Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in history, second only to slot machines. Almost every second person that enters a casino anywhere in the world will play at least few hands.

There are many facts about blackjack that remain unknown: who invented it? When the first game was played and so on. But, there are plenty peculiar facts in the history of blackjack which we can track and can be found in the Online Blackjack Explorer infographics. For those of you that would like to know a bit more, here are the pivot points that turned blackjack into the game we all cherish and love.

The way to Europe

Blackjack made all the way across the globe before it reached United States. We say blackjack, but the game that entered North America wasn’t blackjack, but we will get to that later. Similar to rice and many other things in our life that we take for granted, card games were invented in China under the Tang dynasty somewhere in the 9th century. With the silk road traders cards reach Egypt and from there entered Europe in 14th century. With the invention of print, card games spread quickly across Europe – until then, each card was painted separately and therefore were accessible only to royalty and aristocrats.

From 15 to Blackjack

Blackjack had many predecessors: Quinze (15), 7.5, Vingt et Un and finally 21. Despite the fact that all the basic structure of all game is similar, Quinze and 7.5 where very different from the game we know today. They are actually closer to Poker than blackjack; poker with blackjack hands so to speak.

Finally, we reach 18th century France where Vingt et Un (21) gains popularity with the help of some known figures such as Luis 15 and Napoleon. From there, the way to North America was pretty short and in the beginning of 19th Century 21 reached US.

So where the name blackjack came from? That’s actually quite interesting. In the beginning, Nevada casinos tried to lure the players to play the game and offered a special payout of 10:1 for Ace of Spades and Black Jack. This rule is long forgotten, but the name remained: Blackjack.

Blackjack & Computers

Blackjack continued to develop and spread across the country, but what really boosted its popularity as the invention of computers. You might ask what computers have to do with blackjack, but only then blackjack odds could be calculated. With the help of computers, Edward Thorp developed a counting system that gives players an edge above the house. His book, Beat the Dealer became a bestseller and caused thousands to “discover” the game, turning blackjack into the most popular card game in history.  

If we have already mentioned computers, then we need to say a word about online blackjack. To say that internet changed the way we live our lives is an understatement. Online blackjack is no different. The funny thing that it’s just the beginning. The first online casino was launched only 20 years ago. First mobile casino and live dealer blackjack – less than a decade. And we really have no idea where virtual reality, and augmented reality will take us.

When we look at all new things that enter our world every day, it’s funny to remember a quote from Charles H. Duell, Commissioner of US patent office, from 1899. He said: “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”



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