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As with most card games, the precise history of the game of blackjack is still being disputed to this day and the true history can only be speculation. The most widely accepted origin of “Blackjack” was derived from a game discovered in France in the 18th Century called ‘Vingt-et-Un’, which is French for ’21’. It is suspected that Vingt-et-Un came from a version adapted from another game called ‘Chemin de Fer’, French for ‘way of the Iron” due to the fact that the cards were kept in an iron box.

A hundred years later in the early 1800’s, the game of 21 made its way to America and immediately became popular. It was here that the name “Blackjack” was born. The original version of the game included an aspect where if your first two cards dealt to you were the Jack of spades and the Ace of spades you would be paid out at 10 to 1. So everyone was hoping to be dealt that black Jack in the deck.  This is no longer practiced in today’s blackjack games, but is still an interesting historical explanation of where the name came from.

In the 1930’s the state of Nevada made gambling legal and established a number of casino’s and betting rooms where Players could come and enjoy their favorite casino games in an organized and controlled fashion. Among the games that was included was “Blackjack” and it quickly become a favorite throughout the casinos and still is today. In the years to follow, a number of other states and countries around the world legalized this past time and the popularity for the game “Blackjack” has continued to grow ever since.

Rules of Play

As with any casino gaming table, make sure to check what the minimum bet at the table is. Once you sit down to the Blackjack table you will place a wager in the betting area, which is typically a square or circle. Next, Players and the Dealer are dealt two cards each. One of the Dealer’s cards faces up and the other faces down, Players’ cards are dealt both face down. Once all of the cards are dealt you may pick them up. The cards in Blackjack hold their face value, with the face cards equaling 10 and an Ace is considered a 1 or 11, whichever is more valuable to your hand.

Once all cards have been dealt, the Dealer will look to the first Player and move to each subsequent Player for a decision to take an additional card “Hit” or accept the hand “Stand”. If a Player decides to hit, he or she will scratch their finger on the table and the Dealer will dispense an additional card from the deck. The Player may take as many additional cards as he or she calls for either attempting to beat the Dealer’s hand or going over 21. If the hand exceeds 21, the Player automatically loses “Busts”. When a Player chooses to “Stand”, he or she will simply wave their hand over the cards.

The Dealer will play his or her hand last, revealing the card that is face down. If the initial card total was 16 or less, he or she must take additional cards until the total is 17 or more. If the Dealer’s two-card hand totals 17 to 21, the Dealer must stand, but if the additional cards cause the hand to exceed 21, then the Dealer “Busts”. If you lose your hand against the Dealer, you lose your wager. If you win the hand against the Dealer, you are paid even money. At Swinomish Casino & Lodge, blackjack pays 3 to 2.