Blackjack History

The origins of Black jack are unknown although the game developed from 21 played in Spain and France, with similar rules.  The game’s popularity spread to the rest of Europe and by the early 18th century had reached the USA.

The name originated from an early big payout hand in the United States consisting of the ace of spades and the jack of clubs or spades which was know as Blackjack, the name stuck twenty onealthough the improved payout for the hand disappeared long ago.

The game remained popular as it is an easy game to learn and play, and the player had some control over their fate. the game’s popularity continued to increase with the legalization of gambling in parts of the USA in the 1930s, but it was in the 1960s that it saw a surge in popularity.

This was due to mathematicians and statisticians becoming interested in the game and analyzing the odds for getting combinations of cards. Various books were published showing gamblers how to play the game and increase their edge against the house. These strategies were improved even further as the availability of computing power grew and the statisticians were able to simulate thousands of hands and develop what has today become the basic strategy.

Part of the strategy that was developed involved card counting which enabled the intelligent player to increase and decrease bets when the count showed that the deck was favoring them or not.

Casinos did their best to hamper the “counters” by increasing the number of decks and introducing more frequent shuffling. However these changes have done nothing to affect the popularity of black jack and it remains the most played table game in casinos today either in land based or at the ever increasing online casinos.