France’s Vingt et un and Blackjack
Another popular precursor to the modern day blackjack is the famous French parlor game Vingt et un. Even though the goal of the game was to reach the magic number 21, it is different from Blackjack in the sense that players can bet on all rounds and only the dealer gets the option of doubling. If the dealer ever did draw a natural, then all the other players would have to pay him triple the bet amount. As Aces could be either 1 or 11 depending on the drawn card, this is seen as the true predecessor of Blackjack.
The popularity of this came was at the greatest level during the time of King Louis XV, with the king’s mistress Madame du Barry constantly arranging parties where people could sit and play the game. The fact that this game was one that could appeal to even the harshest of critics is proven by the fact that Napoleon, the French general who loathed gambling in any of its forms spent all his time in exile playing this very game.
Going over the history and the predecessors of the game, one thing that is very evident is the fact that Blackjack’s origins are very elusive even to the keenest of researchers but its popularity is something that has been recorded across the world. While some researchers stand by their theory that modern day Blackjack can be traced to the French card games such as Vingt et un and Baccarat, there are other researchers who state with equal conviction, which is based on conclusive research that casino games do not mutate into other forms, that Blackjack is unique and singular.