Most modern card games have an ambiguous history. Given this situation, it is difficult for historians to agree on the exact origin of the games and the exact way they became the exciting gambling games they are today.
Blackjack is no different and although it is not discussed about its history with respect to the last 300 years, it is often discussed about the history of the oldest games that were the basis of blackjack. As we consider ourselves experts in blackjack and we are not qualified historians of the game, we will share with you all the historical blackjack information we know and let you judge which version of the story you think is most true.
The First Card Games
In general terms, the roots of the first card games date back to ancient China, when in the nineteenth century during the rule of the Tang dynasty, reference is made in literature to the time when Princess Tongchang is described playing To the letters.
The invention of the sheets of paper, instead of the paper rolls that were previously used, allowed the creation of cards of different sizes. The ancient Chinese game cards are known as “money cards” and were divided into four suits with symbols on them. Subsequently, numbers were added to the symbols, which denoted a hierarchy of card values.
The card game arrived in Europe at the end of the 14th century, probably by the traveling tribe of the Mamluks from Egypt, who brought with them a deck of 52 cards with similar symbols to the suits that were used in the Tarot cards, such as cups , swords, coins and canes. There is documented evidence of card games that were banned in Switzerland in 1367AD.
Late Middle Ages and Beyond
The card game expanded rapidly throughout Europe and reached several royal courts during the 14th century. The cards were printed by hand and were different in different countries in terms of the number of suits per deck and the types of suits. The four clubs used today throughout the world – hearts, diamonds, swords and clubs – originated in the late 15th century in France.
During the 15th century, Europeans changed the letters of figures to represent European royalty and today the typical deck of cards has a queen, a king and a prince, which is called jota.
Historians agree that blackjack dates back to the 17th century in France, where a game called Vingt et Un was played in casinos. The name Vingt et Un means “21” in French. In previous versions it is said to mean “Twenty and A”.
Vingt et Un is identical to blackjack, with the exception of small differences in terms of rules, such as that only the dealer can double in Vingt et Un. It is believed that Vingt et Un emerged from other French games, such as Chemin de Fer and French Ferme.
The Evolution Towards Blackjack
The game continued to increase its popularity during the last centuries, but only in the 19th century French immigrants took the game to Louisiana and New Orleans, the betting capital, where many Americans simply called it “21”.
The name blackjack emerged later, when the State of Nevada legalized bets and casinos that wanted to attract players to the game offered a special promotion of a higher payout when a player received the jack of spades and ace of spades such as two initial letters and, as a result, it was called blackjack.
The rise of Internet companies in the late 1990s and the migration of many physical companies to the online realm, together with great advances in game programming and a faster Internet connection, have prompted online casinos to be in the front line of e-commerce companies.
Many new players have discovered blackjack and have realized that it is a skill-based game that allows players who dominate it to make great profits when they play against the casino.