The gambling world includes numerous games like slots, poker, roulette, and the list could go on and on, but the banking game that is played the most is, guess what, Blackjack. Yes, the game also known as twenty-one beats all the other games, and simplicity of play and interaction with the dealer and other players certainly play a big role here. And of course, we can win big time playing Blackjack.
How to play
Playing Blackjack is as simple as it can get, as it’s a game of card comparison. As players, we compete with the dealer, not with the other players on the table, even if we share with the other players the possibility of getting cards from the one or more 52 cards decks involved in the game.
The goal is to beat the dealer and to do that we need to get twenty-one, and that is why the game is also called that way. There are other ways to win though, by higher score without exceeding 21 or if the dealer exceeds that value. That’s it for the rule, so it’s pretty simple.
Blackjack might have originated in a game called twenty-one back at the beginning of the 17th century, as described in a book called “Rinconete y Cortadillo” by Miguel de Cervantes, better known by his masterpiece Don Quixote. Funny enough, even back in those days, it’s said that Cervantes loved to gamble and that reflected on his literary work, where he describes a card game with the goal of reaching 21.
Consensus about this doesn’t exist though, as some say that the game started in French casinos, while others mention that was invented by the Romans. The theory of the game being invented by the Romans is quite interesting actually, as it’s said that they used wooden blocks with numbers to play. The fact that the Romans loved gambling reinforces this idea to some gambling historians, but should not be taken for granted, as everyone throughout history seems to love gambling!
The name Blackjack appeared much later and it’s associated with the legalization of gambling, what happened in 1931 In Nevada, United States. An excellent marketing move from gambling houses that wanting to stimulate players to play the new game, offered a high payout if a player had a hand with an ace of spades and a blackjack, both clubs, and spades would do.
The so-called Blackjack hand had a catchy name and it stuck even when the bonus left, and now it’s naming one of the most famous games in the world.
It’s no surprise that Blackjack features in a number of TV shows, and most likely the most famous one was a pricing game that featured on The Price is Right TV show. This pricing game also aimed to reach the desired 21 and was on air for 26 years, from 1980 to 2006.
Another media appearance with Blackjack, among many others, is the movie Rain Man that features Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise, where the character played by Hoffman was actually counting cards at Blackjack, something considered illegal as it is widely known.
As most other casino games, Blackjack continues to grow thanks to the online casinos, and new versions and variants of the game continue to appear, including playing online with a live dealer, so it seems the game is already well adjusted and will stay with us for long centuries to come.