Blackjack: Unveiling the Game’s Rich Historical Roots and Evolution

Blackjack: Unveiling the Game’s Rich Historical Roots and Evolution

From classic Hollywood films to modern-day American online casinos like TonyBet, blackjack has become inseparable from casino play. Without having to say much, blackjack makes the case itself as the ultimate casino card game because of its simplicity and its way of drawing high society to play for high stakes.

Of course, common blackjack players of all skill levels and budgets continue to fall in love with it. From its French origins in the late 1600s to the amazing online variants, blackjack’s history is fascinating, with new history being made today.

Take a Seat

Blackjack has brought players of all playing levels to the table since the 1600s. Its origins date back to France. While it’s not known if blackjack came from French high society, its original name is Ving-et-un, better known as 21. Besides France, blackjack was also popular in nearby Spain. The basic rules, which still apply today, began in medieval France and Spain, where players matched wits to avoid going over 21.

In the early 19th century, Americans got their first taste of blackjack. During the Louisiana Purchase, French colonists took blackjack with them, and it quickly spread like wildfire among the early American pioneers. During America’s prohibition period, blackjack found an underground market where players sat around the table and drank bootleg beer and other alcohol.

But it was when Nevada legalized gambling that blackjack really took off. Major casinos in Reno and Las Vegas began using bonuses to hook new players to blackjack. Today, online casinos use many of the same bonus tricks and more to attract new players and inspire veteran players to continue investing.

Blackjack Gets a Strategy

As more Americans fell in love with blackjack, it wasn’t until the 1950s that original and official blackjack strategies hit public consciousness. Prominent mathematicians from renowned universities took a fine-tooth comb to blackjack to create crude strategies. By using the computers of its time and mathematical probabilities, the current system of calculating blackjack odds and payouts was born and first printed in books.

In the 1950s, another blackjack chapter with organized card counting was added. Frustrated with the house’s advantage, some members of the US Army are believed to have devised a strategy to improve their winning odds. Men like Roger Baldwin and Herbert Maisel, as well as others, were credited with writing the first official blackjack strategy book in 1956.

In the 1960s, Professor Thorp built on the card-counting premise and wrote a book himself. Thorp’s blackjack angle was to make notes of which high-value playing cards had already been passed out to further plot strategy.

Card counting is considered cheating at many casinos. These casinos take card counting so seriously that they will disqualify you from the grounds.

Blackjack’s Popularity Spreads

With the rise of Atlantic City in the late 1970s, blackjack fever reached a pitch. The demand to beat the house was so strong that between Las Vegas and Atlantic City, organized gambling teams from MIT were specially trained to see if they could beat the house.

The legend of the MIT Blackjack team became so popular in the 1990s that their story became a hit Hollywood film. But with the 1990s came the first wave of online casinos. While not yet up in America, Americans got their first taste of blackjack on the digital platform.

Fast-forward to mid-2012, and Americans were finally able to play legal blackjack games online, thanks to Delaware becoming the first state to legalize online casinos. Shortly after that, states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan went online and also supported online blackjack games.

In 2019, Evolution Gaming took the concept of live dealer play to new heights with crystal-clear streaming. The concept of live dealer play takes table games like blackjack. It has players interacting with a professional dealer broadcast from a studio directly to their web browsers or official casino apps.

In real-time, blackjack players can interact with the dealer and make all the usual moves and bets, like splitting. However, with the rise of online blackjack casinos came more blackjack variants. At their fingertips, players can indulge in Free Bet Blackjack, Spanish 21, Pontoon, European Blackjack, and other options.

Blackjack Today

Even as online casinos continue to take off, blackjack remains the centerpiece on the casino floor. Simple to play, blackjack’s allure for big wins continues to draw players to play in person or online. With new digital blackjack games come new ways to bet and bet on the house.