A lot of historians believe that the modern history of blackjack began in Europe in the 1600s. They believe that players from France sat in noble lords' salons to play "vingt-et-un" games (in French, that translates to "twenty-one"). Around that time, the Spanish author named Miguel de Cervantes wrote stories about a cheater in blackjack who was skilled "veintiuna" (in Spanish, that translates to "twenty-one"). In both cases, whenever the player got more than 21 in his hand, he lost through a bust.
Like with a lot of other modern games of cards, immigrants introduced basic blackjack to America. Faro, blackjack and poker flourished while gamblers, explorers and entrepreneurs went to the West.
By 1931, a small town in Nevada called Las Vegas became desperate to get revenue after the Depression Age and this is where true blackjack history was born. Gambling was legalized and modern casino forerunners were then established.
Strategies and Cheating Schemes
By 1962, the young mathematician, Edward Thorp used a digital computer in order to analyze the typical distributions of blackjack hands. Thanks to his programmed computer simulations and extended research, he ended up developing what blackjack players and casinos now call the basic strategy of blackjack and soon became a prominent figure within the modern history of blackjack.
Thorp produced the early blackjack chart versions that players use nowadays to find out when to hit, split pairs, double down and stand. He also began the card-counting idea by saying that observant players could track the dealt cards and change bets depending on the deck's remaining cards. His findings were soon published in a ground breaking book about beating the dealer.
By the 1990s, several MIT students decided to use Thorp's teachings by creating infamous blackjack teams who used the basic strategy along with charts and card-counting to a ton of money at casinos worldwide. Their overall efforts are documented within a book called "Breaking Vegas", which became a hit in Hollywood through the movie "21".
Because of these schemes of card-counting, however, casinos have already updated their policies regarding blackjack.
Later in the 1990s, developers of software started to create computerized games of blackjack that were playable online. Now, anybody with an online connection and a computer can play the game online night and day. Such online games have made the game popular like never before.
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