Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games there is out there. Why? Well, it could possibly be because it is such a simple game to learn and play. There truly is only one rule. You need to get as close as possible to twenty-one without going over. Ta-da! That’s it. No real rocket science involved. If you can add, you can play. So based upon that alone, that may be the reason why it has been and will continue to be one of the most popular casino games.
But, was it invented by Americans? Nope. Card games as a whole were the invention of the Chinese. The earliest forms of card games known were played with paper money in China around the year 900 AD. From what is understood from research, they used to shuffle money and one day said hey, that would make a great game; so what they called “paper tickets” was born. Time and tide changes all things-what a great saying-and a German gentleman by the name of Johann Gutenberg in 1440 said: Hm, I can make this better (not really but it’s fun to think he said that). Or it may be that he just saw a way to make a product that would be high in demand and make him lots of money. Smart man! So he printed the very first deck of cards.
But let’s not digress, back to blackjack, the closet game way back when to blackjack most think was in France in the 1700s. It was called “vingt-et-un” or ta-da! twenty-one. There were some wonderful card games that spun off from this first game; much as a famous TV series will have a spin off show. “Seven and a Half” and a game from Spain called “One and Thirty” are just a couple that have been pin pointed as possible spin offs from blackjack. Then in the 1800s its popularity spread to the US. Again, time and tide change things because it wasn’t exactly the same as the blackjack that we know and love but so close that most agree that its roots came from this game.
But in about the year 1910, this great game had reached the US version of casinos and was being pushed to them in an effort to entice them to play. Their marketing of the game went so far as to give players a bonus if they got the “Black Jack” and the “Black Ace” in their hand. From this bonus, came the wonderful name we all know and love now: Blackjack.
Now, blackjack is a wonderful casino game or a great fun family night game. Many movies have featured it in all its simplicity in their films, further expanding its popularity. So the next time you and your family sit down for a family night maybe make it a blackjack night. Not only will it be a great way to impart some history on cards but-shh don’t tell them-it will give them more practice in math.