Recorded History of Blackjack

Black Jack – also referred to as ‘21′ and ‘pontoon’ – is a card game that nowadays is normally seen in a casino with people attempting their fortune on acquiring the elusive ‘twenty one’. It is widely believed that the game started in France amid the 1600’s. However, as with most other casino games the exact development of the game is a mystery.

Black jack was introduced to the US following the French Revolution, but the game didn’t become popular in the casinos until the casino offered payouts as a bonus. This was the only way that seemed to get people gambling on blackjack. One variant on the bonus payment was for a player to make ‘21′ with the black jack card (worth 10 points) and an ace (given a value of 11 points). With the increasing appeal of the game the payouts were canceled but the name of the game ‘chemin de fer’ lasted.

Pontoon is not just about getting an immediate ‘twenty one’, but the primary adventure is to defeat the dealer without going ‘bust’. The betting house obviously has a house edge over the chemin de fer players in the long run, but with twenty-one the player retains an element of choice.

Since 1931 when the U.S. first legalized gambling, pontoon has developed into a traditional gambling den game. Furthermore, it’s the joining of both skill and mathematics employed in blackjack that has caused the game to be hugely popular. Twenty-one provides an alluring proposition to any scientist, mathematician or gambling player looking to analyze the tactic of the game.

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