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Where Jackpot Originated

9 April 2024

By Frank Scoblete
To Frank Scoblete:

So, we were in the car, on the way home from a trip to our local casino. My Father-in-Law was reminiscing about a good win he had just hours earlier. He referred to his big win as a Pot. "That was a good ‘Pot’ that I hit in the High Limit Slot Section."

That led to an intriguing discussion about Jackpots, and where the term Jackpot originated.

When we got home, I did a quick Internet search and found a lot of agreement that the term Jackpot originated from a poker game in the late 1800's called Jack-Pots.

You had to have "Jacks or Better" to open the bid. And, the Pot (Ante / Bid) soon became referred to as the Jacks-Pot, and then simplified to the term Jackpot.

But, I found a lot of older references to the term Jackpot. One going back to a late 1600's card game in England called the Game of All-Fours. The Jack in this game, also known as a knave, was likened to a peasant.

So, please enlighten me as to where the "Official" term Jackpot comes from. My father-in-law would be thrilled to know this. It would also make him like me more!

Mike D.
Arlington, Texas

Hi Mike:

You did great research.

The further back in time we go, the muddier the waters of meaning.

Jacks were often workers (a jack of all trades) and in some cases were lower members of the aristocracy in Europe. They often had to fight the wars while the peasants stayed home and tilled the fields.

You might have heard players calling for a “monkey!” when they drew cards in certain games such as baccarat or blackjack. That “monkey” might have actually meant the monarchy of the European cards which had jacks, queens, and kings. When the European cards made their way East, some of their attributes gained such meanings.

Having jacks working for you, if you were a major aristocrat, was considered good fortune and these individuals were important for the continuation of the family line. In fact, this situation was considered hitting the jack-pot.

Yes, the term is firmly established in poker and on slot machines. I wish I could actually dig out its first usage but that is beyond me at the moment.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete’s books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books, libraries, and bookstores.

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.

 

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Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at Amazon.com, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at fscobe@optonline.net.

Frank Scoblete Websites:

www.goldentouchcraps.com
www.goldentouchblackjack.com

Books by Frank Scoblete:

> More Books By Frank Scoblete