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History

The History of Blackjack

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Most experts seem to agree that the game of Blackjack as we know it today was based on games originating from France and Spain. Both these early card games were based on drawing cards and getting as close to a certain number as possible without going bust.

The game that swept across France around 1700 was called “Vingt-et-un” (meaning “21”) whereas the Spanish game was called 'One and Thirty' with the aim of the game to reach 31 using only 3 cards.

There has also been the thought that it was in fact the Romans who invented the game of Blackjack. Here they used wooden blocks that had different numbered values on them. This though is not confirmed but just a theory as Romans loved gambling.

The version of the game called '21' became the popular version in Europe. This was most likely due to the appearance that a certain level of skill was needed and not just reliant on pure luck. When players can make decisions about a game they play, it gives the player the feeling of control and 21 allowed the player to choose whether to hit or stand.

Eventually due to French Colonists the game of "21" spread to North America and very soon was being played across the continent.

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At the time of the game of Blackjack becoming popular and legal in Nevada in 1931 in was still known as "21". However casinos tried to draw even more players to the game by introducing a special bet. This bet was a hand consisting of either of the Black Jacks plus the Ace of Spades. This hand would pay 10 to 1 odds. Later however casinos ended this type of payout but the name Blackjack had established itself as the new name of the game.

It took until 1978 before Atlantic City, New Jersey legalised casino gambling and only 2 states had legalised casino gambling by 1989. However, since then there have been hundreds of both online and offshore casinos spring up. There has also been over 20 states that have opened up a number of independent casinos. These have included riverboats in the Mississippi and Black Hawk and Cripple Creek.

So at no specific point in time was the game of Blackjack conceived but has been an evolution of other games over centuries and it will continue to evolve today especially thanks to the internet. The abundance of online casinos has brought various different versions of the game and this continues to revolutionise it.

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