Black Jack – also referred to as ‘twenty-one’ and ‘pontoon’ – is a card game that nowadays is normally seen in a casino with people attempting their luck on achieving the elusive ‘twenty-one’. It is commonly presumed that the game came into existence in France during the 17th century. However, as with many other casino games the exact development of the game remains a mystery.

Pontoon was brought to the United States following the French Revolution, but the game did not become popular in the betting houses until the casino offered payouts as a bonus. This was the only way that appeared to get players gambling on pontoon. One variant on the reward pay out was for a player to acquire ‘twenty-one’ with the black jack card (given a value of ten points) and an ace (given a value of eleven points). With the increasing appeal of the game the payouts were phased out but the name ‘black jack’ lasted.

Chemin de fer isn’t just about achieving a straight ‘twenty one’, but the primary adventure is to beat the dealer without going ‘bust’. The betting house certainly has an edge over the gambling players in the long term, but with chemin de fer the gambler holds on to a bit of choice.

Since nineteen thirty one when America first approved wagering, chemin de fer has become a quintessential gambling den card game. Furthermore, it is the joining of both ability and mathematics employed in blackjack that has caused the game to be hugely popular. Twenty-one provides an alluring proposition to any academic, math guy or gambling player looking to analyze the strategy of the game.

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