And please rate Blackjack 101 or Blackjack 101 Free on the app store.
BlackJack 101/Blackjack 101 Free is a basic strategy trainer for the game of Blackjack
The play is simple: the app deals a hand to you and an upcard to the dealer. You have five options: Hit, Stand, Double, Split, Surrender, or Take Insurance (not all of the options are legal at a given time, or at a given blackjack table, and it is part of the training to decide which are legal actions). You select actions until you get the correct one, and then you are dealt either a new card or a new hand. The stats counter keeps track of your percentage of correct guesses.
There are 5 screens in this app:
The practice screen is where the action is. Here you are dealt hands and must choose the correct action.
There are six possible actions:
|Take another card from the dealer.|
|Stop taking cards, ending the hand.|
|Take one more card from the dealer and end the hand.|
|Split one hand into two (must have 2 cards of same value).
|Give up the hand and lose half your bet.|
|If the dealer shows an ace the player can take insurance against a blackjack.
After splitting pairs in a real game of Blackjack the player would play out each new hand individually. In Blackjack 101, after the player correctly chooses to split a new hand is dealt. (If the player incorrectly chooses to split, the split button is disabled and player is prompted to try again.)
By taking insurance the player is essentially making a side bet that the dealer has a blackjack. In basic strategy taking insurance is never a good bet, so this option is always wrong.
There are 3 practice modes:
|Deals hands of all types. The hand is played out until the player chooses to double, stand, or split, or the player hits and busts.|
|Deals only soft hands (one ace and one non-ace). Plays out the hand.|
|Deals only pairs, and redeals immediately after the first choice (to split or not) is made.|
The trainer has 4 skill levels: Normal, and Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced skills. The skill levels are controlled by the button on the practice screen labeled "Skill"
Normal is the default level (indicated by "Norm" on the button) and basically deals hands at random, as if they were being dealt from a normal deck (or decks) of cards.
Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced skill levels favor dealing more difficult hands. The difficulty of a hand is determined by the pattern of strategies for the hand and hands like it. For example, if we look at a hard 16 for a typical set of playing rules (4 decks, late surrender), we might see three different recommended strategies across different dealer up-cards: surrender, hit, and stand. This makes 16 an inherently more complicated hand than, say, a hard 20, for which the strategy is always "stand". BlackJack 101 takes this complexity into account when choosing hands for the various skill levels. On the Beginner skill level the more complex hands are chosen somewhat more frequently than easier hands, and on the Advanced skill level the more complex hands are chosen much more frequently.
The Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced skill levels are indicated on the skill button by "Beg", "Med", and "Adv", respectively.
The app keeps track of basic statistics for each practice mode: (hands played, choices made, errors made, percentage of correct choices). The reset button sets the stats for the current mode to 0.
The sharing button invokes a screen with various options for sharing BlackJack 101 on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms.
This screen shows the optimal play for each combination of player hand value and dealer up card. There are 3 sections, one for hard hands (hands w/o an ace), soft hands (hands w/a single ace), and pairs. When you select the strategy card tab it displays the section that is appropriate for the hand you are currently dealt, and highlights the cell, row and column for the current hand on the practice screen.
To read the strategy card, find the column with the dealer's up card and the row equal to the highest total value of your cards that is less than 21. (So, if you have A, A, 7, the highest total is 19, counting one Ace as 11 and the other Ace as 1.) The cell intersected by the column and row will indicate the best play, depending on which rules have been selected on the rules screen.
|Double or Hit|
|Double or Stand|
|Surrender or Hit|
|Surrender or Stand|
Some symbols stand for 2 actions, in these cases you choose the first action if it is possible, and the second action otherwise. For example, if the strategy card says "
There is a legend for the symbols at the bottom. Basically the colors parallel stoplight colors: green means go (hit me) red means stop (stand), yellow means 'go just once more' (double down). White means "I surrender" and blue means split the cards.
You can change the order in which the dealer cards appear across the top, and/or the order of the player hands along the side in the Settings screen.
A note on 'best strategy': best strategy does not mean the move that always wins. Often times you will pick the right move, and you will bust. This is not a mistake. Best strategy is the move that maximizes your chance of winning over thousands of hands. You may win some and you may lose some, but in the long run, you will maximize your potential payout with best strategy. And also note that best strategy may not even mean having a positive payout in the long run. With most casino rules today the best possible return is negative: you can only hope to minimize your losses.
This screen lets you modify the rules used by the casino, including the number of decks used, whether the dealer hits soft 17, when the player can double, and if/when the player can surrender. After any rules are changed, the strategy card will be updated to reflect the modifications to basic strategy and any pressed buttons on the practice screen will be reset. (The currently dealt hand will remain the same.)
This section has two common rule variations found in Vegas downtown and the strip. Tapping on "load rules" next to the variation changes the game rules to match that variation. The Downtown variation sets the nubmer of decks to 2, dealer hits soft 17, and no double after split or surrender. The Strip variation sets the number of decks to 4, dealer stands on soft 17, allows double after split and late surrender.
This screen allows you to control various preferences related to the appearance and behavior of the practice screen and the strategy card screen.
This is the screen you are viewing now. For more help, or bug reports or feature requests, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org