Although it is not a fact … it is widely believed that Blackjack as we know it today originated in France. The first recorded mentioning of this game is found as “vingt-et-un” (twenty and one) in the seventeenth century. Just like with the rest of games we do not know precise origin of Blackjack and there are only guesses left as to what is the true beginning of this excellent game. Blackjack is thought to have descended from other alike French games but as the gambling games are built upon precise and well balanced calculations, this is very unlikely. Casino games seldom mutate one into another all on their own.
Blackjack is a very popular card game in Russia, where it’s traditionally called “21” or “Ochko” (“the hole”). The game is not just played in fashionable casino but is also very popular among the folk, who play it passionately. Other known names for for Blackjack are “pontoon” and “California Aces”. The English name “Blackjack” comes from the original French game where a played was rewarded to draw a Jack of spades and an Ace of spades as the first two cards. The first card to draw was Jack and spades is black, hence the name Blackjack.
Soon after the French revolution, Blackjack hit the United States and rapidly became popular because of its flexibility and freedom. Professional gamblers realized soon that Blackjack is a wonderful playing field for manipulating the odds and bets. Without government regulation, gambling was flourishing and provided a fine ground for this unique game until almost the beginning of nineteenth century which is when the government of United States realized that uncontrolled, gambling industry was leading to corruption and encouraged organized crime.The State of Nevada written gambling into law as a crime in 1910, and the situation was rapidly deteriorating for decent players while the industr went largely underground and became majorly criminalized, together with other ridiculous conducts of the government forming the very core of gangsters as we know them today. Eventually things went so horribly bad that the Nevada authorities finally got a clue, and the gambling was legalized, along with creation of laws that protect the players and overseeing bodies in the government. As the Las Vegas was reborn, Blackjack spread like wildfire throughout the casinos, momentarily winning the hearts and the minds of the players. As all other states were conservative and did not seek to reabilitate the casino gambling, Las Vegas quickly became the gambling center of United states. extremely reluctant to legalize casino gambling, Illegal and underground casinos were not and will never be competition to Nevada even though there are few other places in US where gambling is legal.
Today, Blackjack is played eveywhere around the globe. It is considered a classic in Canadian, European, Russian and American casinos all alike.