The live casino has seen some of its more significant rises and increases in popularity within the online casino gambling space within the last few years. Moreover, if we go even further in the product range and vertical, we find that one table game enjoys more than others. And we are, of course, thinking about Blackjack. And to further feed your interest in the hugely popular card game, we like to go down the path of its history and check out some of the most prominent evolution trades. Plus, while we are on the subject, we also like to check out some different game variations. So basically, we cover a brief but yet informative Blackjack history lesson. So pull up a chair and get ready to inform yourself, and hopefully, find some interesting facts.

Quick dates and important blackjack history milestones

The origin of Blackjack is far from pinpointed to one year, date, and country. In fact, numerous speculations are leading the reader in different directions. As such, we will present some of the more popular theories and the “their” blackjack history, so you get the complete overview.

First mention

A mention in a Spanish dictionary from the year 1611 mentioned the game Ventiuno (twenty-one) under the main category, Carta (cards). Although, evidence of an even earlier blackjack history comes from the Spanish author, Miguel de Cervantes. Yes, that Cervantes that wrote Don Quixote. That, between 1601 to 1602, he wrote a series of 12 short stories. Where one encompasses a couple, cheating at “Veintiuna”.

Short after

We know that the French and the social elite brought gambling into the finer rooms and removed the unfair reputation gambling accumulated. A version of Blackjack first got named, Vingt-Un, which later evolved to Vingt-et-Un (twenty-one), enjoyed by rulers like Louis XV. But also, reports say it was favored by Napoleon Bonaparte. Still, it was not until 1817, or so, that the first French rules got inked down and added to the blackjack history.

The US might have coined the expression

The introduction and Blackjack history in the US is somewhat divided. In fact, there are about three main theories. And if we take them in chronological order, some say early 1800’s, while some say during WW1 (1914 to 1918). And some blackjack history scholars say that the first real evidence first comes in the wake of the great depression in the 1930s. Plus, another point of interest is that the term Blackjack might actually come from the US. Still, keep in mind that no blackjack history is far from 100% confirmed. Yet, in essence, gambling halls in the US liked to entice new clients with a “bonus“. Where Blackjack was a popular game to offer a boosted payout structure. So they came up with a combination that persists until today, more or less. If your first two cards are an Ace of spades and a black Jack, you won.

A new platform

During Blackjack history, we have seen the brick and mortar establishments set new record after record in participation and popularity. However, with the introduction of online casino solutions, blackjack history is entering a new chapter in its life cycle. Although saying this, it doesn’t matter that a large portion is online as plenty of the foot traffic that walks through the casino door in the US chooses to play Blackjack as their primary source of gambling entertainment. Also to today’s date, the information around the game of blackjack has increased significantly. Now you can find different blackjack strategies which lower the house edge versus the player. You can read more into detail about different blackjack strategies here.blackjack history

Why is blackjack so popular?

Well, the game and its blackjack history have always maintained a persistent rumor, “ease of play”. And even if we are about to complicate things a bit. This with the discovery of some different types of Blackjack. The core fact and function mostly remain the same. In other words, when you know when to hit, stand, and split, you more or less have the game figured out.

The Blackjack history and some evolution steps

You might consider yourself to play on a higher blackjack level than most players out there. But, it shouldn’t hinder you from perhaps discovering a new version of the favored card game? So, let’s just get down to it and check out some of Blackjack’s most played and loved versions.


Classic, also known as traditional, is by far the most common version currently occupying both the brick and mortar casinos and the online portion throughout the blackjack history. And plays in what many consider to be the purest version of Blackjack. With the simple rule, which can get played with 1 to 8 decks. Get higher cards than the dealer, yet naturally not over 21, and you win, the short and sweet of things.


Basically, the same rules and deal pattern as Classic or traditional Blackjack. Meaning, both the dealer and player get two cards. One face up while the other one is face down (hole card). Now, what makes progressive special is the added stake, size set by the house, and in-game rules. And need to get placed before any card is dealt as you usually do. And, typically, a progressive game consequently has a jackpot to win. Which generally get set up with a combination of aces. Plus, the dealer has to hit on 16 and stop on 17 or higher. As such, making it an extremely popular player option and a considerable part of the evolution and blackjack history.


Is all the same as classic, with some minor changes. But for the most part, everything remains the same, like the 2 to 9 card’s value. And also that all face cards valued, yes to 10 points. At the same time, the ace is 11 or 1 point; as such, so far, all the same as the blackjack history thought us. And the only noticeable difference is the deal and bet structure. To explain, first, the player gets two cards, which face down (hole card). After that, the dealer receives one card, which is not a hole card, as such instead, a face-up or “open card”. Where the dealer first gets his second card after the player “played” the hand.

Atlantic City

It is yet another really popular option amongst blackjack players and plays mostly like the rest of the available versions. Although, the real Atlantic City version is slightly modified and adapted to suit the casinos better. This is mainly due to its player advantages over the house. Where the original version allowed the player to “early surrender”. Basically offers the player to forfeit the hand and gain back half of the stake before the “peek”. Dealer looking at the hole cards for a natural or Blackjack if you prefer. Meaning an ace in combination with a 10, jack, queen, or king. This was later changed in the blackjack history to “late surrender” by most of the casinos, and the forfeit is only available after the peek. And those are the broader scopes when it comes to rules and the most popular versions played out there.

Blackjack or 21?

A fun fact to keep in your pocket from the blackjack history is that from its origin. The crude form of Blackjack was indeed something called 21. Yet, as the game evolved, so did the name as we know. Still, worth pointing out is that there is still a version of the origin lingering in some land-based and even fewer online casinos. The most significant difference between both casino games is that in 21, you play against all the dealers and the other players. While in Blackjack, you only (normally) play against the dealer and not against the rest sitting at the table. This would be the biggest difference between the two.

Johnson the most successful player in blackjack history

No, we are not talking about the famed actor, yet, this Johnson is equally famous but in the live casino world. And made a permanent mark in blackjack history after cleaning the houses alongside the Atlantic City boardwalk. And without naming names, back in 2011, Mr. Johnson went on a hot streak that lasted approximately six-month. Where he, in total, banked over $15 Million from 3 different locations in Atlantic City. Though, luck had nothing to do with it, as described by Mr. Johnson himself. What he basically managed to do was to negotiate rates and rules, giving him a “huge edge”. You can read more in details about Don Johnsons blackjack run here.

Same but different

We think you should know that all Blackjack operates under strict rules and regulations set by lawmakers. Yet, some rule variations are there for the casino’s discretion. Resulting in all the variations with sometimes too small differences to spot. So far, it’s reported that somewhere around 100 versions are floating around in both land-based as well as online-operated casinos. Where the “special” rules always will display at the table, alternatively explained in the in-game description when you choose to play online. Which consequently is the latest chapter added in blackjack history, as we know.

Your blackjack history is about to get made

Indeed, as the products are constantly on the move, you, as a more proficient player of the game, do need to keep yourself informed of the new and upcoming variations. Alternatively, feel fine to continue your growth and skillset in the Classic blackjack version; keep on doing so. But after reading what we like to consider a brief and boiled-down version of its blackjack history, consider trying a new type right now?