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Blackjack has a rich, intriguing history, made all the more interesting since there still remains some questions. Whatever its origins, Blackjack has evolved since it was brought to these shores. But before we dive into the more mysterious aspects of its beginnings, let us first suggest where you might be able to play Blackjack online.

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There is no one person or nation in history who we can fully credit with the invention of the game Blackjack. The French game ‘Chemin de Fer’ as well as ‘French ferme’ are said to be the prequels to Blackjack and the game ‘vingt-et-un’ (twenty and one) was commonly seen in many French casinos during the mid 18th century. Along with the French, the Italians are recognized as contributing to the evolution of Blackjack with their game ‘seven and a half’ which is the first game that had the rule of a player going ‘bust’ if they go over a desired amount on their cards. Another contributing nation to Blackjack’s invention was Spain, where the game ‘One and thirty’ became very popular during the late 18th century. This game very closely resembles the modern day Blackjack though the winning total was thirty one rather than twenty one and 3 cards were initially dealt rather than only 2 cards.

As far as other variations, Vingt-et-un (21) was actually quite a different game from what we commonly know as Blackjack, it was in fact more similar to the game of Poker. This idea of this game was to reach a hand of cards totaling 21, though after every round of dealing cards, a round of betting was held which created an ‘ante’ or ‘pot’ which was won by the winner.

As the Europeans crossed the ocean and started to settle in different areas of the United States, so did their card games. During the mid 1800s the game of vingt-et-un was seen played in several places around America and finally appeared first in a gambling hall in the town of Evansville, Indiana in 1910.

Due to the initial unpopularity of the game in America, the established gambling houses decided to entice further interest through a range of extra bonus payments and house specials. The first bonus that was first used was to give a certain bonus amount to anyone who had the cards ‘jack of spades’ and ‘ace of spades’, this is where the modern name ‘Blackjack’ was first derived. When this bonus was first used the payout was 10:1 odds on the player’s bet, and many gambling houses recognized both the jack of spades as well as the jack of clubs for this bonus. In today’s casinos, though the bonus is no longer being used, the name has stuck and remains the current name for game today.

During this time there were no strict and firm laws regarding gambling in the United States and professional gamblers began to see huge potential in this new game and various blackjack strategies began to emerge in order to improve winning odds for the player. In the mid 19th Century the government banned gambling activities which forced Blackjack to become an underground game and raised it popularity even further.

Finally, in 1931, Las Vegas was born and Nevada state legalized gambling which allowed Blackjack to find a home in the United States and has remained popular and thriving there till today.


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