Nowadays “Blackjack” also called “21”is not just the most popular game in the world, but also one of the most preferred ones by both professionals and amateurs. Venturous games adherers cover thousands of miles to play it in Las Vegas casinos and either win a lot of money or just play for interest
One should note that becoming a winner in blackjack is possible not just by the merit of Her Majesty Fortuna, but mostly by means of skills and intense trainings. Mathematical skills are essential as well! If you have them, the game will go with a run! But why is this game that has about fifty variations, has become so popular? The thing is that its rules are pretty simple; the game allows selecting a strategy suitable for a specific player. Plus, chances to win are pretty high for both – experienced gamblers and novices.
Getting back to the basics…
Historians think that the age of the game is more than 300 years. If we talk about card games and their origin in general, experts share the opinion that they appeared in Ancient China during the reign of Tang Dynasty (AD9). It was then when the first sheets of paper were developed to be used for playing games. They were covered with different symbols, and later on there appeared four suits.
Playing cards entered Europe via Egypt with traveling Mamluk people at the end of the 14th century. The pack of cards at that time was made of 52 cards looking like modern Taro with their staffs, swords, goblets, and coins serving as suits. Starting from this time venturous entertainments began their expansion through the Old World; and both – kings and rotaries played them with passion. The 15thcentury changed the look of the playing cards significantly – apart from actual suits there appeared representatives of monarchs’ families: king, queen, and prince (jack).
Blackjack itself appeared in France during the 17th century. Its predecessor is “Vinght et Un” – the game that was very popular in the gambling venues of this country. The rules of this entertainment were similar to actual ones, except for the stickman who had the right to double the bet.
The most significant impulse for the expansion of blackjack took place in America where it was brought by French immigrants who left their homes in search of a better life and set off for New Orleans, LA. This city became the point of expansion for the game through all the western states.
Initially the game was called “Twenty one” like in France. But alongside with legalisation of gambling during the 19th century and erection of new casinos the owners of gambling venues modified the rules of the game a little bit: if a gamer made a combination of a black jack and an ace thus getting 21 points, his prize money turned to be 10 times larger than his bet. This is where the name “black jack” originated from. Eventually this multiplier for a super-combination decreased up to x3.
To modern age…
The game continued gaining popularity as people kept coming to the casinos and winning money. Occasionally they really drained gambling venues! All went well, and no one could imagine how everything would change with calculating machines entering our lives. The first documented attempt to use them for playing blackjack at a gambling venue is dated 1953. Three years later a mathematician and a fan of this game Roger Baldwin published the article called “Playing blackjack to win” that turned to be a sensation among gamblers.
The essence of the article lied in the fact that with the help of a calculator and basic knowledge in math and statistics one could reduce to zero all the advantages of a casino for a gamer thus getting guaranteed profit while playing the game. This was just the beginning of using a calculator in blackjack, as this “best” strategy was not really ideal – due to the monumental scope of the game it required not just a calculator, but a real computer that did not yet exist at that time.
Although casino owners started to worry about losing profit, this work of Baldwin did not lead to any transformational changes, because there were not too many gamblers who managed to understand all that was written on 10 pages of the article full of mathematical calculations. Besides, they did not take this article seriously. Following a decade in 1962 professor Thorpe developed another technology based on cards counting and described it in his book “Win over dealer”. Following just one year lots of people purchased this book which became a bestseller according to New York Times.
So this was the time for casino owners to worry indeed! They made a decision to change the rules of the game thus making it more difficult to win. These attempts though caused a real storm of protest with blackjack fans – occasionally they even refused to play this new pseudo-game, which in return led to significant losses for gambling business.
As a result, the rules that existed previously were back in force, since reduction in profit for gambling venues is similar to a deadly sin. This whole story still worked for casinos’ benefit though, because the idea of getting a fast buck attracted to the game table a flock of new customers thus leading to the increase of profit.
Nowadays about 70% of all the gambling venues in Las Vegas intended for card games belong to blackjack. Still, if you win a large sum of money just once, you will get a so called “black card” – permanent interdiction for visiting this particular casino. So this is how this game is run: the owners go out of their way to attract new customers, but drive out professionals who they nickname “counters”.
Hollywood movie called “21” about blackjack is quite popular and is based on true story describing some actions of students from Massachusetts University. They used their knowledge in math to win large sums of money. With appearance of the Internet and online platforms for venturous entertainments blackjack started to spread out. A pack of cards in the internet-casino is shuffled after every dealing, so the method of cards counting cannot be applied, and there are no more advantages of a dealer before a gamer. An interesting fact: online blackjack is considered to be the most profitable game for gambling fans. The advantage the casino has is estimated at 0,5% only.
We would like to wish you all good luck with playing this game and to remind you that luck is not something permanent – it can come and go. So, try to polish up your skills in blackjack. Once you will be able to outplay the casino, but remember – don’t beggar it, otherwise you will get a “black card”. It’s better to remain invisible and not to skimp and screw. You will then be able to top up your deposit on a regular basis.