Online Gambling

The History of Blackjack

If I ask you to name one casino game the odds are you will say blackjack. Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games on the planet. The reason for this is simple. It’s one of the easiest games for new gamblers to learn and with the correct strategy you can make the house edge almost zero. In fact if you were good at card counting you can even put the odds in your favor.

Blackjacks history dates back to the seventeenth and eighteenth century France. The French played a card game very similar to blackjack called Vingt-et-un (meaning 21 in French). While similar in many ways Vingt-et-un didn’t pay out 3-2 on what we call blackjack today. Soon after the French revolution Vingt-et-un ended up on the shores of America and not long after that blackjack was born.

By the 1900s the government started seeing more organized crime involved in gambling and decided to ban it. Even Las Vegas banned gambling that included the game of blackjack. Then in 1930 the state of Nevada decided to legalize gambling with lots of regulation. They choose to legalize it because the ban on gambling failed to stop organized crime. In fact it made it more profitable for them.

For the next 20 years blackjack would be a game of entertainment that could with you a few extra dollars. But then in the 50s mathematicians around the world became obsessed with the game. The discovered that the decision to hit or stand in the game had a drastic influence ion the outcome of the game.

A man named Roger Baldwin wrote of the first guides on this subject called 'The Optimum Strategy of Blackjack'. In this guide he included mathematical analysis and explained how certain strategies can give you an advantage. His guide was so good that most of the blackjack guides and cue cards of today use the exact same ideals.

In 1962 a man named Edward O. Thorp decided to improve Baldwins work with the concept of card counting. He was so successful at this that he wrote a book called Beat The Dealer, which soon forced casino to add multiple decks and automated shuffling.

Since then a variety of people have tried to beat blackjack, most failing but some rather successful. In the 70s a team led by a man named Ken Uston won over $100K with the use of a tiny card counting computer in their shoes. They were arrested but not charged because the computers were only holding public information. The most popular blackjack team ever is the MIT blackjack team that beat the casinos for millions. They simply used one group for counting, one for low betting, and another for high stakes betting. This method made them almost undetectable by the casinos.

If you go to any casino today you will still notice that the blackjack tables are very popular. Many offline and online casinos today also have a variety of blackjack variations to play. You will also find that the game rules might be different depending where you’re playing. You can find Vegas strip rules, downtown rules, match play, and even progressive jackpots.