Blackjack has always been a favorite game amongst casino players across the globe. While the basic rules of blackjack haven’t changed much over time, the way the game is played has evolved significantly since its introduction into casinos during the 19th century. In this article, we take a look at how the game has evolved from being played solely for fun to a serious form of gambling.
Where It All Started
Blackjack was introduced in 1848 through a patent awarded to Charles Fey. The original version of the game was called “21″ and was played between two people who each bet $1 per round. This version has remained practically unchanged ever since. In 1962, Atlantic City casinos adopted 21 as their official minimum game wager, meaning that all bets had to exceed $2 per hand. Since then, playing blackjack has become a staple of American culture, attracting millions of people every year.
Strategic Evolution Through The Years
As with most games, strategic thinking has contributed greatly to the evolution of blackjack. During the early days of the game, it was common practice to have a player “hit” on any Ace or face card while their opponent stood pat on all other cards. Players would also often make large pot sizes by splitting and doubling down multiple times.
The Coming of Smart Play
By the mid-1970s, smart play was making an appearance at the tables. For example, many players would wait until they were dealt a 10 before hitting on their first hand. Some players also began using the “soft 17″ rule, which allows them to stand on a pair of 17’s without having to hit on a single 16. These tactics allowed players to improve their odds of winning while still maintaining some semblance of strategy.
Smart Play in High Limit Blackjack
In the 1980s, the popularity of high-limit blackjack reached new heights. High-limit casinos offered higher minimum betting limits than traditional casinos and encouraged gamblers to try out new strategies. Newer versions of the game included wild cards, such as the joker which can be used during play to alter the deck composition. As more and more people started playing blackjack online, the need for advanced strategies became even greater.
A Major Shift Toward Strategy
In the 1990s, smart play made another major shift towards strategy when European casinos introduced “blackjack pro” software programs. Although these programs are still available today, they have largely gone extinct due to the fact that they don’t give accurate results in real-time. If you want to know if your strategy will work, there’s no better tool than professional-grade software.
The Game Today
While the majority of modern blackjack players stick to the basic rules outlined above, there are still plenty of ways to beat the house. One of the more popular techniques involves knowing exactly what cards are going to come next. By constantly monitoring the dealer’s behavior and reading his body language, players can gain valuable insight into whether he’ll bust or not. Many players favor playing against a machine rather than a live dealer because it gives them more control over the outcome.
Today, split betting is rarely used due to the fact that it creates too many opportunities for mistakes and raises the risk of going bust if the dealer gets an unfavorable hand. On top of that, modern strategies involve betting small amounts more frequently than before. For example, a player may often only bet half his total amount in order to avoid losing his entire stake when he goes bust. These changes were made mainly because they increased the skill level required of the player without affecting the house edge which remains one percent throughout the game.
The Game Has Changed
Over the years, some changes have occurred in the ways the game is played. Most notable are the elimination of “soft-bumps” (where players can legally hit after receiving a 10) and the addition of insurance. Today, insurance can no longer be taken once the initial player reaches a negative balance; however, it can still be taken once there is a positive balance. As for soft bumps, they were originally allowed because it gave less experienced players an opportunity to win money but they soon became abused. By law, casinos were forced to eliminate them completely in 1991.
In the past few years, several new innovations have appeared in the world of online blackjack. One such development is the ability to play against another person in real-time. With this feature, players can see what their opponents are doing live and respond accordingly. Another recent advancement is the use of the latest technology to generate random numbers for shuffling purposes. This allows for a true shuffle rather than simply shuffling cards manually.
The Bottom Line
Gambling online has never been easier thanks to the multitude of sites on the Internet. The best thing about choosing to play at a casino site with a mobile app is that you get to experience all of the great features of the traditional brick-and-mortar casinos while staying home. Playing blackjack online is fun and easy, and has never been safer and more enticing than it is in modern casinos.