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How Blackjack Was Invented

The first rules were an 1825 reprint of the 1800 English rules. English Vingt-Un later developed into an American variant in its own right which was renamed blackjack around 1899. For the variant of Hearts called Black Jack, see Black Jack .

The game was then mentioned in one of the stories of the famous Spanish writer – Miguel de Cervantes, where he described a great blackjack, or “Trentuno”, cheat. The story was called “Riconete and Cortadillo” and was published in 1613, which is over 150 years later than the first mention of 31 in Bernardine’s sermon. It is also interesting to note that Miguel de Cervantes, a very well-known Spanish author and gambler, would make reference to twenty-and-one in Don Quixote. It may only mean that blackjack could have started in France or in Spain. Cervantes is the author of a great feat of literature Don Quixote.

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“Veintiuna” a Spanish word meaning twenty-one is a game played in Spain without tens like the present-day blackjack. Similar to blackjack, the Spanish 21 has aces equivalent to 1 point or 11 points. It’s also similar to the French game “Vingt-et-un” – a French word meaning twenty-one. Games such as Blackjack Switch, Double Exposure Blackjack and 21 Duel emerged. Thanks to their unique gameplay and adaptation of classic game rules, they became a big hit with players looking for a new and exciting twist on the traditional game.

history of blackjack

This is the only time that you are allowed to look at the second hand before playing the first hand. If both dealer and player receive a blackjack or any other hands with the same sum called a “push”, no one wins. She was a skilled dealer and was traveling around until she opened a gambling hall https://arrowtricks.com/the-history-of-blackjack/ in Nevada City, California. People were coming from all around the country to play against Eleanor, just because she was considered a rarity between card dealers. Plus, online casinos offer you a range of payment methods, from credit cards to crypto, when making deposits or withdrawals.

How Its Played

The Blackjack Science site also has a interesting history of the game. Do you know of a historical blackjack event that is “not” in our database? Then submit historical information such as accomplishments, publication dates, interview dates, births, barrings, wins, losses, legal actions, etc. Visit our home page daily for a historical “on this day” fact and/or gambling quote of the day. In the 1990’s, a team of MIT students took on the Las Vegas casinos, and came home with millions of dollars.

Never before in any of the European versions, were you allowed to see the dealer’s upcard before you made your playing decisions. Trente-Un, Quinze and Sette e Mezzo are much older than Vingt-et-Un, they are originated in the 15th and 16th centuries. It is very likely that these card games influenced the French game of 21, which became very popular in the 18th century.

During this time, card counting and sleight of hand players were winning frequently due to the lack game standards and controls. However, the true birth of card counting began with a book “Beat the Dealer” that was written in 1962 by Edward O. Thorp. Thorp developed a “ten-count system” in which you would pick two standard numbers that represented tens and respectively, the other cards in the deck.

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Picture cards do not count as 10, the Jack cards are counted to 11 points, while the Queen cards are 12 points and the King cards are 13 points. It is believed that Romans played this game with wooden blocks with different numbers. The theory stands because Romans loved to gamble but it’s not 100% confirmed.

  • The player is watching the cards, watching the discard tray, mindful of any undue attention from the pit.
  • With the help of computers, blackjack players were now able to quickly adapt their strategies to any changes implemented by the casinos.
  • 21st-Century Blackjack (also known as “Vegas Style” Blackjack) is found in California card rooms.
  • He tried to find a way to avoid being detected when using such a strategy.

That’s because the Romans are known all over to have been keen gamblers from the word go. That’s well evidenced by their love for gambling on gladiator fights and chariot races. However, it’s not evident enough that blackjack originated from them even if historians believe that the Romans used wooden blocks with numbers on them to play a game similar to blackjack. It is believed that Blackjack may have originated in French casinos during the 1700’s.

Yet even before this time, there were probably some players that used such tactics to eliminate the house edge. One famous name is Jess Marcum, whose playing strategy saw him kicked out of numerous casinos. There were interesting characters with unique names like System Smitty and Greasy John. 4 players wrote a book in 1957 entitled “Playing Blackjack to Win”. In the book, the authors Baldwin, Cantey, Maisel and McDermott included a basic strategy to keep track of the cards and reduce the house edge. Even with this interesting insight, the book did not get the same attention from both casinos, and players, as the 1962 book “Beat the Dealer” by Edward O. Thorp.