Twenty-One (card recreation) – Wikipedia

Blackjack - Wikipedia
The ancestor of blackjack and Pontoon

An ace and ten rating twenty-one

Origin most likely Spain; popularized in France
Different names Vingt-Un, Vingt-et-Un, Siebzehn und Vier, Einundzwanzig
Kind Evaluating
Gamers normally 3–7
Abilities required Likelihood
Playing cards 32 or 52
Deck French or German
Play Clockwise or anti-clockwise
Random likelihood Excessive
Associated video games
Blackjack, Pontoon

Twenty-One, previously often known as Vingt-Un in Britain, France and America, is the identify given to a household of standard card video games of the playing household, the progenitor of which is recorded in Spain within the early 17th century. The household consists of the on line casino video games of blackjack and Pontoon in addition to their home equivalents. Twenty-One rose to prominence in France within the 18th century and unfold from there to Germany and Britain from whence it crossed to America. Identified initially as Vingt-Un in all these nations, it developed into Pontoon in Britain after the First World Battle and blackjack in Canada and america within the late 19th century, the place the legalisation of playing elevated its recognition.

Historical past[edit]

Spanish origins[edit]

The sport is first talked about by identify in a 1611 Spanish dictionary the place, underneath the entry for “card” (carta), it mentions the sport of Ventiuno (“twenty-one”). Simply two years later, the primary temporary description of the sport is given in a novella by Spanish creator, Miguel de Cervantes, most well-known for writing Don Quixote. Cervantes was a gambler, and the primary characters of his story “Rinconete y Cortadillo”, from Novelas Ejemplares, are a few cheats working in Seville. They’re proficient at dishonest at Veintiuna (sic), and state that the thing of the sport is to achieve 21 factors with out going over and that the ace scores 1 or 11. The sport is performed with the Spanish baraja deck. This quick story was written between 1601 and 1602, implying that ventiuna had been performed in Castile for the reason that starting of the 17th century or earlier.[2][a]


The primary file of the sport in France happens in 1768 within the Mercure de France, which describes Vingt-Un as trendy, however “very outdated”, referring to Cervantes’ novella. Different early accounts point out that the sport was new to France suggesting that it took root there from the mid-18th century. It was additionally performed on the courtroom of Louis XV and is reputed to have been the favorite card recreation of Napoleon, however no French guidelines seem till 1817, practically 20 years after their publication in England. The sport continues to look in French compendia as Vingt-Un and, later, Vingt-et-Un till the late 19th century, however seems out of date immediately.


In Britain, the sport can be recorded within the 1770s and 1780s, for instance in a comedy entitled Dissipation,[7] however the first guidelines seem within the 1800 version of Hoyle’s underneath the identify of Vingt-Un. The foundations, that are relatively easy, are reprinted virtually verbatim for the subsequent half a century, however in 1850, extra elaborate guidelines are described that are starting to seem like Pontoon in all however identify.


Identified within the German-speaking world as Siebzehn und Vier (“Seventeen and 4”), Einundzwanzig (“Twenty-One”), Hop(p)sen, Rathen or, steadily, by its authentic French names of Vingt-Un or Vingt-et-Un, the sport had unfold to Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire there by the second half of the 18th century, and had grow to be a universally frequent recreation of likelihood by 1854. It has continued to be standard as a youngsters’s and household recreation by way of to fashionable instances.

North America[edit]

There’s a standard delusion that, when Vingt-Un was launched into america within the early 1800s – different sources say throughout the First World Battle and nonetheless others the 1930s – playing homes supplied bonus payouts to stimulate gamers’ curiosity. One such bonus was a ten-to-one payout if the participant’s hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack (both the jack of golf equipment or the jack of spades). This hand was known as a “blackjack”, and it’s claimed that the identify caught to the sport regardless that the ten-to-one bonus was quickly withdrawn. French card historian, Thierry Depaulis has just lately debunked this story, exhibiting that the identify blackjack was first given to the sport by prospectors throughout the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-99), the bonus being the same old ace and any 10-point card. Because the time period “blackjack” additionally refers back to the mineral zincblende, which was usually related to gold or silver deposits, he means that the identify was transferred by prospectors to the highest bonus within the recreation. He was unable to seek out any historic proof for a particular bonus for having the mixture of an ace with a black jack.

