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Who Invented Blackjack

As a rule, casino games have origins in various card games played at home or within small circles. The most popular among these is the ancestor of blackjack – Vingt-et-un, which became immensely popular in France during the 18th century. But the blackjack origin of this casino classic is still becoming a matter of controversy. Here is a look back at gambling history to see who invented blackjack.

Origins of Blackjack 

Blackjack Origins

Blackjack, a popular casino game, has existed for centuries. It is a card game that two to eight players play in live casinos or online. 

The player’s goal is to get the highest-value cards and get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over. If a player exceeds 21, he forfeits his bet for the round, and the dealer wins.

How old is blackjack?

A popular blackjack history theory states that Romans invented blackjack. The Romans are thought to have played blackjack with wooden blocks with different numbers etched onto them. The idea persists because Romans enjoyed gambling, but it has yet to be proven. 

In the early 17th century, The French introduced a game called “vingt-et-un” to Europe, making them the earliest blackjack inventor in recorded history. The game was played by placing three cards face-down on a table. Players would then place bets on whether or not the sum of their three cards would be higher or lower than the three cards dealt face up to the dealer.

The game spread throughout Europe and evolved into what we now know as blackjack. The name “blackjack” comes from players needing to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21 (a bust). This game is called drawing a card in blackjack, so if you bust, it’s called going “black.”

Introduction of Blackjack to America

Blackjack is a card game that started in France but became famous after being introduced to the United States. French gamblers and soldiers created the game during the 18th century.

Blackjack had its humble beginnings in France. 

The game was invented by French colonists in New Orleans during the early 1700s and was brought to North America by French explorers and traders. It was initially called Vingt-et-Un (which means 21). Gambling houses across the US state hosted the game. These gambling houses were vital because they were open to everyone regardless of social standing or race.

Aside from the various versions of Vingt-et-Un, French colonists helped spread the card games’ popularity throughout North America. The rules were different from those found in modern blackjack. Only the dealer could double in an earlier version of blackjack.

Formation of the Modern Blackjack

The name blackjack came from a particular hand consisting of an ace of spade and a “black” jack card (either a spade or club). Today, a blackjack refers to any hand that includes an ace and any number of face cards (10, Jacks, Queens, and Kings).

People initially played the game with a standard 52-card deck, but modern blackjack games use one of two sets of rules. The differences between these two sets can be confusing, but once you learn how they work, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular among casino players. 

Blackjack has several standardized rules that differentiate it from “21,” such as the dealer having one revealed upcard. The other players do not know this card until they have it all. 

In modern blackjack, players can split pairs and draw more cards after splitting if their hand totals ten or fewer. They can also split aces up to four times and double down after splitting pairs if their hand totals 11 or 12 instead of just once to make their hands more powerful than their opponent’s.

With the history of blackjack and how far it has come, you realize that no matter who started it, blackjack is something that we will never get an answer to. Despite its origins, the game is widely renowned across the world.

This article was published on September 25, 2022, and last updated on September 6, 2022.

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