Early History of Blackjack

The game of blackjack is an extremely popular casino card game yet few people realize just how old this game really is. The roots of blackjack can be traced back to fifteenth century Europe although there accounts of other even older card games influencing the development of blackjack. The printing press was invented during the fourteen forties and helped to make the printing of cards much cheaper making them much easier to get.

Most people agree that the game of blackjack that we know today started off in Spain in the sixteenth century and was a game called trente Un and in this particular version of a card game the object was to achieve a total of thirty one using a combination of cards that had been dealt to the players.

In Trente Un the ace counted as eleven and this is one of the basic similarities to modern blackjack except that in modern blackjack the ace has evolved and can now be counted as eleven or as one. There were of course other games around at the time that also contributed to the development of modern blackjack. Another card game that became widely popular in the sixteenth century called Bone Ace was in fact was the same game as Trente Un. The rules and card values in Bone Ace are exactly the same as modern blackjack, the ace counts as one or eleven, the court cards or picture cards all count as ten and the numbered cards from two to nine are their face value.

In France during the eighteenth century another card game became very popular; this card game was called “Vingt et Un” or “twenty and one”. This game is today recognized by the majority of blackjack historians as the true father of modern blackjack. The objective total of twenty one is the same which most likely means that vingt et un directly influenced or evolved into modern blackjack. Eventually the game of vingt et un made its way across the ocean to America where it eventually became known as blackjack.