The History of Casino Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the world’s most popular casino games, whether it’s played online or at any of the casinos worldwide. The game – also known as ‘21’– is really simple to learn, but has enough strategy and skill to keep players entertained for hours.

The Origin of Blackjack

Where did blackjack come from? Spain seems to be the most likely origin, as early texts refer to the game of Treinta-y-Uno (31) being played with cards, where aces count as 11 and face cards 10. However, the origins of blackjack have also been linked to a Roman game played with wooden blocks.

The name "blackjack" actually refers to the extra prize money that casinos offered players for hitting a black jack (spades or clubs) and the ace of spades. Casinos offered as much as 10 - 1 to attract players to this now classic card game. In modern casino's, extra money is won by any player scoring 21 with any combination of his first two cards, but the name remains the same.

Blackjack Arrives in the USA

The game made its way to the USA in the 1800's, but originally it wasn’t popular with the playing public, with the high rollers preferring to play poker and craps. So to encourage players to the blackjack tables, casinos would offer as much as 10-1 to any player dealt the jack and ace of spades! It was an amazing deal, and one that helped blackjack achieve the status it enjoys today, as one of the top casino games.

The game naturally lends itself to those with mathematical skill, and some mathematicians began producing information that could give gamblers an edge over the casino. This trend reached its peak in the 1960's when Edward O Thorp wrote his book ‘Beat the Dealer’. The game can now be played in casinos all around the world.

Blackjack became even more popular in the late 20th century with the growth of the internet. Casinos soon became available on the internet, allowing casino customers to enjoy their favourite games from the comfort of their own homes.

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