Posts Tagged ‘card games history’

The History of Blackjack: Things you didn’t know

If you are into casino games, chances are you know a fun fact or two about your favorite games, we do too. It is nice to collect what apparently is useless information about stuff we find entertaining, therefore we went ahead and worked on a cool research: The History of Blackjack, but focusing on stuff we did not know, fun facts for those online blackjack players that visit the Virtual Casino on daily basis.

History of BlackJack

This is definitely something we all know, the game of Blackjack is the long lost son of old game called Twenty-One. No one really knows where 21 was originated, although there is an interesting legend that claims that it was first mentioned a book by the Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes(you have probably heard about The Quixote right?). The story claims that Cervantes was a gambler himself. On his story, Rinconete y Cortadillo, from his compilations Novelas Ejemplares, he claims are very proficient at cheating at ventiuna (Spanish for twenty-one). He also explains that the object of the game is to reach 21 points without going over it, even more interesting he specifies that the ace values are 1 or 11 on that game. Although in the book the game is played with the Spanish baraja deck, which is quite different from the card deck we are mostly familiar with: the Spanish baraja does not have eights, nines or tens. This story was written between 1601 and 1602, which gives us a pretty good idea of how old the game might be.

Twenty-one was introduced in the US by gambling houses. These places offered bonus payouts to stimulate players’ interest on this game: for example one of the most common bonuses was a ten to one payout if the player’s hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack; the name of this hand was of course “blackjack”, just like the game we currently play.

Other interesting facts of BlackJack

Italians and French have been claiming and disputing which of the two actually hold the title as the country where Blackjack originated; however there is absolutely no prove to say either one did it. The balance tilts a little to the French side as a lot of people claimed that the original name of the game is vingt-et-un (French for 21). Also, history claims that Napoleon loved the game of 21 and played it when he had time to kill on his exile in Elba, another point for the French right there.

Blackjack was once banned in the United States around the 19th century until 1939 as the state of Nevada removed its bans and the beginning of Las Vegas as we know it took place.

In the early 60’s there was a man named Edward O. Thorp, who wrote a book called “Beat the dealer”. On this book you could find the mathematical workings and details of the game. This man is recognized as the father of card counting. Because of this man and his book, Casinos everywhere altered some of the standard rules, which then lead to new variations of the game.

There is a Blackjack Hall of fame and it is not easy to get in it. The Blackjack hall of fame was opened back in 2002. Only blackjack experts, world known authors, and truly professional players have gotten a distinctive mention there.

Do you have any interesting Blackjack fun facts that you consider worth mentioning?

The history of the Card Deck

People began playing cards many centuries ago. All the rules and strategies for the game have been developing since early times and most people do not realize that there is something called the history of card games. There have been defining moments in the history of cards that have caused the games to evolve. I read about this topic at the Casino Advisor and I thought it was interesting to learn it which is why I will share some of the history of playing card games with you today.

Historians have stated that the origin of card games is China. The Chinese royalty has records of playing card games from as early as the ninth century. Back then they played with four suits and the numbers 2 to 9 in each one of them. The merchants then brought card games from China to India, the Middle East and Egypt.

The card games we know today became developing in Egypt around the 12th century. The Egyptians started playing around the time of the Mamluk Sultans and the 52 cards deck came to be known as the Mameluke deck. The suits were polo sticks, coins, swords and cups and each one had ten number cards, they also had three court cards named King, Viceroy and Under Deputy and they had abstract designs and not people on them.

The earliest authentic reference to playing cards in the West is in Europe from Spain in 1371. After that date there have been a lot of references found in Europe. The first playing cards were hand made from woodcuts and later from engravings. Cards began being mass printed later and the cards all across Europe were different with different designs, symbols and names. The suits as we know them today, spades, diamonds, clubs and hearts come from France in the 15th century. Ultimately the rest of Europe accepted the standardizes design anf the court cards were named King, Knight and Knave, later the Queen replaced the Knight.

In the 17th century the introduction of the indices at the corner came and it was important because cards could be recognized without spreading them wide and could be held with one hand. This was when the Knave was replaced by the Jack, because following the indices lead to confussion between the King (K) and the Knive (Kn).

In the 18th century came the design of reversible count cards. All the way until then the court cards were designed as full length figures. Some players would turn the court cards to make them upright and this often revealed the nature of the card. With the reversible court cards this problem was solved. Card games were also being played in America at the time and the Joker was invented here around 1870.

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