Posts Tagged ‘mobile blackjack’

New Android Blackjack Application

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Okay, so I don’t know a whole lot about tablet computers and 3G and 4G smartphones, but my understanding of it is that basically the market is dominated by Apple’s iPhone and iPad and the products running the Android operating system.

Earlier I reported on a cool new iPhone and iPad app that allows you to play blackjack and learn basic strategy. Now there is a free blackjack app for the Android system as well. The game is called Real Blackjack and can be found at the Android Market.

The Real Blackjack app is free to download and has a built-in tutorial for players who are unfamiliar with the game of blackjack or don’t know how it would translate to their mobile device. For novice players, it will give hints as you play the game, which is a good way to learn blackjack basic strategy. Another way to learn is to print and memorize blackjack cards.

The Real Blackjack Android app can only be played using fake money, so you cannot win anything by playing. However, it is a fun game to play in your free time or as practice. The Real Blackjack app uses advanced touch-screen technology to make the game as close to the actual experience of playing at a blackjack table as possible.

Once you have played enough free games on the Android blackjack app, you may decide to visit your favorite online casino and wager some real money. Pure Vegas is a good place to start.

Spin3, Microgaming Launch Blackjack iPhone App

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

Need to play some online blackjack while you’re on the go? There’s an app for that…Now.

Spin3 and Microgaming, which partnered up last year to much fanfare among the nerdy people who actually have heard of those companies and know what they do, have released a new blackjack game for the Apple App Store.

The game is cleverly titled 21 Blackjack Party, because I know the first thing I think of when I’m at a party is taking out my phone and playing a game. The game is the first foray into the world of Apple applications for either company. For those not in the know, Spin3 is a mobile gaming solutions provider and Microgaming is a designer of online gambling games for casinos. The two companies inked a deal together for exactly this purpose: to take advantage of the wide open market of gambling games for mobile phones.

Apple Applications for the iPhone are big business right now. The iPhone apps market right now has over 100,000 applications and those apps have been downloaded more than 3 billion times. Bringing online blackjack to the iPhone only makes sense, as the iPhone continues to dominate the market of smartphones.

21 Blackjack Party is free to download and has gameplay that is specifically designed to take advantage of the iPhone’s features, with its trademark touch-screen tap and slide movements and more. The game also adds an interactive element not often found with online blackjack. The game has a live scoreboard that is constantly updated. Your scores are automatically sent to that scoreboard as you play and you and others can keep track of how well you do in comparison to everyone else. That should make the game more competitive than usual, with players trying to beat each other’s scores.

Spin3 is not content with getting into the dominant iPhone app market, though. Matti Zinder, the head of Spin3, stated that he has plans to go after the Android market as well. The great game of blackjack is only become more and more accessible. Sometimes technology is good.

Is Virtual Blackjack Blackjack?

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Blackjack is a pretty basic card game that comes in many forms. The earliest and most obvious form of blackjack is played at a table in a brick and mortar casino. The dealer gives you cards and you wager, win and lose chips on each hand. Some casinos have gone to chipless electronic blackjack tables, where you are still dealt physical cards but instead of using chips, you place bets on a touch screen and have money automatically credited to or subtracted from your account. Online blackjack is offered at web-based casinos, where everything is done on the computer and instead of cards being shuffled, the outcome is controlled by a random number generator. You can also play mobile blackjack on your cell phone.

And then there’s virtual blackjack, which is causing a lot of controversy in the state of Florida. In the Sunshine State, the Seminole tribe wants to operate blackjack tables at their casinos and are already doing so. An agreement with the state Congress has been scrapped, which some say makes their blackjack tables illegal. Some lawmakers in the state want those tables shut down.

In response, the Seminole tribe has said that pari-mutuels in the state are offering virtual blackjack. According to the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, Indian tribes have the right to run any game in their casinos that is allowed in the state in which their casinos reside. Therefore, if Florida’s government allows the pari-mutuels to offer blackjack, then they must let the Seminole do the same.

The problem is that those pari-mutuels claim that their “virtual blackjack” games aren’t really blackjack. Those virtual blackjack games have been inspected and licensed by the government, so the only way the Seminole could be prevented from having blackjack is if the courts buy the “this isn’t really blackjack” argument.

According to the pari-mutuels, the games are not really blackjack because instead of the outcome being determined by a shuffling of cards, it is controlled by a random number generator. For that reason, according to them, they are more like slots. However, they are wrong. First of all, online blackjack also uses a random number generator.

Secondly, the method by which the game is randomized makes no difference. Whether it’s by a computer program, a dealer shuffling by hand, or an automatic shuffling machine, you get the same outcome: cards randomly dealt to you. Unlike slots, whether you win or lose isn’t based solely on that outcome. You have to make decisions. You can decide to hit, stand, double, split and more and those decisions, combined with the random outcome of the cards you are dealt, determine whether you win or lose. With slot machines, you win or lose based on the random spinning of the reels. That is not the same at all.

So what do you think? Is it still blackjack even if it’s a computer program that determines what cards you are dealt?