Blackjack and Las Vegas are a legendary combination that has been immortalized in film and pop culture for many decades. In fact, when one thinks of gambling of any kind the first image which often comes to mind is the Las Vegas Strip. Blackjack wasn’t born in Las Vegas, but it is where blackjack grew up. There are literally thousands of blackjack tables in Las Vegas. You can find every variation, every blackjack table limit, and every style of blackjack available. There are professional card counters and beginners, recreational blackjack players and those who make a living at the game. Las Vegas is the heart and soul of American blackjack. If you find yourself unable to travel, you can consider online blackjack too!
The History Of Las Vegas Blackjack
Gambling was a staple of the American West, with gambling halls being found in mining towns from Arizona to California. From the 1850’s until 1910 it was legal to gambling in the western United States. Ironically, Nevada was the first state to make gambling illegal in the Wild West era. This all changed in 1931 when Nevada legalized gambling and made blackjack one of the primary games offered in the casino. The game was already popular in the United States. It was easy to learn and in those days when no one understood card counting blackjack gave the house a big edge.
Many people could contend that blackjack played a major role in the development of Las Vegas as we know it today. People flocked to the little town in the desert to try their hand at blackjack. As a general rule, they lost and lost big. Even so, they kept coming back because there was always the promise of a fortune to be made in Las Vegas.
Throughout the early years of Las Vegas the Strip continued to grow and evolve, adding more and more games designed to appeal to the gambling nature of everyday people. Despite all of the new games which come and go, blackjack has remained the primary card game in Las Vegas.
The Dark Side Of Las Vegas Blackjack
It didn’t take long for the Mafia to recognize the potential in Las Vegas. There was a lot of money to be made under the table, so to speak, and the mob began to work its way in by purchasing land and developing glitzy casinos. The Stardust was one of these, and it was operated by a mob-controlled boss named Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal. Rosenthal was one of those largely responsible for making Las Vegas a playground that catered to gamblers with lots of money. These players were treated like royalty because Rosenthal knew that they were going to lose a lot of money.
It soon became apparent, however, that a new breed of blackjack player was being born. Players were beginning to learn basic blackjack strategy, and many of them were even learning how to count cards due to the appearance of books by Edward Thorp and others. These smart blackjack players could take a casino for thousands of dollars in a single weekend.
Rosenthal, being a gambler himself, had little difficulty spotting card counters and he regarded them as cheats. Truthfully, if Rosenthal had been gambling he would have been a card counter as well. He was nothing more than a degenerate gambler who had been elevated to a position of authority by the mob. Nevertheless, card counters were a problem and one that Rosenthal had to deal with. Anyone who won a lot of money at the blackjack tables in Las Vegas was suspected of card counting and would be dealt with in a manner that guaranteed they never played blackjack in Las Vegas again.
Blackjack In Las Vegas Today
The mob is long gone from the Strip, having been ousted in the 1980’s by a new type of casino owner. The theme in Las Vegas these days is more toward family-oriented entertainment. Parents can bring their children along and there is plenty to keep the kids occupied while mom and dad play blackjack.
Every casino in Las Vegas offers blackjack, but there are a few of them which stand above the rest. Here is a list of the best casinos to play blackjack in Las Vegas:
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