Why Is It Called Blackjack?

You already know how to play Blackjack in a casino right? but have you wondered where the name might be coming from? There’s actually a fascinating story behind the word Blackjack. Read on, and you’ll have a lot of fun stories to impress your friends next time you play blackjack together.

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The history of blackjack

For some reason, historians always paid more attention to wars, kings and queens, and plagues than to card games. Sadly, that meant that we don’t know much about where blackjack first began. Most people think it can be traced all the way back to Ancient Rome, while others believe that it originated later in Europe.

thing’s for sure, the card games have been with us for years! Given that the aim of blackjack is to reach 21 points, it should be no surprise that early versions of the card game were known as Twenty-One.  The first time we see a reference to a card game called Twenty-One is in a story by Miguel Cervantes, Spain’s famous author, written in 1601 or 1602.

The story suggests that, at this time, the card game was already well-known around the Iberian Peninsula. Though we don’t know if this version was anything like the blackjack online game we play today, nevertheless Veintiuna was popular to spread.

A mineral mystery

The truth lies along with the prospectors’ dreams, under the ground. At the time that Vingt-Un became prevalent, the word “blackjack” was then already used in the West as a nickname for the mineral zincblende. It’s not chiefly valuable in and of itself, nonetheless, prospectors had learned to look out for zincblende, as it’s often found near silver or gold deposits.

As such, the word “blackjack” was associated with prosperity. Find yourself a piece of blackjack, and you were on your way to making fortunes. The earliest blackjack casinos were in the Old West and visited by prospectors.

Cards throughout time

Blackjack isn’t the only card game with a fascinating name and mysterious history. There are numerous urban legends about the origins of gin rummy, and when coming to poker, no one seems to have a clue! What is clear is that these gambling games have stood the test of time for a reason.

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