Black Jack is among the oldest card games that are still played today. As most modern card games, Black Jack is descended from several other games. As long as back to the 15th century there were games that have some resemblance with today's Blackjack. Among different nationalities it is still argued about from what Blackjack actually arose from. The Italians mean that their Baccarat is the ancestor of Black Jack. Baccarat is still being played but is no longer experiencing the popularity it once did. The Frenchmen on the other hand assert that Black Jack origins from the 18th century's game Quinze which was played on French casinos during that era. We also have the Spaniards who claim that Blackjack comes from the game Thirty-one. These three card games all had in common that in order to win you were to come close to or achieve a certain number, although not twenty one. There was however another French card game that was called "Vingt-et-un" (twenty one). This card game was first played in France in the 18th century and was then brought to America by European immigrants in the 19th century. This game too had very different rules from today's Blackjack and you could say that a mixture between Vingt-et-un and Baccarat it what we today would define as Blackjack.
The Blackjack that we play today is a refinement from mentioned games and became enormously popular in the U.S in the 1920's when the majority of the casinos began to offer the game. The game Black Jack got its name when casinos began to offer a bonus to players that drew the ace of spades followed by the jack of clubs or spades. One began to pay out these bonuses because of the fact that when the Black Jack first came to the U.S it was not a particularly popular game among the players. Therefore the casinos used this method to tempt players to sit down at the Black Jack tables. It fast became very popular and was during 1930's and 40's the biggest casino game with Roulette as second. As the rules of the game is today you get "Black Jack" by drawing twenty-one on the first two cards, not necessarily on the way the game got its name from. A reason of why Blackjack became so popular is partly the mix of luck and skill that is required in order to win and the publicity that surrounds card counting. Until the poker boom a couple of years ago Black Jack had been the leading card game on the world's casinos since the 1930's.