queen of spade playing card

In the grand scheme of entertainment, there aren’t too many products that manage to stick around in public consciousness for an extended period of time, let alone be sought out by the masses for decades to come. It takes a game that’s inherently easy to pick up but also one that requires a certain degree of mastery so that good, bad, and competitive play can be established. While its origins Britannica explains are mostly unknown, blackjack in its modern form has at least been around since World War I and was called pontoon at the time. 

Since then, alongside the rise of resort tourism in the US, blackjack has been cemented as the game of the people. Thanks to its perpetual popularity, the game blackjack is now being used as a tool in storytelling, even though modern incarnations have come a long way even since the 90s.

Movies helping to raise the prestige of blackjack

If there’s a one-star attraction in the world of entertainment, it has to be the movies. Hollywood is so embroiled in glitz, glamour, and famous faces that whatever its products decide to focus on often becomes key points in pop culture. Many, many movies over the years have been set in and around casinos, featured protagonists playing blackjack to convey character traits, and some have been entirely based on the game itself. If a character is seen succeeding at blackjack, it immediately relays that they are intelligent and strategic. A more subtle use of blackjack, which still enforces its prestige, comes in The Big Short (2015), with Richard H. Thaler and Selena Gomez using the well-known game to explain synthetic CDOs. 

Blackjack’s core remains while the game advances

Blackjack is easily one of the most popular casino games in the world. The game of “21” is easy enough to follow and understand, but the ability to change the outcome with decision-making means that some can be better at blackjack than others. The continued interest in blackjack made it one of the first games to be digitized and then made live. So now, blackjack Betway games range from video-format variants to a stack of live and real table games. The core is very much the same, but the variety of table rules and live versions speaks to the popularity of the game, even in the ocean of online content. Getting a place online certainly helped to bolster blackjack’s modern appeal, but utilizing new tech to go live has taken it to a new level.

This live experience online even seeks to replicate that of in-house play, which in January 2022, according to the report Intergame put out, helped to soar Las Vegas strip revenues, benefitting from a much higher hold. Blackjack has been a major driver in Sin City, particularly in the run to the new millennium, but by 2018, it accounted for just less than half of all casino games – down from 77 percent in 1985, as shown by UNLV. Baccarat, fuelled by VIP players from Asia, rocketed to the top of the agenda. Still, in April 2021, it was blackjack coming to save the day in Nevada once again, with iGamingBusiness calling it the main driver for Las Vegas’ first billion-dollar month in over a year.

Even the newest form of popular entertainment utilizes blackjack

It may be the newest form of popular entertainment, but video gaming has quite a history of incorporating casino games as mini-games, and to this day, blackjack is still a popular pick for developers. Being set in the Old West, card games are a key part of the setting in Red Dead Redemption 2. In the smash-hit game RDR2, you play the variant known as “Five-Card Charlie,” in which standing on 17 is advised in-game. Bringing together popular games from around the world, the title Clubhouse Games features blackjack among its 51 worldwide classics. Blackjack can come out of the blue as well. In the zombie-infested release RE7, you can find yourself at a very high-stakes blackjack table amidst all of the horror and chaos going on outside of the game of cards. 

Blackjack remains a prestigious and popular game across pop culture precisely for its accessibility and the aura that’s been created around the game. With good players hailed and the game advancing quickly with the times, it upholds its status.