Blackjack has been played in the USA since the 1800s, and far from slowing down, this fun, easy-to-understand, but possibly challenging casino game keeps growing in popularity. We take a look at the reasons behind its longevity and how it’s managed to keep attracting fans back to the tables or the online blackjack format of the game. But first, let’s find out where it got its start.
How blackjack started
Blackjack can trace its roots back to a game called “Vingt-et-Un,” or “Twenty-one,” which was played in French casinos in the 1700s. The game was carried to American shores by French colonists in the 18th century, and by 1820, it had become a popular game in legal gambling halls in New Orleans. However, at the time, the rules were quite different from those used today.
Around this time, a French-born woman called Eleanor Dumont started to travel around the country as a skilled dealer, offering various gambling games. She eventually opened a games hall in Nevada City, California, called Vingt-et-Un, and individuals travelled from all over the country to pit their skills against hers. The game caught on and has stuck with players for a number of reasons. Let’s explore some of these.
It is easy to understand
Not everybody wants to spend their leisure time trying to figure out a complex game. When learning how to play blackjack, the rules are easy to understand, and the game is a breeze to pick up. But it is definitely not boring. With so many variants and a number of strategic moves players can make, this game is a perfect combination of easiness and challenge.
Different variations, new challenges
While the basic concept of the game is always the same – a player must apply a strategy to beat the dealer – there are slightly different blackjack variations that keep the game feeling fresh and players coming back for more fun at the table. An example of one variant is Spanish 21. In this game, all 10-value cards are removed from the deck. This challenges players to alter their strategy in the hopes of a win. In another variation – Blackjack Surrender – players can surrender their hands in unfavourable situations, even after the dealer has peeked for a natural blackjack. These are just two examples of the many blackjack games offered at brick-and-mortar and online casinos.
One of the main reasons for blackjack’s enduring popularity is the challenge it presents for the player, who must decide the best action to take with every hand. Should you hit, stand, double down or split hands? For example, you’d hit if your score was only seven while the dealer’s upcard was 10.
Our tip for taking on the basic strategy of blackjack is to either visit a brick-and-mortar casino to learn from the table dealers and opponents, watch an online tutorial, or use a blackjack strategy chart to master the game’s complex strategies.
The odds are good
Blackjack has a low house edge. This means the odds are good, and you have a fair chance to win, and with a 3 to 1 payout, even if a player fails to get a blackjack, there is still the chance to continue playing to beat the dealer’s cards.
Easy access and fast gameplay
Online casino games have continued to gain a following since the mid-1990s, and the industry has noticed that what seems to drive the popularity of particular games is pace. The basic rules of blackjack remain the same the world over, so there is no tedious learning curve if you’re playing outside your region, and blackjack has no long, drawn-out games, like poker, for example. Simply put, the online format available at the best jackpot mobile casinos, like The Phone Casino, gives players unlimited opportunities to play this fast-paced game whenever and wherever they want to.
Sociable and fun
Blackjack has always been a sociable game, and even when you choose to play it online, you can still enjoy this popular aspect of the game. Live blackjack, where a game is controlled by a real dealer and up-streamed by video to your digital device, allows players to get involved in conversations with the dealer and other players through chat functions. It’s all the buzz of a casino table game in the comfort of your home!
A bright future for blackjack
As growth of the game continues on an upward trajectory, online blackjack tournaments are bringing in new fans. In these competitions, players get points for each bet, and the player with the most points in the end is awarded part of a fixed prize pool.
The gaming world also eagerly awaits the evolution of live blackjack games that will, in the coming years, be heavily influenced by Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). This technology will allow players an even more authentic in-person casino experience, in which they’ll be able to turn their heads to talk to fellow players and the dealer, and even pick up their cards and choose a favourite drink or casino snack.
Irrespective of the changes to the format and the world around us, it makes sense that all the reasons that have made blackjack so popular in the past will only be enhanced by advances in technology. The online format, especially, will keep enthusiasts coming back for more while attracting new converts to the joys of blackjack.
Play the best online casino games at The Phone Casino
Now that you know many of the reasons why players indulge in this fast-paced, easy-to-understand, strategy-based game, you may want to give online blackjack a try yourself. Register at our no-deposit mobile casino. In no time at all, you’ll have access to The Phone Casino’s vast library of blackjack and many other online games, including slots, Slingo, and online poker.