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A Short History of Blackjack

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The history of the game of Blackjack began around the beginning of the 18th century in France, where it appeared in the form of a game called "vingt et un" or "twenty one". The name "Blackjack" comes from an early version of the game in which the player received a payoff of 10 to 1 if he had a black jack of spades and a (black) ace of spades.

From France, Blackjack made its way to the United States in the 19th century, where it was mainly found out in the American West. In 1931, gambling became legal in Las Vegas, and Blackjack became one of the staples of the new casino scene.

In the 1950's and 1960's, Blackjack Strategies books were published, using mathematical analysis to teach players how to improve their odds of beating the dealer. One of these books, Dr. Edward Thorp's "Beat the Dealer" became a bestseller, and Blackjack became the most popular casino game in the United States.

In the 1970's, Ken Uston and his merry band of creative gamblers used hidden computers to win hundreds of thousands of dollars. Their ingenuity attracted the attention of the FBI, which examined the computers and decided that they were not cheating devices, and therefore were fair and legal. Players rushed to apply the lessons of Uston's method, but many casinos decided to adopt a multi-deck system of play, which complicated methods to improve the player's chances. Uston himself was banned from several Las Vegas casinos and was eventually found dead in a Paris apartment in 1987. But the game lives on, and Online Casino Games prospers in almost every self-respecting casino, traditional or online.

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