Black Jack History

With most card games it’s difficult to try and determine where they originated from because there are often multiple similar games found throughout history. Black jack is one of the many card games that can’t be placed in a certain time in history because there are multiple games that appear to have influenced what we know as black jack today.

The game that most people refer to as the game that black jack originated from is vingt-en-un which is French from twenty-one. This French card game can be dated back all the way to the 17th century, but many people believe there were other games that helped influence blackjack. In Italy there was a card game played during the same era of the French game called seven and a half. In this game if you went over seven and a half you would bust your hand.

Many people believe that both of these games helped develop the game of black jack. There have been some changes to the game since the 17th century, but for the most part the games are similar. Blackjack was never played throughout North America until the game was brought over by the French after the French Revolution was over. At the time it was legal to gamble in North America and therefore blackjack quickly become one of the most popular games.

During the early 1900’s it became illegal to gamble in the United States and it caused the game to be taken underground. You would only be able to play the games in underground clubs during these times, but it helped fuel the popularity at the same time. In 1931 it became legal to gamble in Nevada and this is when casinos started being built in Las Vegas.

Once blackjack online was introduced into the casinos it became an instant hit and thousands of people were playing the game every single day. As the game grew in popularity many people started having interests in studying the fundamentals of the game. By the early 1950’s the very first documented report on blackjack was published with the American Statistical Association by Roger Baldwin and some of his associates.

The report that was published showed players how they could use mathematics to lower the house edge. Almost a decade after the report was published Edward Thorp published his blackjack book titled “Beat the Dealer” which became one of the best selling books on the New York Times. When this book was released it helped tons of blackjack players take their game to the next level.

Over the next 50 years black jack has continued to remain one of the most popular games in the entire casino. We’ve seen several unique personalities in blackjack over the years including Ken Uston who is famous for wearing many different disguises and writing several popular books. We’ve also seen the MIT Blackjack Team win millions throughout casinos around the world using many different methods. Blackjack use to be a game where people would try anything to win, but now with tightened security at casinos most people tend to stick to simple card counting systems.