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Vingt Et Un is the French card game which is considered to be the predecessor of modern blackjack games and which was popular in the 17th century among all aristocrats, including such monarchs as Louis XV and Napoleon. Vingt Et Un definitely has much in common with blackjack game, though some differences are present of course; knowing all the aspects of this game, it is even possible to play it today together with friends for example.

The objective

As well as blackjack, Vingt Et Un forced gamblers to get 21 points without busting and beat a dealer in such a way: two cards were dealt to a player and the combination of an Ace and any card of 10 points gave him/her a Natural; but it was not necessary to get a natural for winning because the main thing was to get scores more than a dealer got.

Main aspects

Here it is: the list of main aspects of Vingt Et Un to remember the blackjack origins and understand how it differed from the modern blackjack game.

  1. The number of players could be different though 5 or 6 were quite enough
  2. The role of a dealer could be played by every player
  3. First, one card is dealt faced down both to a player and a dealer: a player looks on his/her card and decides what bet to make; after that the second card is dealt and a dealer decides whether to double or not
  4. Only a dealer has a right to double at Vingt Et Un
  5. An Ace is counted as 1 or 11 depending on situation
  6. If both a player and a dealer have Natural (21), it is a turn of a gambler to play the role of a dealer
  7. If a dealer has Natural all players pay him/her triple
  8. If a player has Natural, it is paid as 2:1

Names of Deals

The interesting fact about Vingt Et Un is that every deal of this game has its own name; for example:

  • The second deal is Imaginary Tens - every player is supposed to have 10's and all scores are counted as 10 + the value of the second dealt card.
  • The third deal is Blind Vingt Et Un - a player decides whether to take a third card or not without looking at his/her initial two cards.
  • The fourth deal is Sympathy and Antipathy - a player chooses one of these two: if his/her two cards are of the same color - it is sympathy, if not - it is antipathy.
  • The fifth deal is Rouge Et Noir - after a player has received 3 cards s/he bets on the majority of them will be red or black.
  • The sixth deal is Self and Company - a player bets on the fact his two initial cards will be a pair.
  • The seventh deal is Paying the Difference.
  • The eighth deal is Clack.

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