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1700 - French

Blackjack was probably spawned from other French games such as "Chemin De Fer" and "French Ferme" and originated in French casinos around 1700 where it was called "Vingt-Et-Un" ("Twenty-One")

1800 -United States
Blackjack reached the United States in the 1800's. In the early days of western card rooms, poker and craps were the preferred games of the high rollers. Twenty-One, as it was played at the time had not really caught on. To make the game more exciting some clubs began offering a whopping 10 to 1 payout (1000%) to any player who got a special hand on his first two cards: Ace of Spades + a Jack of Clubs or Jack of Spades (Spades being the color black of course) - thus "21" became "blackjack" because of those two cards.

1910 - 1931 - Prohibition
Gambling was legal and popular all over the Western United States but by 1910 it was outlawed in Nevada and elsewhere. Blackjack and all the other casino games went underground.

1931 Nevada
In 1931, Nevada re-legalized casino gambling where blackjack became one of the primary games of chance offered to gamblers.

1963 - Casino's Revenge
The casinos were so affected by "Beat the Dealer" that they began to change the rules of the game to make if more difficult for the players to win. People protested by not playing the new BlackJack. The unfavorable rules resulted in a loss of income for the casinos. So they quickly reverted back to the original rules. In the long run the casinos made a bundle from the game's newly gained popularity thanks to Thorp's book and all the media attention it generated.

1975 - Stanford Wong
Stanford Wong picked up the torch from Thorp and continued to be the guru of modern Blackjack. His book, Professional Blackjack, distills his extensive computer simulation work and is the bible for beginner and expert alike.

1977 - Julian Brown / Lawrence Revere's - Ken Uston
Julian Braun, who worked at IBM, invented a new Basic Strategy, and a number of card counting techniques. His conclusions were used in a 2nd edition of Beat the Dealer, and later in Lawrence Revere's 1977 book "Playing Blackjack as a Business".

Ken Uston used five computers that were built into the shoes of members of his playing team in 1977. They won over a hundred thousand dollars in a very short time but one of the computers was confiscated and sent to the FBI. The feds decided that the computer used public information on blackjack playing and was not a cheating device. This story about his blackjack exploits are detailed in his book "The Big Player".

1978 - Atlantic City
1978 was the year casino gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, New Jersey and blackjack flourished in the glittering casinos that soon popped up on the Atlantic coast.

1989 - Spread
As of 1989, only two states had legalized casino gambling. Since then, about 20 states have had a number of small time casinos sprout up in places such as Black Hawk and Cripple Creek, Colorado and in river boats on the Mississippi. Roughly 70 Native American Indian reservations operate or are building casinos as well. In addition to the United States, countries operating casinos include France, England, Monaco (Monte Carlo of course) and quite a few in the Caribbean islands.

Now - World & Internet
Today, blackjack in various forms is played in casinos in Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, all over Asia, and on the internet.


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