Blackjack history

Whether playing in a land-based casino or choosing to place your bets online, one of the most popular card games players are most likely to find is blackjack. Played with a hand of only two cards, the aim is to either beat the hand of the dealer or get closest to 21. There are many theories as to where the game originates. So, if you’d like to know about the history of blackjack before you sit at one of our live casino tables, take a look below and see where the European roots of the game grew from.

The history of blackjack

When it comes to the modern game played in our live casino, many players think it originated in America during the 1930s in Nevada. However, this is not the case, as although the name of the game may have come from around that period, the history of blackjack can actually date back to the time of the Romans, which means the game may actually be older than we think.

Although there is still some debate about the history of blackjack, the early version the Romans played featured wooden blocks with numbers. It's from these wooden blocks that the playing cards we now use today in online blackjack evolved.

When it comes to the use of cards within the game, this actually dates back to the late 1700s and is mentioned many times in Europe in different forms. So whether you think it’s Spain or France the game originates from, we’ve got all the details below.

The European era (France & Spain)

Card games across Europe have been popular for centuries and whether you’re looking at games in Italy, France or Spain, making a combination of numbers is a popular conclusion to a game. When it comes to the history of blackjack, one of the first mentions comes in literary works by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes. Calling the game Veintuina, in the short story Rinconete y Cortadillo, which features two card cheats, the object of that gambling game is to reach 21.

However, when looking at blackjack facts, many players have come to an agreement that Blackjack has some origins in French casinos and through the French game of ‘Vingt-en-Un’, which translates to Twenty-One. A casino game once popular in the French Royal Court of King Louis XV and with famous figures such as Napoleon Bonapart, it continue to grow and the game evolved into the modern version we know today.

The French origins of the game can also refer to blackjack's connection to the card game of Chemin De Fer. Another 17th-century card game which many other games have also derived from, including baccarat, the aim of this game was to make a total of 9 rather than 21.

The American era

When it comes to the introduction of Blackjack in America, there are many myths as to when the game ventured across the Atlantic, with some theories saying the game was introduced as early as the 1800s, others saying it was during the First World War or in the 1930s.

According to the history of blackjack, the game made its switch to a new shore in the 1800s. First seen in 1820 in a gambling hall in New Orleans, this form of the game featured different rules to the game known today, and it’s from one of those specific payouts, that the game gained the name Blackjack. This is a card hand popular in New Orleans that consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack card, and this is how the name blackjack came to be.

However, if you’re looking for the modern, widely played version of the game that is found within our live casino, players need to only look back to 1931. Following its legalisation within Nevada City, it underwent a name change to make the game more marketable, and that name has stuck.

Increasing popularity in the 60s

After its legalisation and the publication of The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack in 1956, it gained popularity, and there was a boom in the playing of Blackjack in American land-based casinos. Added to this was the publication of even more strategies in 1963, which introduced the maths behind card counting to players.

Counting cards is now frowned upon by many players and casinos and is a system that offers no guarantees of winning or beating the house rules. However, when it was previously used, it was thought to give the players a slight edge. Although we’d not recommend using it when playing, it’s a system that is virtually impossible in online blackjack games.

Blackjack nowadays

When it comes to modern-day blackjack, the most popular variant of the game can be seen online within a live casino. Utilising the blackack rules which were legalised in Nevada City by the Nevada Gaming Commission, including the hit and stand options, these game options are the basic rules a player will need to follow when playing blackjack.

However, the evolution of online blackjack doesn’t stop there and the games widely played today in all other casinos offer players that little bit more. As well as the simple bets, developers now have added scope when creating a game. There are many variants at your fingertips on Pink Casino. Whether you prefer popular games, such as European Blackjack, Spanish, or versions with added bonus payouts, like Free Bet Blackjack, you'll find a perfect match.

Take Time to Think | | 18+

We're sorry!

Unfortunately, PinkCasino isn't available in your country.