Basic mode of play[edit]

While there are quite a few variants of Twenty-One, the next normal guidelines apply. The sport has a banker and a variable variety of punters. The position of banker rotates across the gamers, apart from on line casino video games the place the banker’s position is held completely by a member of the on line casino employees. The banker offers two playing cards, face down, to every punter. Bets are positioned both earlier than receiving the playing cards or after receiving and viewing the primary card. The punters, in flip, having picked up and examined each playing cards announce whether or not they are going to stick with the playing cards they’ve or obtain one other card from the banker free. Some video games additionally permit a punter to lift his stake and ‘purchase’ one other card. The intention is to attain precisely twenty-one factors or to come back as near twenty-one as attainable, primarily based on the cardboard values dealt. If a participant exceeds twenty-one, they lose their stake. As soon as each punter has both introduced they are going to stick with their playing cards or exceeded twenty-one, the supplier takes his flip. Anybody who achieves twenty-one in his first two playing cards has a ‘pure vingt-un’, ‘pontoon’ or ‘blackjack’, relying on the sport variant, which wins double.

Typical guidelines[edit]

The next sections give a top level view of the regional variants of Twenty-One starting with the early guidelines in France that are most likely near the unique recreation.

British Vingt-Un[edit]

The earliest guidelines printed wherever seem in Hoyle’s Video games Improved, revealed in London in 1800. The next is a abstract:

The primary supplier is chosen by any agreed technique, e.g. the primary participant to show up an ace turns into the supplier. It’s seemingly that deal and play have been clockwise and that gamers staked a hard and fast quantity earlier than the deal, however the guidelines are imprecise on these factors.

The supplier offers two playing cards to every participant, separately. He then asks every participant, in rotation and starting with eldest hand (to his left), whether or not he desires to ‘stand’ or select one other card. Within the latter case, the supplier provides him the highest card from the pack. The participant might proceed to ask for extra playing cards till he reaches or exceeds a rating of 21 or decides to face. If he exceeds 21, he instantly throws his playing cards up and pays his stake to the supplier.

The supplier can also draw extra playing cards and, on taking Vingt-un, receives double stakes from all who stand, besides those that even have 21, with whom it’s a drawn recreation. When any opponent has 21, however the supplier doesn’t, the supplier pays double stakes. If no-one has 21, the supplier pays a single stake to these whose rating is increased than his and receives a single stake from these whose rating is decrease. Any participant with the identical rating because the supplier neither pays nor receives a stake. If the supplier exceeds 21, he pays all who haven’t ‘thrown up’ their playing cards.

The primary participant in rotational order who declares a Pure Vingt-Un takes over as the subsequent supplier and earns a double stake from all gamers besides those that even have one, who needn’t pay something. The brand new supplier reshuffles the pack and offers afresh. In any other case, the playing cards should be dealt out in succession, the pone (youngest hand) gathering the playing cards which have been performed and shuffling them till the pack is exhausted, whereupon the identical supplier re-deals.

French Vingt-Un[edit]

The sport was initially known as Vingt-Un in France, later changing into often known as Vingt-et-Un. The next guidelines are primarily based on the Petite Académie des Jeux (1817), supplemented by Raisson (1835).

The sport is performed with a French-suited pack of 52 playing cards. Playing cards are price their nominal worth apart from the ace which scores 1 or 11 factors on the participant’s discretion and courtroom playing cards that are price ten factors every. The primary banker or banquier is chosen by lot. Punters (joueurs) place their stakes; normally a most is agreed.

The banquier shuffles the playing cards, provides them to his left for slicing after which offers two to every participant, separately. In flip every participant might say “I will hold them” (je m’y tiens) or “card” (carte) relying on the power of his playing cards. As soon as a participant sticks (i.e. retains his playing cards) or goes bust, it’s the flip of the subsequent participant in anti-clockwise order.

