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BlackJack - What makes it such a Hit?

In every casino house, worldwide Black Jack is by far the leading card game, irrespective or nationality or geographical location Black Jack universally reigns players to the table consistently. The recent boom in online casinos has seen no shift in its popularity. The Mr Green Blackjack Game is one of the web’s most popular, but where exactly did Black Jack come from? Let’s take a closer look at this classic card game.

The Beginnings of a Great Game

Firstly, it must be clarified, this topic is up for much debate by historians. It would appear black jack isn’t attributed to one defined person or a set period in time and playing with cards has been around for a very long time. Rather black jack, along with many other card games has evolved over the years and continues to progress, thanks to forward thinking online casinos such as Mr Green who have modernized the classic.

Although there is no clear agreement, the majority of historians in the field agree it more than likely originated in French casinos around 1700, where it the game was named Vingt-et-Un which, translated, means twenty-one. Games historians believe it more than likely was originated from the French card games, Chemin de Fer, and French Ferme, which were in highly fashionable card games at that time.

As vingt-et-un first appeared as a private game for the aristocracy, and was not banked by the casinos, we will never establish in which French casino the game was first played. It was the tradition of the time for the casinos in Europe to bank various popular games—notably roulette, hazard, trente-et-quarante, faro, and baccarat. Interestingly it is the view of historian Rev. Ed. S. Taylor (The History of Playing Cards, 1865, London), “Vingt-et-un appeared in about the middle of the eighteenth century and was to number amongst its early enthusiasts such unlikely bedfellows as Madame Du Barry and the Emperor Napoleon.” Madame Du Barry was Marie Jeanne Bécu, a comtesse and mistress of Louis XV. She died in 1793.

Other Varieties

Meanwhile another variety of the card game was doing the rounds in Spain at a similar time, called 'One and Thirty'. The quintessential principle of the Spanish version was to reach 31 with a minimum of three cards. However, a common urban myth circulating contests these 18th century origins, stating in fact the Roman’s pioneered the game! It is thought instead of cards; the game was played with pieces of wood with varying roman numerals. Although it is well established the Romans enjoyed gambling it is by no means confirmed.

Across European verities of the card game, 'Vingt-et-Un’ or ‘21’ continued to rise in popularity. Eventually the game crossed the Atlantic to North America due to French colonists and not long a after it was played throughout the states, maintaining its popularity. When the game hit the infamous Nevada casino scene (after the state made gambling legal in 1931) the term ‘’21’’ was coined. The rules of Blackjack were then different from those of the modern-day Blackjack that we know these days. To clarify, in this old version of Blackjack, only the dealer was permitted to double.

To draw people into these elusive casinos many houses provided a welcome joining bet. A card hand bearing either of the black jacks (Clubs or Spades,) and the Ace of Spades would result in 10-1 odds on the gamblers bet. Although the traditional casino houses stopped offering this unusual bet, the name resided and continues to be known as ‘’Black Jack’’ today.

Today's World

When we turn to modern day black jack, online innovative casinos such as Mr Green have developed cutting edge software and a whole variety of Black Jack games to be enjoyed from the luxury of your own home at whatever time suits you, maintain the card games popularity worldwide.


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