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History of Blackjack

Historians have agreed that the true origins of the game of blackjack cannot be confirmed with any degree of accuracy. This is because of the source of information that is available. There are many written records but this source of information is prone to distortion.

The problem that arises is that the movers and shakers of the early gambling world were not the most trustworthy bunch of people. This group included cheaters, liars and egomaniacs. This then naturally leads to a degree of corruption on the truth; the level of distortion cannot be fully comprehended

As such it has become a general consensus among historians of gambling games that for the time being the true origins of the game are lost to us. Most historians agree that the game is of European origin. Some speculate that the game is Roman origin but there isn't that much evidence to support this theory. The oldest reference to this game that historian seem to agree on is from a book about cheats that roamed Seville in the early 16th century. There are some older texts that refer to the Spanish game of "trente un" which translates to thirty one. This seems to have been the origins of the game that became popular in France. The French version was known as Vingt-en-un which translates to twenty one. In both games the objective was to get as near to the target number as possible without going over. Also in both games the aces had a value of either 1 or 11.

The game of twenty one grew popular in Europe and eventually found its way to America courtesy of the French colonists. It was in America that the modern game of blackjack found its name. Operators of the first legal casinos operating out of Nevada wanted to draw people to the game so they offered a special payout. This payout was given for a hand that had either the Jack of spades of the Jack of clubs and an ace of spades. The casinos would payout 10 to 1 odds on this hand. This proved to be unprofitable and the custom was stopped but the name had already stuck. In the modern game a hand that is referred to as a blackjack is one that consists of an ace and a ten value card regardless of colour or suit. This hand often pays 3:1 or 2:1. It was also in America where the dealer’s hole card was first revealed to players before they have to decide whether to stay or to hit. The ability to make decisions that affect whether a player wins or loses is one of this reasons this game has gained popularity over the ages.

The game of blackjack continues to evolve even today. There are now numerous versions of the game that are played worldwide. Most of these versions can be found at Yebo Casino, the best online casino in South Africa. No one person can be credited for developing the game that we now know as blackjack. The game has been in a constant state of change and this should continue for generations to come.

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