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Blackjack History

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Any one person didn’t invent blackjack at any one time. generally accepted thought is similar games like blackjack were played in France in the 1700s. The game came to America with French people and spread throughout the USA. The name “blackjack” came from an early bet that paid 10 to 1 if the player got a jack of spades and an ace of spades, both black cards, as the first two cards. A hand that featured the Ace of Spades plus either of the blackjacks in the would pay 10-to-1 odds on the player's bet.

The first recognized effort to apply mathematics to Blackjack began in 1953 and culminated in 1956 with a published article. Roger Baldwin wrote a article in the Journal of the American Statistical Association titled "The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack". One of these books became so popular that the information of that article sparked the interest of the public and made it the number one table game in the US in the 1960's as it has remained right into the 2000. The casinos made a huge profits from the games newly gained popularity and all of the media attention it generated.

Professor Edward O. Thorp developed the first card counting techniques and published his results in "Beat the Dealer", a book that became so popular in 1963. The casinos, however, were not happy with the success of a book that told the public how to beat the Dealer. They tried to change the rules of the game to make if more difficult for the players to win. This didn't last long as people protested by not playing the new rules version of blackjack, and the resulting loss of revenue quickly forced the casinos to back to the old rules. Today it is one of the most popular table casino games around the world.


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