Blackjack is a popular casino card game that has been around for many years. While it is traditionally played at a table, over the last few decades it has made many appearances in video games and online games, alongside poker it is one of the most popular card games around the world.
Playing the game digitally gives players more choice over where and when they play and who they play with as they are not restricted to a physical location.
Let’s take a brief look at the origins of this card game and explore some of the most popular video games featuring blackjack to have been released over the years:
The origins of the game blackjack
Also known as Vingt et Un or Twenty One, blackjack is believed to have been first played in French casinos some time during the 1700s, also some believe it may date all the way back to the Roman period.
The game blackjack slowly spread to different parts of the world over the last few centuries and different countries developed their own variants of the game. The game reached the United States shores some time in the 18th century. The game reached the United States shores some time in the 18th century. You can click here to learn more about the different types of blackjack games.
When video games started to become popular in the 1970s, blackjack was incorporated into a number of games. It was then introduced to the online sphere in the 1990s when the World Wide Web first became widely accessible.
Blackjack first appeared in video games in the 1970s…
In 1976, the blackjack video game Videocart-3: Video Blackjack was released on the Fairchild Channel F console and was developed by Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp. The game was potentially the first video game to feature a computerised version of blackjack and followed the simple rules of the original game, with the aim to get as close to the number 21 with your combination of cards without going over it.
In this title, the computer acts as the dealer and there is a standard 52 card deck. Either one or two players can participate with each beginning the game with $500 to place bets with, if you lose your cash then you get the option to borrow $100 from the house.
This game was popular in its time and soon after a number of other blackjack titles entered the market.
There are a plethora of memorable retro blackjack games…
For gamers with an Atari 2600, the game Blackjack was released in 1977. This was a hit blackjack title but was also criticized for being too difficult for players to win.
By the 1980s the Commodore 64 computer came with the Blackjack Academy, a game for between one and five players which gave users the opportunity to make their own rules such as minimum and maximum bet sizes. Rival computer The Spectrum ZX also released Blackjack around the same time.
The first blackjack game on a handheld console was released by Nintendo in 1985. The Nintendo BJ-60 Blackjack game and watch series, this retro game is a fan favourite and people still purchase it today through second-hand online marketplaces.
In 1993, Super Nintendo Entertainment System released the casino game Super Caesars Palace featuring blackjack; it also came out on the Sega Genesis and the Game Gear as Caesars Palace.
In this game players started out with $2000 in cash to use for betting in games such as blackjack, slots, roulette, keno, poker and red dog. There are also non-player characters on hand to offer advice about living the casino lifestyle.
The rise of online blackjack
Simulated blackjack isn’t just played on video game consoles, since the rise of the modern internet in the 1990s sparked the release of internet blackjack games. The global online gambling market is now predicted to be worth over $66.72 billion US dollars and table casino games like blackjack and poker are a huge part of that.
Blackjack can be enjoyed on smartphones, tablets and computers on a huge select of online casino websites. It is also downloadable as an app game on mobile devices.
The online casino market is extremely competitive with thousands of casino sites competing to attract and retain new customers. As a result, those looking to play any casino game such as blackjack can take advantage of incentives such as welcome bonuses and free bets.
Blackjack video games on modern consoles
For those who still prefer to play blackjack on console, there are a variety of titles on modern consoles. For example, there is the Super Blackjack’s Battle II Turbo Edition on the Nintendo Switch and The Four Kings Casino and Slots (which includes blackjack) on the Playstation 4.