History of Blackjack - Main Facts

Lots of arguing and debating occur when talks go about the origin of blackjack. It goes without saying that the game is really old (its age can be measured by centuries certainly) and it has considerably changed comparing to the original during historical process. At the present time we can hardly state something for sure, because too much time has gone, but several documentary facts can spill light on the hypothetical origin of blackjack, so let's deal with each of them to make up our mind.


A famous writer who mentioned a card game which is referred to blackjack rules is Francouis Rabelais. In his story "Gargantua and Pantagruel" he noticed a game of "one-and-thirty", which was, undoubtedly, close by its principles to blackjack. The approximate date of reference is 1532-1542, but, judging by Francouis'age, the game itself appeared much earlier.


Some historians consider modern blackjack to be descendant of a Spanish game "ventiuna", which is an equivalent of the English "twenty-one". It was first mentioned by Miguel de Cervantes, a famous Spanish author who wrote Don Quixote. Being a gambler, Cervantes in one of his stories created a couple of rogues, who were professional cheaters in a game of "ventiuna" - it's object is to reach 21 point without busting, and in the deck ace is valued by 1 or 11 points. The story is dated between 1601 and 1602, and by this features we can judge that the ancestor of blackjack "ventiuna" was already played in Spain in the beginning of 17th century, but probably - considerably earlier.

"Seven and a half"

Also in 17th century a game of "seven and a half" existed. It is still played in some countries and considerably differs in counting and deck (instead of 52 only 40 cards are used), but the principles - reaching 7 ½ points or close to it and not to bust - closely come to the principles of blackjack rules. This game was brought through the time and probably influenced on blackjack ingeneral.


This card game originates from France, and in a lot of aspects we cannot state that it was a straight ancestor of blackjack, but still both games have a lot of common features and a similar aim - to teach 21 points score without busting. Many researchers consider European blackjack to come most closely to this game.

Blackjack in America

After the French revolution blackjack grew more and more popular in America, where it was brought to from Europe. There were no legitimate acts or laws restricting the rules and terms of payment by that time, and professional gamblers and casinos cheated a lot of people who came to play just for fun, not to earn money. Nevertheless blackjack captured its positions and because of its simplicity became one of the most popular card games in the world.

One way or another, blackjack has got rich self-history of development and mutating, and now it can be found in any virtual or land casino of the world, attracting gamblers and challenging to try their brains and luck.

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