A punter who busts provides the banker his stake and places his playing cards to at least one facet. If the banquier goes bust, he pays every surviving participant the quantity of their stake. If he sticks, the playing cards are laid down. The banquier pays any punter with a better rating the quantity of his stake and receives the stakes of these punters who’ve a decrease rating. If the scores are degree; the punter simply ‘pays’ in his playing cards (i.e. fingers his playing cards in).

If a punter scores twenty-one immediately (i.e. with an ace and a ten or an ace and a courtroom card) it’s a vingt-un d’emblée (“fast twenty-one”). He reveals his playing cards and is paid double his stake by the banquier with out ready for the top of the spherical except the banquier additionally has twenty-one wherein case no cash modifications fingers. If the banquier scores twenty-one immediately, every punter pays him double his stake except he, too, has twenty-one wherein case he merely ‘pays’ in his playing cards.

As soon as the playing cards are all dealt, the spherical is over. If there will not be sufficient playing cards left to go spherical, the
banquier distributes these he has after which shuffles these already used up and offers the extra playing cards obligatory to complete the spherical.

American Vingt-Un[edit]

Twenty-One appeared in america within the early 1800s, nonetheless identified in these days as Vingt-Un. The primary guidelines have been revealed in 1825 and have been successfully a reprint of these from the 1800 English Hoyle (see above). English Vingt-Un later developed into an American variant in its personal proper which, throughout the Klondike Gold Rush (1896-99) turned often known as blackjack. Blackjack has since grow to be a world on line casino recreation, however stays standard as a house recreation.

Siebzehn und Vier[edit]

The German variant of Twenty-One is named Siebzehn und Vier (“Seventeen and 4”), Einundzwanzig (“Twenty-One”) or Hoppsen, though many sources describe it underneath its French names. The primary guidelines appeared in 1821 underneath the identify Vingt Un. The next guidelines are primarily based on Ulmann (1890).

One or two packs of Piquet playing cards or German-suited playing cards are used (32 in every) rating from ace or deuce right down to Seven. Card values are: ace/deuce – 11, ten – 10, king – 2, queen and jack – 1, 9 – 9, eight – eight and 7 – 7. The banker (banquier or bankhalter) locations a hard and fast or variable stake, shuffles the playing cards properly and has one of many punters or pointeurs reduce them. He then offers only one card to every pointeur, face down, and takes one himself. The one on the proper of the banquier now ‘buys’ a card and both ‘stays put’ (bleibt) or takes one other card, once more deciding whether or not to stay or purchase. If he goes ‘bust’ he’s ‘lifeless’ (todt) and instantly pays his stake to the financial institution and throws his playing cards in, face down. The subsequent pointeur now takes his flip and so forth till all of the pointeurs have both caught or bust. Now the banquier seems to be at his card, buys one other one and goes by way of the identical course of till he sticks or busts.

A pointeur who scores twenty-one in his first two playing cards is paid double his stake. Two aces rely as twenty-one for this goal. Pointeurs who rating the identical or lower than the banquier pay their stake to the financial institution. If the banquier scores twenty-one he wins double stakes from every pointeur except the latter additionally has twenty-one wherein case he solely pays a single stake. If the banquier scores twenty-one in his first two playing cards, he receives a double stake from everybody else no matter their scores.



Pontoon is the British variant of Twenty-One. The identify dates again to the First World Battle and might be a corruption of ‘Vontoon’, which in flip derived from Vingt-Un, however the recreation is clearly a lot older. For instance the principles by “Trumps” (1870) for Vingt-Un in a British card recreation handbook already mirror the extra elaborate guidelines of what later turned often known as Pontoon.


Though the fashionable recreation of blackjack has no mounted guidelines, it has clearly developed in sophistication from Twenty-One. Along with totally different terminology and cost methods, there are different nuances, resembling splitting pairs, insurance coverage and doubling down which add to the ability of the sport.[20]

  1. ^ Parlett states that Vingt-Un first emerged within the mid-18th century as a descendant of Trente-Un (“Thirty-One”), the latter first being recorded as early as 1464. He argues that it was most likely launched as a result of gamers might attain 21 sooner than 31 – even in two playing cards – and thus the speed of play and consequent payouts have been sped up. Nevertheless, this idea has since been debunked by Depaulis.



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