A Brief Look At The Background of Blackjack

August 14th, 2017 12:45 pm EST

Illustration of an ace card.  Blackjack deck.Blackjack is one of the most widely played casino games in the world. The game has many variants and is played by people from all walks of society, ranging from the highest of the high rollers to those plunking down a few dollars at the local casino on a Friday night.

The game is so popular because it is, at its face, a very simple game - you just have to produce a better hand than the dealer. In reality, blackjack is quite a complex game, where a thorough knowledge of the rules can help to increase your edge against the casino.

In many ways, blackjack is like chess, where moves need to be contemplated in advance and a deep understanding of the game and its odds will increase your chances of winning.


If you were looking for a specific name of the person who invented the game of blackjack, you're going to end up disappointed.

The origins of the game can't be specifically traced, though most people believe that the game originated in Spain under the name of "veintiuna". The first documentation of the game of blackjack came in a story called "Rinconete y Cortadillo", which was included in the book titled "Novelas Ejemplares". Academics can find no mention of the game (or some variation of the game) prior to this novel, which was published in 1613 in Madrid. The game was mentioned in other countries and brought to the United States at a later date, though there is no mention of the game in any literature prior to 1613, which leads many to believe that the game was invented on the streets of Spain.


The game of blackjack was popularized in American and European casinos, though the roots of the game stretch back roughly 500 years (at least).

Rules have changed over the years and different variants of the game have been spawned. The basic premise of blackjack, or 21, remains unchanged, however. While other casino games rise and fall in popularity, the success of the game of blackjack has remained a constant over the years, and there is no reason to think that this will change anytime soon.

Who would have known that a game that was likely created by people living in the streets of Spain in the 1500s or 1600s would end up becoming a worldwide phenomenon?