🎰 The History of Blackjack and Card Counting

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In all likelihood, the game of Blackjack originated from Spain in the 17th century. The origin of the game of blackjack is hotly debated. To this day, historians aren't​.


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The History of Blackjack. Edward O. Thorp and Mickey MacDougall counting cards in Las Vegas and Reno casinos. HISTORY.


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Blackjack is a game which is steeped in history. It has been played for centuries and has evolved throughout the years into the game we recognise today.


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It was not until around that the first blackjack card counters appeared. Yet even before this time, there were probably some players that used such tactics to​.


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Blackjack History ~ Basic Strategy ~ Card Counting IQ

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There is no clear consensus, but researchers agree that Blackjack probably originated in the French casinos around The French cards.


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The History of Blackjack. Edward O. Thorp and Mickey MacDougall counting cards in Las Vegas and Reno casinos. HISTORY.


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The question is: was the original game of trente-un, which we know to have been an older game than both quinze and Bone Ace, actually the same game as Bone Ace? One modern author who recognized that trente-un was the likely predecessor to vingt-un was Roger Baldwin, co-author of the first blackjack book with an accurate basic strategy, Playing Blackjack to Win This trente-un is sounding more like blackjack all the time! In some descriptions, vingt-un was played for a common pot, where all players played against each other. A standard fifty-two-card deck was used, with each card counting as its face value. Some features of this game are unlike vingt-un, but the main play of the hands consists of players attempting to draw to a total hand value of thirty-one. The deck was shuffled, and each player and the dealer were dealt one card face down. It was the custom of the time for the casinos in Europe to bank various popular games—notably roulette, hazard, trente-et-quarante, faro, and baccarat. But these are one-sided histories. Because vingt-un first appeared as a private game, and was not banked by the casinos, we will never know in which French casino the game was first played. One card, the king of diamonds, was wild, and could be counted as any value. But there was one curious feature of trente-et-quarante that later became a feature of modern blackjack. This was most common with baccarat, the player-banked variation being called chemin-de-fer. According to historian Rev. Roulette was the most popular house-banked casino game in virtually all casinos where the game was legal. Virtually all card games are based on some specified number of cards being dealt, with a winner determined by some happenstance of rank, suit, match, sequence, or total. Prior to that, cards were hand-painted by artists and calligraphers for royalty only, and they were primarily used for religious, educational, or ceremonial purposes. In Bone Ace, aces may count as one or eleven, with court cards counting ten, and other cards counting their pip values. The story is like a puzzle that you have to solve by figuring out which con artist was actually telling the truth. Bone Ace is obviously related to quinze, but we do not know if it predates quinze. You can easily see the similarities to blackjack. In another variation, the jack counted as eleven, and a jack with any other ten-valued card was considered a natural In most of the older descriptions of the game, the dealer did not show an upcard to the players. Also, if he had a hit card or cards showing that totaled 6 or more, he chanced revealing a bust to the dealer if he took another hit. Obviously, sette e mezzo was related to quinze. Aces counted as one, and all court cards counted as ten. The game can be traced to a number of popular European card games from as far back as the fifteenth century. Hey, just about everything in this universe is uncertain, but the origins of blackjack are not. Blackjack is more complex than war, but much simpler than poker. However, unlike blackjack, if the player busted with any total of more than 15, he did not have to declare his bust. If the player achieved a total of exactly 15, he immediately turned up his cards, and provided the dealer did not also make a total of 15, the player would be paid off at 2 to 1 on his bet. Hey, I like to gamble. If the player busted with any total of 8 or more, he immediately turned up his facedown card, and the dealer collected his bet. And, since any hole card for the dealer other than a court card, valued at one-half, was in danger of busting, a player with a poor hole card, such as ace, deuce, or trey, might get the dealer to bust simply by standing pat. All cards counted their pip-values, except for the court cards which each counted as one-half. Others simply echo Scarne. As with quinze, the similarities to vingt-un are remarkable. Gambling scholars have argued for decades about the origins of many modern gambling games. This feature was added to the game of twenty-one much later in its history, most likely in the U. The only exception was that a two-card 15, a natural 15, would beat a 15 total comprised of more than two cards. A still older game that was a forerunner to both quinze and vingt-un was a game called trente-un, which was played throughout Europe back in the fifteenth century. If this were all we had to go on, we would likely conclude that vingt-et-un was derived from the older European games of quinze, sette e mezzo, and trente-et-quarante, all of which were preceded by the Spanish game of trente-un. When both the player and dealer busted, the hand was a push. And our search for the origin of blackjack is over!