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How Has Blackjack’s Popularity Changed Over Time?

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Learn about how blackjack came to rise among the aristocratic French set to now become available anywhere on mobile.

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When was your last game of blackjack? Does the 18yr old down the road know how to play it? And where did it come from? You might’ve thought that blackjack’s popularity hit a high point with Ocean’s 11, however, that’s not quite the case at all, thanks to the power of the internet.

Modern technology has also allowed players to experience an enhanced version of this much-loved card game - even its online variant. And in case you didn’t know, if you register at through Zebra Casino, you’re in for a real treat with its live blackjack option. We recommend trying the exclusive bonus from casino.comlink outside website.


To discover how blackjack’s popularity has ebbed and flowed over time, we’d like to present a brief history of the game. For instance, did you know that blackjack has been around for over 400 years, albeit in a slightly different form?

The origins of blackjack

Blackjack first started out life Europe in the early 1600s, when card games like Vingt-et-Un or Van John (French for Twenty One) were making their way around the continent. Vingt-et-Un is often considered the grand-daddy of blackjack, although the game has more rules to do with how different rounds are played than the version that we all know and love today. As the 1700s rolled around, the game picked up steam in casinos in France and was a favorite among the higher classes.

Thanks to an aggressive French colonizationlink outside website strategy shortly thereafter, the game spread to regions like New Orleans and Quebec as it started its global march across the world. It took some time for the game to catch on in other territories, though. It wasn’t until the 1800s that blackjack started becoming more popular in North America in non-French areas.

A rose by any other name

While blackjack started out life with the name 21, it wasn’t until a variation of the game was developed that paid out a hand with the Ace of Spades and Jack of Spades or Clubs that the game got the name blackjack. By spicing up the rules a little, casinos were better placed to try and get the punters along to play a new game - and it worked.

As a simple-to-play game that nonetheless required a strategy to play, blackjack attracted all sorts, from serious gamblers to those who just wanted to throw some money around. The appeal meant the game started appearing not just in American casinos, but in other gaming establishments and bars, too.

From prohibition to explosion

America’s Prohibition Period was a dark day for hedonists around the country. With both alcohol and gambling stamped out, in the legal sense, both of these two activities went underground. Instead of getting rid of the behaviors, as we all know, it gave rise to speakeasies and cool little spots that served only people who were strictly “in the know.”

Blackjack flourished, as it is a quick whip card game, that if the police came along to break up, then no one lost much money or had to fight about where in the game they were up to, like poker, for instance.

Once prohibition endedlink outside website, and Las Vegas was established as the center of gambling in the US, blackjack’s popularity soared. This was when the game really took off. Not long after, mathematicians started developing some extremely clever strategies that helped to get the edge over the house - if played correctly. Card counting took off in blackjack and casinos and slap-up games around the world struggled to keep up with the influx of ‘cheaters’, hoping to make bank on their newfound skills.


The game had made its way into common culture, and could now be seen everywhere from movies to TV shows. Players flocked to casinos to try their hand, and many of the tables at casinos around the globe were dedicated as blackjack tables, with an array of minimum bet sizes to suit all players.

Blackjack on the web

As the web changed our entire lives and existence, so too did it change the face of blackjack. Suddenly, people didn’t have to leave their homes and head out to the casino to grab a game. They could play whenever they liked for as long as they liked, all from their PC at home. Early web-connected blackjack games were fairly basic in the graphics department, and you had to pick the right casinos and tables to ensure you were getting a fair bet. However, like every other web-based game they have come along in leaps and bounds.

Now, with mobile play, you can sit around in your lunch break or while stuck in traffic in an Uberlink outside website. Sure, we might not head to the actual casino as often, but the game of blackjack itself is here to stay.