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History of Blackjack

Blackjack, also known as Twenty-one and Pontoon, is the most widely played casino bank game in the world. The ease of learning coupled with the slim house edge make Blackjack appealing to gamblers of all experiences.


The precursor of Blackjack was a game called simply “Twenty-one” although the exact origins of the game are unknown. A short story written between 1601 and 1602 by Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes contains the first known written reference of the game, in which the main characters are a couple of cheaters working in Seville who are experts in cheating at “veintiuna” which is Spanish for twenty-one.


In the story, the game was played with a Spanish deck of cards known as Baraja, that is without any tens in it and the object of the game was to reach 21 points without busting. Players could also count Aces as either 1 or 11 points, which is very similar to the Blackjack played now. The age of the book goes to show the game was played in Spain in the early 17th Century.


When the game of 21 was introduced in the United States of America, it was not very well received. Gamblers enjoyed the games already on offer and were reluctant to try this newcomer. In order to attract customers, gambling houses started to offer bonuses, including one where the house paid out a massive 10-to-1 if a player was dealt the Ace of spades and Jack of spades. For obvious reasons they called this hand “blackjack” and the name stuck long after the bonuses were abolished thanks to the rising popularity of the game.


Over the years a number of variations of the game have 789bet login appeared, each with the same common goal of reaching 21 but with slightly different rules on the number of decks of cards used, when a player can split their hand and when the dealer has to draw or stand. These variations in rules have been put in place to alter the house advantage by varying degrees but the game has ultimately remained the same.