Blackjack in the Wild West

In the old west of America gambling was illegal, illegal for the most part that is except for the state of Louisiana. Even though gambling was illegal it was still a practice that was rife in most of the eastern states of America and the popularity of gambling increased even more once gold was discovered in various parts of America which inevitably resulted in a gold rush fever, luring thousands of prospectors west and north.

The majority of gambling at this time was to be found along the river camps where ever there were mines or claims along the banks. A great deal of the gambling also took place on the river boats that plied their trade up and down the river. The river boat captains worked hand in hand with card sharks luring rich travelers on to the boats so that they could entice them to gamble and then split the profits. Once news of the discovery of gold made its way back east many of the river boat captains decided to head west to follow the gold rush because this meant new opportunities to fleece the newly rich out of their new found wealth.

The Game of Vingt et Un Introduced to the Wild West

Vingt et Un is a French game and the name implies the purpose of the game, Vingt et Un means twenty one and the purpose of the game is to try and achieve a total of twenty one based on the cards that you have been dealt by a dealer. Around the eighteenth century the game came to the new world. There were many ships traveling to America from Europe and the southern part of America saw a considerable number of French sailors and travelers moving west towards the gold rush. French gambling syndicates saw new ways of making money from prospectors who had struck gold and had a need to spend some of their new found wealth. The game of twenty one which would eventually become known as blackjack had firmly established itself in America.