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The card games were played long time ago in China, but the first versions appeared in Europe around 1600s.
The first games we can relate to Blackjack were played in France. Some say the game was actually developed from the French game French Ferme. In 18th century there were the first versions of the game of 21.
The name Blackjack apparently origins from the special bonus combination of cards in those times - Jack of Spades with an Ace of Spades.
Blackjack in US Casinos
Somewhere in the beginning of the 19th century the game appeared in the United States.
Here we can find the first introduction of net blackjack, and the beginning of creating the first strategies for the game.
In 1953 the players begin to calculate the odds using all kinds of devices, legal at the time. Although the devices were not developed enough for such complicated procedures, the first strategy for the game was published. Roger Baldwin published his article named The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack Game.
Thorp redefined this strategy and introduced the card counting techniques in 1962. His book "Beat the Dealer" made a great turn in understanding the game.
Casino owners weren't so excited about the book as players were, of course. They tried to make some changes in the game rules to avoid loses. The players boycotted their casinos, so they had to compromise - the first multiple deck blackjacks appeared.