Like most of our popular card games, the exact origin of Blackjack is somewhat unclear. It is agreed that Blackjack is a modern form of the game twenty-one, but how it evolved is the source of many theories. There are noted similarities between the game and older card games from Spain. Mentions of games such as ‘ventiuna’ have been found in literature from as early as the 1600s.
French immigrants brought Blackjack to America after the French revolution in 1789. The game instantly became popular because gambling, back then, was not restricted by the government. Soon the game became a source of crime and corruption in the country and in the 19th century Blackjack was prohibited. Following its legalisation in Nevada in 1931, the game experienced a rise in popularity.
Ultimately, 20th century can be said to have revolutionised the game. New mathematical and gambling techniques have turned it into a game of skill and internet-based gambling means anyone can play whenever they’re feeling lucky.
Once players have mastered the basic strategy, then the fun really begins. Blackjack can be considered a game of skill rather than a game of luck and there are several strategies that players can apply to their advantage. Hence the term Advantage Play: which uses observation, memory and arithmetic to lessen the house edge. While these methods are legal, if the casino catches on you’ll probably be ejected and banned. Card counting is the most well-known and controversial method of advantage play, but as long as you count mentally and not with an external device you are within the law. Counting which cards have been dealt allows players to deduce which remain. This gives them a necessary advantage to break from basic strategy and win big. A lesser known method is shuffle tracking where players track specific cards through the shuffling process.