Blackjack Roots - A History of Blackjack

It is commonly accepted that Blackjack originated in France around the 1700's. Popular belief also holds that it derived from the French games 'Chemin de Fer' and 'French Ferme.' The history of Blackjack starting in France could also be supported by the game's French name 'Vingt-et-Un' or 'Twenty-and-One.' The name in fact, also speculated other names for Blackjack like '21.' (The name Blackjack only came about when the game added the rule that if the player gets a Jack of Spades (the ' Black Jack') and an Ace of Spades as his first cards, then the player gets an extra winning.)

In the United States, the history of Blackjack didn't happen just as easy. From the 1850's to 1910, Nevada (the gambling state) stripped any form of gambling of its legality. Yet, other parts of the West supported it. It was only in 1931 that Nevada re-legalized gambling offering Blackjack as its new carrier-game. From then the history of Blackjack was in a steady state, until came the 1950's when the game started to develop a mathematical interest. Blackjack pioneers started to apply mathematics, especially probability and statistical theory to develop strategies that would reduce the house's advantage of winning against the player. These efforts were first noticed when a man named Roger Baldwin finally published an article in the Journal of American Statistical Association entitled "The Optimal Strategy in Blackjack." With that kind of title, it is probably that all Blackjack players must have read that math paper during that time. On the other hand it moved geniuses to think and prove (or disprove) if the strategic theories are correct. Other influential publications in the history of Blackjack followed soon after including 'Beat the Dealer' (1963) and 'Professional Blackjack' (1975). All of which concluded nothing but one fact, "The casino has NO mathematical advantage over the player." Any one who has diligently studied all aspects of Blackjack strategy is sure to win. Among the personas that challenged the game throughout the history of Blackjack are professors, scientists, writers, eclectics, hall-of-famers, or just gamblers like Edward Thorp, Al Francesco, Stanford Wong, Peter Griffin, Tommy Hyland, Arnold Snyder, Keith Taft, Max Rubin, Julian Braun, Lawrence Revere, James Grosjean, Johnny Chang, and Ken Uston and the MIT Blackjack Team. All of them helped make Blackjack remarkable to eyes of the general public. And being a relatively fair game by nature, it didn't take long before the game was compared, and preferred, to the other 'chancier' casino games such as the slots and roulette.

 
 
 
   
 
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