Blackjack is one of the most famous games in the casino world. But the iconic game hasn’t always been known as this. Its origins date back as early as 1700s France, where it was known as Vingt-et-Un.
Vingt-et-Un translates roughly to Twenty-one, which is what the game was known as throughout Europe in its early stages. This is because the aim of the game is to beat the dealer by reaching a card value as close to 21 as possible – whether you’re playing online Blackjack, or at a land-based venue.
But why do we know the game as Blackjack in the modern-day?
Read on to find out.
There is not one place or a single person that can be credited for the invention of Blackjack, but as mentioned above, the game Vingt-et-Un can be traced back to 1700s France.
At this time, there were other games throughout Europe that were played using a similar concept, such as one called ‘One and Thirty’ in Spain.
However, it was Vingt-et-Un which is believed to have been the earliest form of Blackjack. The game rose in popularity throughout Europe and remained known as Twenty-One when it landed on American shores.
As the Hoover Dam was under construction in the new railroad city of Nevada, Eleanor Dumont – a rare female card dealer, began to make a name for herself by hosting the game.
Dumont opened a casino on what would later become the Las Vegas Strip, known aptly as Vingt-et-Un, and players would travel far and wide to try their chances against her.
Black Jacks and an Ace
As Vingt-et-Un grew in popularity, and more casinos began popping up, venues started searching for new ways to bring players in.
This is where the name Blackjack comes in. It first got introduced in Nevada in the 19th century. This was thanks to a special bet introduced by the casinos of Las Vegas at the time.
This bet meant that anyone who won with a hand made up of one of the deck’s Black Jacks and the Ace of Spades would receive a bigger payout than usual.
Over time, this special bet was stopped. However, the name stuck.
With a new name, the game flourished into a staple at land-based and online casinos, after the first online site opened its virtual doors in 1996.
Whilst the game is known as both Twenty-one and Blackjack, you’ll find a variety of different ways to play under the ‘Blackjack’ tab when playing online.
The digital game is kept fair by a Random Number Generator (RNG) – software that creates unpredictable combinations of numbers and outcomes every single second. And, you can also play Blackjack hosted by a real-life dealer online.
That’s right, with live casino gaming, you can play Blackjack in real time.
A professionally-trained dealer will host the game, as it’s streamed from a specially designed studio, directly to your device using state-of-the-art technology.
How to play
Whether you call it Blackjack or Twenty-one, the rules remain the same. The aim of the game is to beat the dealer. You can do this by getting your hand value to 21, or as close to 21 as possible, without going over (bust).
To play, you’ll want to find a gaming table at your local land-based casino, or log in online and place your wager.
Up to eight decks of 52 playing cards could be used during a game of Blackjack. As a beginner, we recommend finding a table using fewer decks.
At the start of gameplay, you’ll be dealt two cards, both face-up. The dealer will also deal themselves two cards, one face-up and the other face-down. Then, you’ll have the option to either ‘stand’ and keep the cards you have, ‘split’ your hand value in two, ‘fold’ and surrender the game, or ‘double down’ and double your bet.
The other players won’t have any effect on your gameplay, and there’s no way of predicting which card value you might be dealt next, so it’s worth gaining an understanding of basic Blackjack strategy before you play.
You can also refer to a strategy card during gameplay, which will guide you on what your best options could be based on the cards you’re currently holding. But remember, a win is never guaranteed.
With so many different ways to play, and themed games available online. It’s clear why this chance-based game has remained so popular – truly standing the test of time.
The game has one of the lowest house edges in the whole of the casino, and with the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) onto some gaming sites and more to come – it’s clear Blackjack isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
With this in mind, do you think you’ll be trying your hand at Blackjack?