The History of Blackjack
No one knows for sure where exactly blackjack originated from, but it is suspected to have come from either, Italy, France, or Spain. France claims several early variations of the game called "Vingt-Un" and "Trente et Quarante" were invented there. "Vingt-Un" was referenced in the famous Hoyle games book, 1875, and it appears the name was later changed to Van John. The Spanish vehemently disagree however, alleging that blackjack is, in fact, an adaptation of a game called "One and Thirty". This game is extremely old, and was actually referenced in 1570, in the comical History of Rinconete and Cortadillo. And Italy too claims rights to the origin of blackjack, insisting that blackjack is a variation of either "Baccarat" or "Seven and a Half" both of which sport an indisputable likeness to blackjack.
For the most part, Blackjack consists of adding up card values, so that you
can make a hand with a total card value that is as close to 21 as possible
without going over. You play against the dealer. And if the dealer has blackjack
it is impossible to beat. The truth is that Blackjack is not the only game that
uses this concept. There are actually many games around the world that use a
similar form of play. Quinze, a popular game in 18th century London had used
maskes to hide the expression of the players, and like blackjack, the goal was
to have a hand that added up to 155, instead of 21. "Pontoon." Was yet another
version of Blackjack, played by the Australians, who used rules that differed
only slightly from blackjack rules of today. (See also Blackjack Rules and Blackjack Switch Rules).
Blackjack, as we know it today, was popularized when it moved form a banking game in Europe to America around 1915. It hit a boom during world war II, but was played more between players than with someone posing as what we know as the house today. However, in certain locations where troops settled and around military bases, some folk set themselves up as a banker and provided blackjack games to the men and women stationed in the area. There is a legendary tale of one British banker near a certain air force base that brought home over $180, 000 from playing airmen.
Since then it was adopted by the casinos and was popularized by film, eventually leading to its most recent incarnation within online casinos.