poker table showing Jack and Ace cards with casino chips on the table

Is Blackjack Still Evolving?

There are basically two types of online casino games: games of chance and games of skill.  By far, the most popular game of chance is slots. 

Most people know something of the origins of slots from the first slot machine created by Charles Fey not so very long ago in 1894 in San Francisco to the hundreds of great and divers modern video slots here at Intertops Casino that have themes, creative symbols and characters, animation, sound, jackpots and much more.

Blackjack Has Millions of Devoted Fans around the World

Although millions of gamers paly blackjack for fun every day, there are very few people who know where blackjack came from, how it has developed over the years, and what modern analysis has done to the game.

So, in this article, we will talk about these very things!

Blackjack Relies on Playing Cards

There is no written record of who invented playing cards and where he or she did this.  Were cards invented by someone shut in by illness or the fear of an impending illness?  Were they invented by a member of the Royal family with little to do?  Did they come from a single fertile mind or a group of people working together to invent a game or toy?

Some people claim to have traced playing cards back about 1100 years to China but no one is certain.  In the beginning, there were only cards of widely different shapes and textures so shuffling was not the skill that card sharks, magicians, and illusionists have perfected in modern times.

What were Cards Used for Back Then?

We assume that there were kids’ games and adult games associated with the newly invented cards.  Probably most if not all of these games have long been forgotten.  At some point people developed the many card games we know of today such as war, spades, hearts, gin rummy, bridge, whist, poker, 52 card pick up, and finally blackjack.

Marco Polo Brings Cards to Europe

There is evidence that Marco Polo brought cards to Europe.  We aren’t sure if he brought them from the Arabic lands he travelled through to get back to Europe or if he brought cards back from China.  We do know that Arab artists began to put the faces of Islamic holy men on some of the cards.

In Western Europe, it was considered somewhat blasphemous to put the faces of Popes, Bishops, or Cardinals on playing cards, so Europeans began to put the faces of Kings and Princes on the cards.  In France, they added the Queen to the trio of Royal visages.  In fact, for a time a deck of cards with a Queen was called a French pack!

We were still a substantial distance from the game we now call blackjack.

They Called it 21; We Call it 21; but the Two Games are Quite Different!

In France, the first type of game involving playing cards and the number 21 was called…..21!  But it was much different than modern blackjack.

The dealer dealt one card to all of the men around the table.  It was at that time—about 300 years ago—for a lady to play card games.  The men bet among themselves as to who would likely reach 21 points first.  That is a far cry, indeed, from modern blackjack!

In Italy, they played a game they called 7 and a half.  It involved the cards 8 through King.  The face cards were worth one half point.  History is murky on the exact rules of 7 and a half.  In Spain, they went the French one step further and developed a game called 31.   In the Spanish game, the Jack was worth 11 points, the Queen 12 points, and the King 13 points.

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In the United States, Poker Ruled

By the time 21 reached the United Sates around 1800 few people wanted to play the game.  Poker was the most popular gambling card games by acclimation.  Casinos started to give premiums for certain hands.  The King and Ace of spades paid out 10-1.  Soon, casinos added premiums for the Queen and Jack along with the Ace.  Over time, the standard blackjack hand was any Ace and any 10-point card and the standard payout for that two-card hand became 3-2.

The premiums proved to be very popular and people started playing the game that by then was universally being called Blackjack in American casinos.

There are many variations of blackjack with different names such as Caribbean, Pontoon, and others.

Rules Develop

Players quickly realized that the dealer, which nib a casino meant the house, had a big advantage because players went first and any player who went over 21 points lost immediately regardless of what the dealer’s final point count turned out to be.

So, casinos developed rules variations to help players win more often.  These rules changes are doubling down, splitting, insurance, and surrender.  By now, every casino both on land and online has specific rules for every blackjack variation they offer.  Gamers have to make sure that they know the exact rules for splitting and doubling down, if the dealer stands on soft 17, and if the variation allows surrender.

The basic strategy for every variation depends on the specific rules for that variation.

The Development of Online Blackjack

Many people think that the history of blackjack is a finished subject.  This way of thinking ignores the development of online blackjack which has its own interesting features.

At any land based casino, they want to devote as much floor space to slots and other games of chance.  They do want to offer blackjack but land based casinos can only offer a few blackjack tables.  Many land based casinos have a $5 table as the minimum bet allowed while online casinos often allow one dollar or less.

At land based casinos, many players are intimidated by the other players at the table and therefore make incorrect bets!  This never happens when players play online since there is no one else there to change a gamer’s proper course of action strategically.

Online casinos such as Intertops Casino Red can offer many variations of blackjack since there are no space restrictions in cyberspace.  A land based casino may have five blackjack tables with seven players at each table for a total of 35 blackjack players at any given moment.  An online casino might have a few tens of thousands of gamers paying blackjack at any one time so online casinos need to have many variations of blackjack!

Another major development in online blackjack is that many gamers who generally prefer slots and other games of chance also like to play some blackjack.  This is because at an online casino, you never have to give up your seat to play another game!

Statistics Get into Blackjack

Finally, the development of high-speed computers has made statistical analysis of blackjack possible.  Computers have analyzed millions of hands in every known variation of blackjack.  The results appear on strategy cards which are readily available online.

This means that gamers can always make the statistically best decision on every hand they get.

Intertops Welcomes All Gamers

At Intertops Casino, we offer a few hundred great games from slots and blackjack to video poker, Caribbean poker, and many others.  We invite everyone to join us here at Intertops Casino for great online gaming!

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