The history of Blackjack is not as clear as some of the other games of chance, however most historians can agree that the modern game of Blackjack is originally derived from the French game of Vingt Et Un.
The French equivalent of the English number 21, Vingt Et Un was thought to have first been introduced in France sometime in the early seventeenth century.
The two games are similar in function, but the rules for play and dynamics of betting could not be further apart.
In Vingt En Un, there was betting between each round, and in its original form, only the dealer could double-down. Modern Blackjack gets not only its underlying theme and card valuations from its ancient French counterpart,
but also its name. Blackjack
comes from one of Vingt En Un's special features in which the player would receive a special payout if he held the Jack and Ace of spades,
hence the name, Black Jack. The goal in both games has always been the same, to get a higher cumulative total of cards than the dealer, without exceeding 21.
The next trivial movement in the conception of modern Blackjack came about when a new game called, Seven and a Half hit the gaming
scene in Italy.
Similar to Vingt En Un, the goal of this game was to get closer to seven and a half points than the dealer without going over.
All of the cards used their numerical value, while face cards equaled one-half of a point, and the king of diamonds could substitute any card in the deck.
When a player had received a total value of points higher than seven and a half, his hand was busted and he would immediately lose his bet.
Naturally, this is where the bust factor of Blackjack came into play, and no doubt pushed American casinos to develop their perfectly flawed game of choice.
It wasn't until the French Revolution that the pre-requisites of modern Blackjack came to North America.
Gaming laws in America did not exist at the time, and its widespread popularity further progressed its future and deemed the game an American phenomenon.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, professional gamblers had begun to study the game's dynamics and had given birth to modern Blackjack basic strategy.
By this time the government had taken strong notice of Blackjack's sudden popularity and accordingly passed laws banning gaming in all of its territories.
At the time, and probably still to this day, the government firmly believed that Blackjack, and gaming as a whole, corrupted society and encouraged organized crime.
So with Capital Hill lawmakers, and federal marshals on its trail, Blackjack had begun to make its way underground.
The game would grow dramatically in popularity during the roaring '20s, and it wouldn't be long before Nevada entrepreneurs would lobby state legislatures in an effort to legalize gaming.
In 1939, the state of Nevada officially removed their bans on gaming, and gave birth to great city of Las Vegas, and in turn, the game of Blackjack as we know it today.