Vingt-et-Un, which translates to Twenty-One, was believed to have stemmed from card games like Chemin de Fer. The game, which would later become known as Blackjack originated in France in the 1700s. Some evidence points to the game originating from Roman times, where it would be played using wooden blocks. Despite this, it’s clear that the game of Blackjack we know and love today was, in fact, French.
Let us take a look at how Vingt-et-Un became Blackjack, and shuffle back in time to see how Blackjack became one of the most popular games at both land-based and online casino sites alike.
Read on to find out more.
Vingt-et-Un in France
The first mentions of the game can be spotted in Miguel de Cervantes’ novel Rinconete y Cortadillo, which was published alongside 12 other stories in 1613. This, along with other evidence, confirms the early existence of Vingt-et-Un in France and Spain.
By the 18th century, Twenty-One had continued to rise in popularity. The game was frequently played during King Louis XV’s reign at the Royal Court, and enjoyed amongst the elites at the time, including the famed emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte.
It didn’t take long for the game to spread throughout Europe, with alternative versions like Quinze cropping up in France and Trente-Un being enjoyed in Spain.
Twenty-One in America
In the early 18th century, French colonists had taken the game to North American shores. The first legalised banked game took place in New Orleans in around 1820, and from here, the game continued to soar into popularity. It was thanks to a French woman named Eleanor Dumont, who had moved to Nevada City in 1854, that Vingt-et-Un reached national levels. Dumont was a particularly skilled dealer, opening her very own namesake casino – Vingt-et-Un – in the city. Avid gamblers would travel from far and wide to experience gameplay dealt by Dumont, and even when she passed away in 1879, the number of casinos hosting games of Blackjack had risen significantly – keeping her legacy alive.
In the 20th century, the initial boom of Blackjack popularity had begun to wear off, and during World War I, casinos began to offer lucrative payouts to draw in customers. If a player won with the Ace of Spades and either the Jack of Spades or Clubs – a black Jack – they would receive an even bigger payout. Whilst this offer didn’t stick, the nickname “Blackjack” rose to fame.
Fast-forward to the modern-day, and Blackjack is one of, if not the most popular casino game of all time. With gameplay that’s easy to get the hang of and a sense of fun that’s hard to beat, this game of chance has stolen the heart of many players. Now, you can not only enjoy Blackjack at land-based establishments, but on-demand at an online casino, too. In fact, there are many variations now available online, continuing to spice up gameplay and provide you with the chance to play the classic game amongst themed adventures, both at the live dealer casino and digitally, anytime you fancy!