Chance Online Blackjack

History of Blackjack

on July 2, 2012

The true origins of Blackjack are unknown. Some sources say that Blackjack was already popular in Europe in the mid-to-late 1700s by the French and Spanish, while others much more rudimentary versions of it were being played in China in the 7th century.  Another theory is that the earliest versions were developed in the 15th century in Egypt, only to migrate to Europe later.
Earlier Versions of Twenty One in Europe
There’s much more evidence to support the assumption that earlier forms of Blackjack had become a staple amongst casino players in Europe. It’s believed that it was first made popular in Spain where people were playing a similar game called One and Thirty. The game was played with 3 cards instead of today’s version with two, but the objective of the game closely resembles the objective of 21 or Blackjack. In order to win the player had to have cards that got as close to 31 and no higher than 31. Soon after the game the number was switched to 21 and played with two cards. There’s even a reference to Ventiuna (Twenty-One)  being played in Spain in the early 17th century  by characters in Novelas ejemplares, a story by Miguel de Cervates, the author of Don Quixote.  Similarly the French were enjoying playing Vingt-Un, also meaning Twenty-One.
Twenty One Comes to America
No one knows exactly when 21 made the leap from Europe to American casinos, but it is known that there was already a following of players in Nevada by 1931. To make the games a little more interesting, casinos started offering greater payouts for those that were lucky enough to hold A♠ and J♠ or J♣ they’d win 10x their bet.  The bet became so popular that the game was renamed to Blackjack and winning hands eventually included all Aces and cards with a value of 10, however the payout was lowered to 3 to 2 odds.
Blackjack in Recent Years
Blackjack has become one of the most popular casino games played around the world. You can find Blackjack being played in brick and mortar casinos and multiple forms online including mobile and live versions with real dealers. The main reason for its popularity has been its incredibly low house edge, less than .5% if played with the correct strategy. Today most versions of blackjack are played with 6-8 decks or an RNG if played online, but you can still find single deck versions around easily enough.