There was another game popular at around the same time, i.e. the 17th century, in Italy. This game was called Seven and a Half, and involved the face cards and the 7s, 8s, and 9s of the card deck. Face cards were valued at half a point and the regular cards (7s, 8s, and 9s) were valued at one point. The wild card in the deck was the king of diamonds. A player was ‘busted’ when he reached seven and a half points. This is where the term ‘bust’ that you use in blackjack came from. Incidentally, the player who reached seven and a half points first won the game.
Once people, mostly the gambling professionals, realized the enormous possibilities that blackjack brought, and the money that could be made by winning, they started formulating strategies to ensure they won more than they lost. This is when the concept of using strategy to win in blackjack officially kicked off.
Towards the beginning of the 19th century, the attitude of the U.S. government towards gambling underwent a radical change. Identifying it as a corrupt influence and the breeding ground for violent crime, the government of the United States banned gambling. This was another cornerstone in the checkered and colorful history of blackjack.
With laws prohibiting gambling in place and Federal Marshals trying to ensure there was no gambling, the game of blackjack went underground. Once it went underground, the popularity of blackjack soared even further. Finally, the government yielded and the state of Nevada gave official recognition to gambling legally, and the gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas, was born.
With the advent of the Internet, the gambling establishment went online, and the popularity of most of the gambling games soared sky-high, including blackjack. Now you could play blackjack online. Online blackjack was even more fun than playing at a land-based casino, because of the bonuses and the perks and other benefits that came from playing blackjack online.