{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Unfortunately, none of these references make any mention of the rules of play. Digging a little deeper, we find that there was yet another old European game with the target total of thirty-one. I might have actually enjoyed history class in high school if, instead of boning up on the naval career of John Paul Jones, I could have studied the three-card-monte career of William Jones, an Englishman who plied his trade on the Canadian railways throughout the mid-eighteen hundreds. As in blackjack, even if the dealer busted, those players who had busted before the dealer played his hand had already lost their bets. She died in So, in seeking the origins of vingt-un, we must look for card games that predated the mid-to-late seventeen hundreds, with a similar structure in which the winning hand was determined by the total numerical value of the cards. In researching history, we must rely on the records of human beings—a species not particularly known for either accuracy or honesty—whose statements often contradict one another. As a casino game, seven-and-a-half was not house-banked, but was banked by the player who dealt the cards. That Cervantes quote from that Roger Baldwin provides, however, makes us wonder if the Spanish game of trente-un may itself have gone through some changes through the centuries, perhaps transforming as it did to sette e mezzo in Italy and quinze in France, finally becoming vingt-un, though trente-un itself no longer retained its initial structure. The problem, however, is that there is a more modern game called trente-un, which is more like rummy, where players attempt to achieve a hand totaling thirty-one in a matching suit by taking and discarding cards from a common pile. There is little dispute that the first twenty-one games appeared in France in the early-to-mid-seventeen hundreds. Trente-et-quarante was a house-banked game, and the house edge came from the house taking half of all bets when both hands totaled exactly thirty-one. Hazard was a dice game that was the predecessor to craps. This is the oldest known game in which the card values are identical to vingt-un, including the otherwise unique double value of the ace as one or eleven. We know the game was popular because there are recorded references to this game numerous times over the next two hundred years. Players had to play their hands before the dealer played his. Faro was a variation of an older card game called bassette. But similar to quinze, the seven-and-a-half dealer was not bound by house rules in the play of his hand. As you can see, the game of quinze had definite psychological aspects to it, similar to poker, where the player could benefit by attempting to hide the strength or weakness of his hand from the dealer. According to Steve Forte, the insurance wager was probably added in Nevada casinos sometime around the late s. Most books that deal with the history of casino gambling are written by moral crusaders who want to expose the evils of gambling and the casino industry. And there is a reason for this. And like quinze, optimal strategy for seven-and-a-half was based as much on psychology as math. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}Most other gambling writers never went beyond Scarne. Just like the players, the dealer could hit or stand at his preference, provided his hand total did not exceed The dealer could then stand without hitting, on any card, even a lowly ace, and assure himself a win. I make my living gambling. In any case, the basic structure of this game is undeniably the same as blackjack. Just look at the subtitles printed on the covers of these books. If the dealer busted as well, those players who busted before the dealer did not lose their bets. Bought Out Murder Inc. As for the History of Blackjack Insurance. Since a player could have a very strong total without taking a hit if his hole card was 6 or 7, a dealer might be enticed into hitting his own hand if a player stood pat. He was permitted to simply tuck his hole card and wait for the dealer to complete his hand. One other older European card game probably contributed a single feature to our modern day game of blackjack. The forty-card deck was shuffled, and each player and the dealer were dealt one card face down. More modern authors never even gave it a shot. I will also note that the old Hoyles describe various methods of playing vingt-un that do not resemble modern twenty-one games. Answer: Yes. Also, unlike blackjack, the quinze dealer was not bound by house rules in the play of his hand. If both the player and the dealer made 15, the hand was a push. The structure of this game is so unlike any of these other European banking games, however, that we would conclude that trente-un is probably not the forerunner of blackjack. In playing the game of Quinze, any time the player had a hole card of 6 or more, he chanced busting. Yet Ed Thorp provides an analysis of the insurance option in his Beat the Dealer. Each player in turn had the option to hit or stand, and any number of hits was permitted. Most of the commentary we have on this game came from medieval religious authorities, warning their flocks that trente-un was an evil game, and urging them to put their money into the church collection baskets and not into the hands of the profligate sinners who were running these games for Satan. Thorp, Revere, Wong, Uston—all have little to say on the origins of the game. The player could not just tuck his hole card and hope the dealer busted also. The game was first mentioned in a sermon in by a famous French monk, Bernadine. In more complex card games, like poker, various combinations of rank, suit, match, or sequence may decide the winner. When it comes to researching the history of gambling, we are even more confounded by the facts at our disposal. As a casino game, quinze was not house-banked, but was banked by the player who dealt the cards. Seven-and-a-half was played with a forty-card deck, from which all eights, nines, and pip tens had been removed. Since both of these books are very thorough in their descriptions of the player options, we must assume that insurance appeared in Nevada sometime between and The similarity of the insurance option at blackjack to the insurance bet at trente-et-quarante is undeniable, and as trente-et-quarante is still popular in the casinos of both France and Italy, I suspect the addition of this rule to blackjack started with someone familiar with trente-et-quarante.