Black Jack – also known as ‘twenty-one’ and ‘pontoon’ – is a card game that is commonly seen in a casino with players trying their luck on acquiring the elusive ‘twenty one’. It’s widely presumed that the game originated in France amid the 17th century. However, as with many other casino games the exact evolution of the game is still a mystery.

Pontoon was introduced to the U.S. after the French Revolution, but the game did not become popular in the gambling dens until the house provided payouts as a bonus. This was the only way that appeared to get gamblers wagering on blackjack. One variation on the reward payment was for a player to make ‘twenty-one’ with the black jack card (worth 10 points) and an ace (worth eleven points). With the expanding popularity of the game the payouts were canceled but the name ‘chemin de fer’ stayed.

Twenty-one is not simply about achieving an immediate ‘twenty-one’, but the primary challenge is to defeat the croupier without going ‘bust’. The betting house certainly has a house edge over the gambling players over the long run, but with black jack the player retains an element of choice.

Since 1931 when America first legalized betting, pontoon has grown into a traditional casino game. Furthermore, it is the combination of both skill and mathematics utilized in twenty-one that has made the game massively loved. Pontoon provides an attractive proposition to any scientist, math guy or wagering player looking to analyze the scheme of the game.