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The invention of Blackjack: where it all began for the casino game

Last Updated on 2021/05/14

There is a wealth of fun to be had playing the famous game of Blackjack, whether that’s at the table of a land-based casino, or taking your chances with the online version of the game.

The best casino in UK even offers Live Blackjack, that combines the best features of the classic game, with the ultimate immersive experience from the comfort of your own home.

But have you ever wondered where it started for Blackjack, and how it became the game it is today? Well, we’re here to explain all about the classic game, from its distant past, all the way to the future of the card game.

The Past

Like many classic games, the exact origins of Blackjack are unknown. However, it’s believed to have derived from a French card named Vingt-Un, which translates as 21. There are also theories that it was traditionally played in Spain and Italy.

The first written evidence of an archaic game of Blackjack was produced by Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes in the early 1600s, which alludes to the idea that the game may have first been played in Spain. Cervantes references a game in his short story Rinconete y Cortadillo, in which the characters have to reach 21 points with a Spanish set of playing cards, without exceeding this target, and where the Ace can be worth one or 11. The game is called Veintiuna, which translates as 21 – a name which was continuously used throughout history for this type of game.

In Britain in the late 1700s, a card game known as Pontoon, also derived from a British version of Vingt-Un, and supposedly is another descendant card game surrounding the aim of reaching 21. Once the game of 21 travelled over to the casinos and players of America, the term Blackjack was created. This was initially a term coined for a particular winning hand that consisted of the Ace of spades, and either the Jack of clubs or the Jack of spades. This Blackjack hand was used by casinos in the US to attract more players to the game, with the impressive pay-out they could receive if they had the chance of being dealt those cards.

Even though that particular pay-out was later dropped, the name of Blackjack stuck, and is still used to describe the game even to this day.

Present-Day Blackjack

Nowadays, Blackjack remains a popular table game in land-based casinos. But thanks to advances in technology, Blackjack is even easier to play through the screen of your device.

In the late 1990s, the first game of online Poker emerged, using computer software and random number generators to determine the outcome of the game. Soon after, other classic casino games followed suit, where players could play against the computer with the chance to real win money.

Nowadays, online casinos have plenty of different versions of Blackjack to play to cater for all types of players. You can play varying themes of the game, as well as take things to the next level with a range of side-bets and wagering options.

Blackjack can now also be played as part of the Live Casino offering, where a game takes place in real time with a human dealer to play against. It provides the atmosphere of a land-based casino, with elaborate sets and all the equipment you’d expect from a Blackjack game, yet you can play the game from the comfort of your own home.

The Future of The Game

As technology advances, so does the way in which we play casino games, and Blackjack is no exception. As previously mentioned, Live Blackjack has become a popular option for those seeking an immersive casino experience, but this could be heightened even further when casino collides with virtual reality (VR).

In the not-so-distant future, players can expect to walk into a virtual casino and sit at a digital Blackjack table through a VR headset, and truly immerse themselves in the game. There is even the possibility to interact with the avatars of dealers and other players, whilst enjoying the fun of the game and the casino’s atmosphere.

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The Eunuch by Jonathan Kos-Read

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