Web Casino Online Blackjack History
It is usually the French who are credited for the invention of the most popular card game today – Blackjack, which is considered a variant of the original French games – "French Ferme" and "Chemin de Fer". The card game "vingt-et-un" (twenty-one) originated in France in the 1700 A.D. and was brought to the American casinos in the following century.
Although Vingt-et-un looked very similar to the game of Blackjack, the two were quite different from each other. In Vingt-et-un, the objective was to achieve the "natural" by having cards whose face value totaled up to 21. However, the dealer distributed the cards in rounds and the players placed their bets in every round. The dealer alone was allowed to Double and in case he reached Natural, all the players were to pay him triple their wager amount.
Another factor known for its contributions to the origin of Blackjack is the Italian card game of "Seven and a Hall". In this game, only the cards with values above 7 (8s, 9s, 10s, and face cards) were used. All face cards were counted as "half". This was the first reputed card game where a player having more than the total value of "seven and half" would "bust" automatically.
In "One and Thirty", a Spanish game, the rules were more or less the same as Blackjack, except for the total value being 31 in "One and Thirty" instead of 21, and the number of cards with which the game was played being 3 instead of 2 in Blackjack.
It was in 1910 that gambling houses started using the game with Evansville, Indiana being the first to report its appearance. Initially, "Vingt-et-un" didn't earn much popularity and gambling halls used several bonus payouts to attract players. The name "Blackjack" was derived from the practice of awarding bonus payouts to players having the Ace of Spades and Jack of Spades as their opening two cards. The original system of payout was 10:1. Some gambling halls offered this payout even for the Jack of Spades and Jack of Clubs.
Today, in Blackjack, getting a Jack is not necessary and an Ace with a 10-value card can also make up the winning hand. Now, regardless of the color or suit, most casinos traditionally propose a payout of 3:2 for a natural Blackjack.
In Russia, Blackjack is famous as "Ochko" (The Hole) or "21". There are also some other games that resemble traditional Blackjack which include the Pontoon which is regarded as the first variation of the game. Other variations are Spanish 21 and California Aces.
In his report titled "The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack" published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, Roger Baldwin completely changed the scenario of Blackjack strategies. It was the first revolutionary paper that tried applying mathematical theories to Blackjack. Some of the methods used by Baldwin included statistics, calculators, and probability to reduce the benefits received by casinos through Blackjack. The 10 pages of this paper took the reader through a fascinating series of mathematical theories along with their application to different card games.
Professor Edward O. Thorp:
In 1962, Professor Edward O. Thorp, who is considered the "Einstein of Blackjack", published a popular book named "Beat the Dealer". The book was referred to as the best seller that year. The book had such a strong impact on all casinos that they were forced to change their rules associated with blackjack. With the new modified rules, it became more difficult for all players to go about playing the game. And hence, as the casinos started changing these rules, the advantages once again moved in favor of these casinos. The Automatic Card Shuffling Machines and the Multiple Deck Blackjack saw the light of the day during these times only.
Stanford Wong was next in line to publish a book called Professional Blackjack about blackjack strategies. After "Beat the Dealer", this book gained immense popularity among players. This book could teach blackjack strategies using computer simulation and both old and new players received tremendous advantage from its guidelines. Not surprisingly then the book got instant popularity among blackjack stalwarts and beginners alike.
Julian Braun, an IBM employee, also contributed immensely to the formulation of blackjack. Braun, also known as computer wizard, simulated a basic strategy for the mainframe system of IBM by programming thousands of codes. He developed some extremely fascinating strategies for card counting as well as basic strategy, and these strategies found a place in the second edition of "Beat the Dealer".
It was in 1977 that Ken Uston's team invented 5 electronic pocket-sized card-counting devices that easily slid in their shoes. The team earned more than $100,000 within a short period of time. However, one of these computers was discovered and used in the FBI. Since this device simply required some usual blackjack information like the basic strategy of the game, the FBI declared it to be a non-cheating device. In 1981 in one episode of the popular news TV show "60 Minutes" aired on CBS, Uston's enlightening discussions challenged the existing system in Atlantic City's casinos of not letting card counters play. Later, Ken Uston published the book "The Big Player" which enumerated every detail of his research in blackjack.
MIT Blackjack Team:
In the beginning of 1990's, a very well known and renowned group famously known as the MIT blackjack squad was created, based on the usual practice and policy together with the counting method but was without the provision of computer support . This panel won thousands of bucks in a very short period of time. Ultimately, this squad was trapped and they were banned from playing in casinos all across the globe.
This is how the game of blackjack originated in various forms until its one form was finalized worldwide. Undoubtedly, the history of Blackjack just like the game itself remains an immensely fascinating topic for discussion. Till today, Blackjack remains one of the most sought-after and popular table games offered in casinos all over the world.
Web Casino Online Basic Blackjack Strategy