If you ask ten blackjack experts from ten different parts of the world where the game of blackjack started, chances are that you will receive no less than eleven different answers that are made with complete certainty. In fact, tracing down where most forms of gambling originated is somewhat of a joke within the industry because, where ever it was discovered, it was probably considered illegal in that region. Just like drinking, smoking, dancing, and having a good time, gambling has almost always been frowned upon by the majority of the modern world.
Blackjack in the USA
So how do we trace the origin of modern-day blackjack? The best place to start is the United States since they were one of the first places it was offered inside casinos legitimately. If you jump back in time a few hundred years when the first modern gambling establishments began forming on the outskirts of town, the game of 21 was quickly gaining in popularity. Blackjack tables quickly spread across the nation inside taverns, brothels, and back-alleys alike, yet the game was certainly not created inside the United States.
The problem with giving America claim to the invention of blackjack is that the country at that time was hardly made up of Americans; foreigners from all over the globe were flocking to the new world over whispers of abundant gold and an easy life. In fact, it was more like watching one of those wrestling elimination matches than anything; there were districts throughout the US that catered solely to single nationalities. Honestly, you can take your pick as to which of these social groups first introduced modern blackjack; it could have been any of them.
Blackjack in France
The same can be said for France where they played Vingt-et-Un; it sort of resembles modern blackjack in that players are trying to achieve a hand of 21, but the rest of the hand played out completely different. Since a more modern form of blackjack is today called Vingt-et-Un in France, those silly Frenchmen want to claim all of the glory for inventing the game themselves.
Blackjack in Other Parts of the World
Of course, China has a decent claim that the game of blackjack was invented on their shorelines; this is where the modern deck of cards was born so naturally they think that ancient Chinese citizens must have played the game once or twice. You can just as easily look at the ancient Greeks, Romans, and about a dozen other civilizations and make the exact same claim, however, and there is absolutely no proof whatsoever.
The Real Origin of Blackjack
While we certainly have no idea who the heck invented the game of blackjack, we can honestly say that nobody else does either. It really doesn’t matter either way if you think about it though; the important part is that blackjack exists in the first place. The next time the subject of blackjack comes up; just tell your friends that your great grandfather invented it while improving his poker game. That’s a good a guess as any.