Although there is much known about the history of blackjack, its roots are so far back that it is difficult to say with any certainty exactly how and where the game began. The commonly held opinion nowadays is that blackjack had its roots in France in the 17th century. In France, the game was called Tangkasnet The translation of VingtET UN is simply “twenty-one.” It is not clear that VingtET UN was the original game on which blackjack was based, but it is fairly certain that this is the game on which modern blackjack is based for Tangkasnet.
Why only Tangkasnet ?
The rules of blackjack and VingtET UN differ slightly, but essentially, the game is the same. VingtET UN has a slightly different betting method, in which players bet after each round. VingtET UN allows only the dealer to double. The basic goal of Tangkasnet traditional blackjack and other blackjack variations is the same – to reach a total of twenty-one points.
Tangkasnet is named after a hand which received a special payout in VingtEt Un. The special payout was for players achieving twenty-one points with a hand made up of a Jack and an Ace of spades, thus Black Jack. To this day, a picture card and an Ace still make up the best hand for blackjack players. Although the modern game of blackjack is most similar to VingtEt Un, another game called Seven and a Half was a game played in Italy, also around the 17the century, which contained some similarities. Seven and a Half was only played with some of the cards from the deck – the picture (or face) cards and the numbers 7, 8 and 9. The number cards were given the point value of one point, while the face cards were given a value of half a point. The King of Diamonds was considered to be a wild card and could be used as any point value that they player chose. The goal of this game was to reach seven and a half points, similar to the goal of blackjack of reaching twenty-one points. If players went over seven and a half points, they went “bust.” It is highly likely that the term “bust” which is used in blackjack today came from the game Seven and a Half. It took until after the French Revolution for blackjack to arrive in North America. This was certainly a time of great change for the game as far as its popularity was concerned. At that time in North American history, there were no rules against playing and betting on card games, which allowed the game to become well-known and allowed for its subsequent soar in popularity.