The History of Blackjack

Translated from French by Steve ThorsTen (2019)

Many guides out there would suggest that Blackjack is of the most part a game that originated in France. However, after much research, it turns out that Blackjack has more to do with an Italian game called “31”, even though the name “Blackjack” is the anglicized version of the game.

Do you want to know more about the origin of the game? If that's the case, feel free to read on and discover where Blackjack came from and how it evolved throughout the years. We will take a look at its origins as well as how the game was received in Europe and the United States, and how it made its online debut not so long ago.

Origins of Blackjack: The “Trentuno”

In the 15th century in Italy, there was a game played by the name of “31” or “Trentuno” in Italian. The goal of the game was to achieve 31 points. Proof for this is found in old texts that contain evidence of the game. This further contradicts claims that the origin of Blackjack goes back to 18th century.

Players in Trentuno had to follow the same rules as we do in modern Blackjack today, apart from the “double down” action. It's also worth noting that the cards already had the value they do today back when Trentuno was popular. The only difference was the Ace which only counted as 11 points.

Evolution in Europe

In France, the game arrived as “21”, or what we today refer to as Blackjack. This happened at some point in the 1700s. It appeared that the game's total victory points were reduced by ten for the sake of efficiency and quickness of play. The game quickly became a popular pastime among the French nobility. Even royalty played 21. The game was so popular that it was played by some of the most important people in history, including Napoleon, for example.

Why the Name Blackjack?

Known as 21, the game arrived in the United States with the first French immigrants in the 19th century. The game quickly became popular because it provided a great way to relax as well as a straightforward gameplay. Yet, when the game first appeared in casinos, players didn't really pay the game much attention.

The winnings appeared to be meagre compared to the big wins other games allowed. Then, casino owners decide to alter the payout a little, offering a 10:1 value for a winning card that consists of an Ace and a Black Jack, and thus the modern name of the game was created.

Blackjack Today

Today, the game is one of the most played card games in all land-based casinos, with players flocking to the tables. The crowds around Blackjack tables never relent and there are always people who keep playing. When the game was re-introduced to French casinos en masse in 1969, the interest in it grew even further, allowing for great payout opportunities.

Then, the online casino revolution happened , and Blackjack found its place among the titles that a casino could not dispense with. The Internet revolution created new opportunities to play Blackjack in a way that had not been accessible up until that mone. As a result, Blackjack games were improved upon with fresh animations as well as a live version of the game.

The live Blackjack version is simple and it involves you playing from a computer with a casino live streaming from a studio where a croupier deals cards while you place bets via an overlay interactive menu. Some casinos today provide customers with live studios that come directly from a brick-and-mortar casino floor as well.


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