History of Blackjack

The origin of blackjack up to now is still unknown. But many believe that it evolved from a couple of French games such as "chemin de fer" and "French Ferme". It was around 1700s when a game similar to the blackjack as we know it today was first played in several French casinos. This game, which literally means twenty-one, is called "Vingt-et-un".

Blackjack reached the American soil in the 19th century and spread throughout the country despite laws prohibiting gambling. As gambling was gradually legalized in several states of the country, blackjack has steadily gained popularity among card game enthusiasts. Blackjack became one of the most favorite casino gambling games among Americans.

During the last half of the 20th century, blackjack enthusiasts began studying the dynamics behind the the game. They studied both the cards and the blackjack table in the casinos. With this, they developed several blackjack strategies on how to get advantage over the dealer.

Several books and articles were written about blackjack, which propelled blackjack to a new height of popularity. Some books were even best-sellers and attracted a variety of readers. In 1956, an article written by Roger Baldwin was published in the Journal of The American Statiscal Association about blackjack. The article was entitled "The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack". This article was the first to apply mathematic skills in the game of blackjack.

In 1962, Professor Edward O. Thorp developed basic strategies and the first card counting strategies in the game of blackjack. He published a book which instantly became a best-seller. It was entitled "Beat the Dealer" and became an instant hit among backjack enthusiasts.

Since then, scientist, mathematicians and computer experts developed better blackjack strategies. These endangered profits of casino owners as blackjack patrons continue to seek better strategies to beat the dealer. And in response, the casino owners tried altering blackjack rules, such as playing two, six, and even eight decks. Blackjack players resisted these changes to the rules applied by the casino owners. Profits went down in casinos as blackjack players stop patronizing casino blackjack tables. Casino owners have no choice but to bring back old blackjack rules.

Today, blackjack never ceased to gain popularity. Blackjack dealers in casinos proved to be harder to beat throughout the years but the skills of blackjack players also continue to improve. With this, blackjack will continue to be a casino experience one will never pass a chance to enjoy.