your gambling time. Most online casinos have a sign-up bonus and many have different variations of this classic game which can make things a bit more exciting.

Summary

Even though times have changed, it seems the classics are always going to be popular. So, the next time you find yourself playing a hand of blackjack, you’re playing a game that’s steeped in history.

Whether you prefer to play at your local casino, take a private jet to Vegas or relax on your comfy sofa while playing, blackjack is one of the cornerstones of the gambling industry. It always has been and always will be.

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