Blackjack, a card game that spans centuries, is still as popular today as it was when it first hit gaming tables – but how has the game changed from its birth to the present day?
Whether you’ve dabbled in a game online to play live Blackjack, for example, or down your local casino venue’s table, have you ever wondered how the game reached the table you played on? If so, read on to find out about the history of this iconic casino classic, and how it has changed over the years to become a gaming sensation both on and offline.
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Where it all began
Let’s step back in time to the 1700s, France, when King Louis XIV reigned until 1715, and King Louis XV took over until 1774, before the French Revolution in 1789. However, this wasn’t the only thing to happen in France around 1700…
During this time, a little well-known card game hit the casino lobby – Vingt-et-Un, which translates to Twenty-One. Spreading like wildfire, Vingt-et-Un became popular with many players across the country and is even said to have been played within the French Royal Court.
Over time, word soon spread about the game, quickly hitting the shores of North America thanks to the help of French colonists. The game grew in popularity and was soon played in legalised gambling halls in New Orleans in 1820. It was during this time of legalisation in many states of America, that Eleanor Dumont, a French woman known for her expertise amongst dealers, immigrated to America and toured the states, showcasing her skills and introducing more players to the charm of Vingt-et-Un/Twenty-One.
Eventually, Dumont opened up her own gambling establishment in Nevada City, California, which was dedicated to Twenty-One. She ironically called her venue Vingt-et-Un and saw players travelling from all over the country looking to play against her.
As we journey towards the 20th century, Vingt-et-Un was still known in the States as Twenty-One; but things were about to change.
Trying to promote the game as well as other games on the casino lobby floor to new and existing players and visitors, some gambling halls agreed to run a few promotions. These promotions offered bonus payouts, including one that proved very popular with most – an extra payout if a black Jack was dealt along with the Ace of Spades. This was known as the Black Jack Deal. As the promotions faded from the lobbies, the name ‘Blackjack’ stuck. Hence why in many places around the world, Vingt-et-Un or Twenty-One is known as Blackjack.
And this hasn’t been the only gameplay change the iconic cards have seen in their lifetime: enter the birth of the internet.
On January 1st 1983, the internet was born, although this new technology wasn’t widely used until around 1995 when it became more accessible to the masses. A year later in 1996, the world’s first online casino opened its doors, and as they say, the rest was history.
Thanks to the ever-advancing developments in technology, players all across the globe can simply log on from their chosen device connected to the internet, to play a game of Blackjack.
Over time, we have seen the evolution of Blackjack; from 1700s France, played by the French Royal Court, to today, where a game is simply a tap of an app away. But where will the game be in another century or more? Only time will tell…