Blackjack Origin and History Facts

History, Blackjack, Cards, King, Ace, Chips, Money, Hands

Welcome to my post on blackjack history. I take you on a journey through the long and storied history of one of the world’s most popular card games, showing you how it began and spread across the globe.

The history of blackjack is like that of other card games – uncertain but exciting! You can piece together many things about it, and that’s what I do here.

Let’s begin with what’s known about blackjack origins and go from there until we eventually reach online blackjack and the modern variants of the game.

When Was Blackjack Invented?

Like many other popular casino games, the exact origins of blackjack are in dispute. Nobody can pinpoint exactly when it was invented or by whom. However, there are some pretty informed guesses about when it began to take off.

As with the history of roulette, the origins of blackjack can be traced to France. The game was popular in local casinos in the 18th century and was mentioned in Don Quixote.

However, Miguel de Cervantes didn’t refer to it as blackjack in his novel; he called it vingt-et-un.

The game was also played in the Royal Courts in France. It’s even rumored that military General Napoleon Bonaparte played it to relax, although he strictly prohibited his men from doing so.

So, while nobody can say exactly how blackjack started, there’s a rough consensus that it did so in France in the 18th century.

How Did Blackjack Become Popular?

Like many other things, blackjack spread across the world during the period of European colonization. This carried it from Europe to Asia, Africa, and the Americas.

As French settlers dug in, blackjack took off in the casinos around New Orleans. It eventually spread to the West as pilgrims made their way into the new frontier in search of fortunes.

Futher Info:

As for how blackjack became popular in casinos, legend has it that legendary gambler Eleanor Dumont traveled around the country running blackjack games. She eventually opened a gambling room in Nevada City, California.

Once the game took root, casinos started offering premium payouts for blackjack to compete. At one point, some casinos were offering 10:1 payouts for blackjack, causing the game to take off like wildfire.

These days, live blackjack games like Quantum Blackjack offer similar huge payouts to attract players, but the standard blackjack payout is much lower!

Blackjack Trivia and Interesting Facts

Here are some interesting tidbits about blackjack that I learned when researching the game’s timeline.

They include some blackjack history facts and general trivia that you might find interesting.

  1. Historically, blackjack was called 21, and it sometimes still is. It got the name blackjack when casinos started offering bonus payouts for hands containing spades or clubs.
  2. Traditional games of blackjack involve one dealer’s ‘hole card,’ which players can’t see. However, variants like Double Exposure Blackjack allow you to see both of the dealer’s cards these days.
  3. The probability of getting natural blackjack, which usually pays a premium, is 4.8%. Always work the odds when playing blackjack. You can’t beat math.
  4. The ‘shoe’ from which blackjack cards are dispensed got its name from the fact that it originally looked like a woman’s shoe.
  5. In poker, when players lose it and start playing erratically, it’s called ‘going full tilt.’ When the same happens in blackjack, it’s called ‘steaming.’

Online Blackjack and Live Dealer Blackjack Tables

With the rise of online casino gaming, there are now many different blackjack variants. I already mentioned Double Exposure Blackjack, but online casinos offer more games than this. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the more popular ones.

  • Speed Blackjack – This game was developed by live gaming legendary studio Evolution to give you double the action in the same playing time. Everything happens faster – each round is distilled down to the basics to keep the game rolling at a steady fast pace.
  • Quantum Blackjack – Live blackjack with multipliers has become a big thing recently. Playtech’s Quantum Blackjack game offers you a chance to win payouts of up to 50x. Multipliers are linked to special cards in the deck and can compound.
  • Lightning Blackjack – This is a live dealer blackjack game from Evolution with a side bet. If you make it and win two consecutive hands, you can win a payout of between 2x and 25x. It’s well worth checking out.

Fancy trying some of these and the various other blackjack variants online? You can play them at the best blackjack casinos online. These approved sites all offer great games, generous bonuses, and fast, secure payouts.

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.