Blackjack is one of those casino games where I intellectually internalize that I’ve got the best chances to win, and yet almost every time I walk away from a table I’m shorter in my stack and lighter in my pocket. I think to myself, “there’s a finite number of possibilities, and I know there’s a system to beat the house; but I’m just gonna go with ‘round numbers’ and a liquor-infused mental abacus to win some money.”
I know. The attitude isn’t strategic, but there’s got to be a ton of folks who think similarly.
So what if there was a way for me to learn to beat the house without reading a book or being an MIT nerd? What if there was a way for me to see enough hands to get a feel for what the card count is, and when I should raise/lower my bet? And what if this came in an app I could play on my fancy iPad or my badass Galaxy Nexus Android phone?
Well the press recently caught wind that we’ve delivered on this theoretical in Big Win Blackjack where Professor Blackjack teaches players when to hit, stand, double down, or split. Huffington Post’s games.com says that Big Win Blackjack “is designed to train players in the ways of card counting [and] make better judgment calls to thus win big.” Technorati picked up the story by pointing out the popularity of games companies clamoring for casino titles due to a recent announcement by the US Department of Justice (even though we’ve been perfecting blackjack apps well before this buzz since March 2006). Technorati was also kind enough to plug some Josh Hartwell (CEO) sound bites like “it teaches users everything they need to know about the game with premium graphics and fluid gameplay”.
The article that led to all of this commotion was Dean Takahashi’s piece in Venture Beat where he humbly compared us to Zynga and originated the clap that echoed: casino games are here in a big way. Takahashi’s assessment is on point that “casino game makers are going through a renewal”, especially since smartphones let people practice their favorite Vegas game between various moments of their lives.
This is the very reason why Big Win Blackjack is so amazing. You can be standing in a line or sitting on a toilet, and actually improve your real-world card playing skills. It’s not that a game has gained popularity due to a decision on public policy; it’s that a game has always been popular and we’re making it easily accessible to learn, practice, and improve.