The History of Blackjack and How Far It Has Come

The history of blackjack and its evolution through time
The history of blackjack and its evolution through time

For some people, getting into something new isn’t just an opportunity to add a fresh hobby to their repertoire; it’s a chance to learn something new. Of course, if that hobby is a classic game, such as blackjack, a large part of that learning is going to be related to what’s involved with playing the game itself – but there is still more to it than that.

Games don’t just snap into being; there is a history behind them, and sometimes, when you have a game that’s been around for as long as blackjack, that history can be rich, detailed, and interesting.

Working Backwards

Not everyone will be familiar with the current state of blackjack, and you might just have a passing interest in it at the moment, so it’s worth establishing a wider scope for what the game is like today. Not only is blackjack incredibly well-known and popular, having multiple rulesets that people tend to have preferences within, but there are also multiple ways to play it.

While the method that might immediately spring to your mind could be the one that involves a pack of cards and some friends sitting around a table, the presence of online blackjack real money platforms means you can play the game from wherever you are, thanks to your smartphone and the connected nature of the internet.

Reaching this point is something that few games manage, and at this point, the game of blackjack is up there with classics such as chess, roulette, and poker in regards to how universal it may be perceived as being.

Previous Identity

What makes the history of blackjack somewhat difficult to understand is the fact that it hasn’t always been known by this name. Beforehand, it used to go by ‘21’, which makes sense given the rules of the game. With 21 (or ‘vingt-un’ as it was known in many of the countries where it was popular), it later descended into blackjack, but the parent game had another child – pontoon.

Pontoon as a game was much more popular around the time of the First World War than it is today, but the shared DNA goes to show you the kind of prevalence that these games have always had.

Disputed Origins

Once something becomes multiple hundreds of years old, it becomes difficult to be completely sure of its origin. While certain facts can be ascertained, such as the game making its way onto American shores during the 18th century, trying to nail down the specific time and location of when it came into being is much more difficult.

Some say 17th century France and Spain have been offered up as a starting point for the parent game, and some even go as far as to suggest it found its origins in Roman times.

What muddies the waters even further is the idea that it likely hasn’t always resembled the game it is today (as can be seen by looking at the parent game). Multiple variations probably existed across multiple times that slowly merged into the casino classic people play today as blackjack.

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