Blackjack is a popular and frequently played card game. Most people, however, play this casino game without really thinking about the origins of it or why it is called blackjack. People all over the world now play online blackjack for entertainment or real money.
But how did the game start? To understand this, we need to do a bit of time travel and find out about the history of blackjack.
Let’s take a trip and find out what blackjack is and why it has become a staple in casinos around the world, particularly at online casinos.
Where Did It All Start?
The majority of scholars agree that blackjack evolved from a game called twenty-one. The history of twenty-one, on the other hand, is uncertain and rather contentious. This version of the card game, according to some historians, dates back to the Roman era. Players used blocks of wood to represent numbers at the time, instead of paper cards. This, however, has not been adequately verified.
Rinconete y Cortadillo, a Spanish story by Miguel de Cervantes, was released in 1613 alongside other short story collections. The oldest story recorded mentions twenty-one card games. This narrative is thought to have been penned in the early 1600s.
Miguel de Cervantes was a gambler, and he describes two Seville-based card cheaters. These were skilled cheaters who played Veintiuna – a Spanish twenty-one card game. He also explains that the goal of the game is to score 21 points without going over, with Aces worth 1 or 11 points.
Gamblers played this game in the Castle region as far back as the 17th century, according to this account. The narrative was mentioned in some written works in Spain and France. But, it is unknown how long the game has really been played.
However, it is thought that twenty-one was enjoyed in French casinos around the turn of the century. Vingt-et-un was the French equivalent of twenty-one and it was the basis of 21. The features of popular variants, Chemin de fer and Veintiuna, were blended in this game.
The game’s popularity grew, and it was also made an appearance at the Royal Court during King Louis XV’s rule. Other versions of the game include Trente-Un in Spain, Quinze in France , and Sette e Mezzo in Italy.
Origins in America
During this time, the game developed and became more popular in the United States. In 1820, the game was first spotted in New Orleans’ licensed gambling halls. Surprisingly, the rules at the time were not the same as what we know now. For example, in an early version of Blackjack, only the dealer may double down.
There was also a story about a lady called Eleanor Dumont at this time. She was born in France and moved to the United States. She was an accomplished dealer who traveled until she established a gaming facility in Nevada City, California. Vingt-et-Un, ironically, was the name of the location. People traveled from all over the country to play with Eleanor, just because she was a rare find amongst card dealers.
Her appearance earned her the moniker Madame Mustache. Eleanor, regrettably, died in 1879. The quantity and popularity of casinos where the games were held, on the other hand, continued to rise far into the twentieth century. Twenty-one’s reputation as a fun card game was increased even more as a result of this, and more punters started playing blackjack in the U.S. because of it too.
How Blackjack Got Its Name
According to some academics, the name blackjack originated in casinos offering huge bonuses to gamblers who won with the first Ace of Spades hand and a “black” Jack during World War I. The Jack of Spades or Clubs was known as Black Jack. Basically, the goal was to obtain the “Black Jack.”
So, the term blackjack may be attributed to American casino institutions that offered extra rewards to encourage people to play the game. The extraordinary 10 to 1 bonus that a player’s hand was granted for being an ace of spades and a “black jack” or jack of spades or clubs was one of the incentive payouts.
Although this reward was subsequently removed, the name given to this card combination survived. It is now also the name of one of the most popular card games today, which can be found in both land-based and online casinos.