Whether you’re an avid casino gamer or not, you’ve probably heard of Blackjack. An iconic card game, Blackjack is said to have originated in France in the 1700s, where it was originally known as Vingt-et-Un. It’s believed that the game was derived from similar card games at the time, like Chemin de Fer, and was enjoyed at the French Royal court during the reign of King Louis XV.
Since then, Vingt-et-Un has become a staple in many casinos across the globe, and in many cases, became deemed as the world’s favorite casino game. So, join us as we take a look at what Blackjack is, the influential elements of its history, and most importantly, why it’s one of the most popular casino games of all time…
Vingt-et-Un in France
Vingt-et-Un is a direct translation of Twenty-one, which is named after the value of which you’ll aim to get your cards to in order to beat the dealer. As previously mentioned, Vingt-et-Un started off in French casinos, as well as being enjoyed in Royal Courts before it was taken over to North American shores in the 18th century by French colonists.
19th Century France saw bans on gambling games, so Vingt-et-Un couldn’t continue to develop. However, in 1820, the newly legalized gaming halls in New Orleans, America, were well-equipped to host the game, helping it to begin its journey around the States.
Twenty-one in America
As Twenty-one expanded throughout America, a skilled dealer called Eleanor Dumont made a name for herself. After being born in France and immigrating to America, much like the game itself, Dumont travelled around playing the game until she opened her own gambling hall in Nevada, which she ironically called Vingt-et-Un. People would travel from far and wide to play against Dumont, as she was considered a rarity amongst dealers. This helped, yet again, to spread the game throughout the country.
Dumont couldn’t have chosen her location much better, because Nevada City later became home to the Las Vegas Strip, and in the 20th century, became known as Blackjack. This was due to a bonus payout used by casinos to promote the game, involving the Ace of Spades and one of the two Black Jacks in a deck of cards. Winning with these cards making the value of 21 was known as a Blackjack. Even when the promotion faded out, the name stuck, and knowledge of the game travelled worldwide.
In the modern-day, Blackjack is easily accessible and can be played at both land-based and online casinos. In fact, it’s rare you’ll find any casino that doesn’t host multiple tables. The game itself is still loved for it’s fairly simple gameplay and low house edge of around 2%.
The aim, is to get your hand to the value of 21 and beat the dealer, and you can do this by choosing to ‘hit’, ‘stand’, ‘split’, ‘double down’, or ‘fold’ on your hand, which will initially be made up of two cards. Numbered cards hold their face value, royal face cards are worth 10, and Aces can be worth either one or 11, depending on which best suits your gameplay.
Once you’ve got the hang of basic Blackjack strategy, you’ll have an understanding of the different choices you can make to get the most out of your hand.
So, do you think you have what it takes to beat the dealer in the world’s favorite casino game?