Blackjack World Pro delivers a taste of blackjack in casino hotspots

Posted: August 9, 2009 in Sports, Strategy

One of the first card games I learned was blackjack frankly because it was relatively easy to grasp the objective of hitting “21”. I’m not much of a gambler except when I order take out, but finding a good blackjack game can be a gamble in itself. The iTunes store has several that come to mind, and recently I came across Blackjack World Pro that may be worth trying. It’s a solid game within a user-friendly presentation with different casino tables that are accessible quickly so more time is spent playing rather than fidgeting with too many options, although those are available as well.

The game of blackjack is simple enough so I won’t rehash that, but there are plenty of variations and rules that can change the strategy behind the gameplay. Blackjack World Pro offers six different casinos—Reno, Las Vegas Downtown, Las Vegas Strip, Atlantic City, Montecarlo, and Macao—each with their own rules and nuances. For example, selecting the Reno casino means playing with 6 decks, cards dealt face up, and no double down on splits. If you choose to play in Las Vegas Downtown, you’ll be dealing with a single deck, cards dealt face down, and double down only on the initial hand. A Help section is also included that discusses the rules of the game, the terms used, and tips for the game of blackjack.

Visually, the look in Blackjack World Pro is sleek and polished with minimal sound effects. There is no music or soundtrack, and it may worth adding background noise in a future update to support the overall feel of the game.

I’ve played other card games where the game area feels crowded and cramped. The user-friendly interface in Blackjack World Pro is what works me. Undoubtedly, blackjack games have similar interfaces, but with Blackjack World Pro, the interface is both visually pleasing and uncluttered. Basic action buttons are provided down the left side of the screen—Deal Cards, Walk Away and Settings. If Surrender or Double Down actions are available depending on the table, then the appropriate action button appears which I think is a much better and streamlined approach. Under Settings, you can also configure the game as you go to change for example the auto-bet amount, starting bankroll, and even turn off sound effects. An optional Hint button is also provided if you ever need advice on whether to stand, hit, split or even surrender. Note that the Hint function is not always correct so sometimes using your gut can be more beneficial.

In the upper left corner for each table is a brief summary of the rules for that table, and I found it more than helpful since it’s boiled down to a few bullet points. This is particularly useful because in other blackjack games, the rules for a table in session can be tedious to access or completely inaccessible.

Unlike other blackjack games, Blackjack World Pro is about recreating the experience found at the world’s casino hotspots. However, if the urge is to create a custom game, the Custom table allows you customize everything from the card backs and table color to the various rules. For example, you can choose the number of card decks to be used, the use of surrender, and change the double down rules among others. A few limitations worth noting that may matter to some…in terms of the bankroll, it is limited in that you can only choose a maximum of $2,000 in chips to start which limits high roller status, and you also cannot change the payout scale.

The game also has section on card counting where you can choose from 22 different card counting strategies and have a card counting chart active during gameplay. Once you create a profile for yourself or for others, the game will track playing statistics across all sessions including session and lifetime winnings, win/loss percentage, and correct % of strategies used among others. I think it’s one of the more detailed statistics charts I’ve seen so if the aim is to improve your blackjack playing skills, it can be useful in gauging your performance. In addition, you can also set the game to tell you when a wrong strategy was used.

The gameplay is simple especially with the action buttons that appear on the left side. To place a bet, tap on the chips on the right side for the relevant amount, and re-bets are done by tapping the circular arrow button below. AI is always difficult to determine, but the AI seems well balanced so no one was winning or losing a majority of the hands. Something lacking in all blackjack games, Blackjack World Pro included, is the ability to play with other players either in the game or online. Obviously having more than a one-on-one game with the dealer changes the strategy, and hopefully this is addressed in future updates.

The game offers an entertaining experience for those who enjoy a casual game of blackjack or simply want to practice in between trips to the casino. While it doesn’t offer as much customization in terms of setting payouts or table limits, keep in mind that Blackjack World Pro is about delivering the experience from a host of casino hotspots. With pre-set tables each with their own sets of rules, a statistics page for tracking performance, a balanced AI, and most importantly, a user-friendly interface, Blackjack World Pro offers a solid blackjack experience.

Albie Meter: 4 Stars (elegantly designed game where you can try out different tables and rules without too much hassle; detailed statistics definitely standout from other blackjack games; solid, realistic gameplay and well-balanced AI)

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