Category Archives: History

A Brief History of Blackjack & the Best Place to Play Online

AK of Diamonds

By Emma Woodshut

The history of blackjack is a bit fuzzy. But one thing that experts agree on is that it’s been around for a long time.

Most believe that blackjack started in French Casinos as long ago as the early 1700s. Vingt-et-un or twenty-one seems to be the original French name – obviously, the rules and game-play were slightly different, but it seems to be the closest relative, along with Pontoon. Other historical evidence points to Veintiuna was being played in Castile (Spain) at the very beginning of the 17th century, so 1600 … perhaps even the last couple of years of the 16th century as a short story by Don Quixote written way back in 1601 mentions the card game.

As the game developed over the years, it hit a fever-pitch in the 1930s when Vegas “opened” for business in 1931. Back then it was still called twenty-one in English and the Casino owners offered some pretty fantastic odds to entice players to sit at the tables. Enter the term blackjack. Certain casinos would give ten to one odds for pulling the Ace of Spades and either black Jack to land on 21. These exceptional odds didn’t last for very long, but the name stayed: Blackjack.

In the 1950s, blackjack became known as one of the few Casino games that with some practice and skill, could be nearly the same amount of advantage for the player as it does for the house. Card counting hit the scene. At the time, casinos were still running games with one deck. After Edward O. Thorp’s book, Beat the Dealer became a mainstream success in the early 1960s, the casinos had to figure out a way to combat the fairly easy systems invented to keep track of the cards left in the deck and remove the house’s edge. So, they simply added a deck. This made keeping track more difficult, but not difficult enough. So, they added two more decks and made most standard games, 4-deck blackjack. Using Thorp’s Ten-Count, instead of dealing with 16 tens and 36 non-tens in the single deck, card sharks had to deal with 64 tens and 144 non-tens in 4-decks. So, only the greatest minds could do it effectively. Nowadays, we have 8-deck games and casinos shuffle the shoe earlier to severely reduce the risk of effective counting and retain their edge.

In the early 1990s, we saw the first online blackjack and poker games. Then in 2006, we saw the advent of live online blackjack with live dealers. Back in the day, they would just throw a webcam over the table and what you got was a live dealer experience, but horrible resolution and a ton of lag. Nowadays, they do it all in a custom studio room, so you get a crystal clear image and an experience that is close to sitting at the actual table.

But where are the best blackjack sites?

When you review the best sportbooks, you find that they have a handful of different online blackjack games, including single-deck and double-deck games. They have high-quality live dealer tables – upwards of 36 at any given moment and most have $10 minimum and $500 max. But there are also $5 tables with $100 limits, $15 and $750, $25 tables with $1000 limits, and $100 tables with $2500 limits as well.


Bovada takes US players. It was previously difficult to find a reputable place to sit at an online table because of the taboo nature of online gambling in the United States. Now that the legalization of sports betting and games of skill and chance are getting favorable legislation and it’s becoming easier to play your favorite table game online. Depending on the state you are in, you may have more options than others.

For example, Oregon has moved to fully operational online gambling and sports betting, so there are plenty of options in such a state. Bovada, BetOnline, and Vegas Casino are all online options that are A-rated and trustworthy. You might be thinking that you can grab a game of blackjack at famous sites like PokerStars but unfortunately, traditional twenty-one has been removed from their product list.

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Blackjack in Montana ???

Bill would legalize blackjack in Montana, tax tables

FREDDY MONARES, University of Montana School of Journalism Published 4:33 p.m. MT March 15, 2017

HELENA — Rep. Wylie Galt, R-Martinsdale, said generating revenue for the state can be as simple as counting to 21, meaning, playing blackjack.  House Bill 578 would legalize the card game, for both tabletop and video play.  The bill also allocates a $500 tax on each blackjack table to the state’s Department of Justice and a state special revenue account — $100 going to the DOJ, and $400 to the account.  … CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

Some history of gambling in Montana can be found at the Montana Department of Justice site.  From their site:

The Montana Legislature has authorized limited legal gambling in Montana. Poker, keno, bingo, and video line gambling machines are legal with a maximum $2 bet and $800 payout. Legal live games include: raffles, bingo, keno, panguingue, poker and shake-a-day. Sports pools, fantasy sports leagues and sports tab games are also legal. These are non-banking games in which players bet against and settle with each other rather than betting against and settling with the house.

The legal age for gambling in Montana is 18, with the exception of raffles conducted by churches, schools, charitable and nonprofit organizations. Children under 18 years old may participate in these.  LINK

Historical Events and Quotes

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Announcing the Blackjack Review Network
historical event and quotation database.

Every day that you visit the Blackjack Review Network web site you are greeted with a historical event and/or quote of the day. 

My goal is to have a relevant event and/or quote for each day of the year.   Relevant means the event or quote should be blackjack or gambling related or support our motto “Gaining an edge in cards and life!

Review our two databases:

… and tell me what you think.  Suggestions for new events and quotes are always welcome.  

Events should have an “exact” date (month, day, year) associated with them.  Also, if possible, tell me the source of this fact. Ideas include:

  • Births and deaths of notable figures
  • Casino openings and closings
  • Legal events and gambling laws
  • Article and book publishing dates
  • Big team losses or wins
  • Casino heists
  • Blackjack tournaments
  • Barrings
  • Interviews
  • Awards
  • Website start dates
  • Blackjack Ball events

To make a suggestion, reply to this post or leave comment here.

Michael Dalton
Editor/Publisher
Blackjack Review Network
https://www.BlackjackReview.com