1800s: Blackjack Hits America

It wasn’t until the the 1800s that the game finally made it’s way to the United States. Most card games did eventually make their way to the United States, and this one in particular was greeted with much applause. Americans quickly took to the game en masse. In particular, gamblers enjoyed the game. This is linked to the fact that Blackjack can be ‘learnt’ to an extent, and a skilled gambler can play the game with elements of strategy. This amount of control appealed to gamblers in the United States in the 1800s. The game became very popular and spread across the country.

However, there is an element of real history here. As it hit American shores, the game became Blackjack. This is simply because of the way Americans played it during the century. Basically, if you were dealt two particular cards at the start of the game you were in a very advantageous position.

If you were given the Jack of Spades and the Ace of Spades you were paid out at 10:1. This was a very advantageous position to be in, and the fact that these cards happened to be black gave the name Blackjack to the game. Gamblers always searched for the black cards at the start of the game, hence the name Blackjack.

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It is not certain that this is where the name of the game came from, history isn’t telling us that exactly. But what’s important here is that it’s a nice legend for the game to have. What’s interesting also is that the particular practice of giving such favourable odds to anyone who found these cards is no longer part of today’s modern game. So it is a part of history that may or may not necessarily be responsible for giving the game its name. And besides, the practice is no longer common.

The United States lead the way for professional gambling and for gambling for consumers, and in the 1930s the state of Nevada made gambling legal. Hundreds of casinos began to sprout up, and one of the most common games and most popular games in those casinos happened to be Blackjack. Again, this was basically because the game was so easy to learn and to play. You don’t have to be a professional gambler to play it, but if you wanted to push things further and become very good at gambling, blackjack was the perfect vehicle for you.