Classic Game Review: Championship Blackjack
Blackjack lovers this is it! With Championship Blackjack from PC Software you can play under realistic conditions using the rules from all the gambling fun spots. Before going into the details, a rundown of the features and playing options available with Championship Blackjack should be enough to convince you, as it did me, that it is an outstanding blackjack software package which is even better than the hard-wired setups you put your quarters into at the casino while you’re waiting in line to see a dinner show.
The game options include:
• All allowable plays are supported, including stand, hit, double, split, re-split, insurance, and surrender;
• Single or multiple decks;
• Tournament and double exposure play;
• Choice of casino rules, including Vegas Strip, Vegas Downtown, Atlantic City, Tahoe, and Reno;
• Ability to set your own rules;
• Julian Braun’s Basic and Point-Count System strategies. The game features include:
• Monochrome and colour displays, with sound;
• Menu-driven screens;
• Player statistics;
The game is so complete that about all you can’t do is order cocktails and look at the dealer’s eyes when he checks for blackjack. The game will accommodate up to six players and any of these can be played by the computer itself. Players automatically have their moves checked against the basic strategy developed by Julian Braun and, additionally, player’s moves can also be checked against Braun’s Point-Count system. Poor decisions based upon these systems, are then indicated by appropriate messages.
The general flow of the game is as expected. Cards are shuffled, bets are placed, hands are dealt, and players make their decisions.
What makes this game an excellent instructional tool, is that at the upper left of the screen, the program displays the running count, the true count (since you can’t actually see the shoe to see how many decks are left), the recommended move using basic strategy, and the recommended move using the Point-Count system. And, if you still can’t make up your mind, there is a help screen available to show you all the options. I played the game on an IBM monochrome display and found the graphics to be excellent. The screen layout is similar to that green felt on a blackjack table. Cards are dealt face-up, down cards down, and hits and splits are neatly overlapped. Player’s names, their current bank- roll, and current bets are always displayed at their respective places on the table. The statistics screen is very helpful and lets you know at any time how everyone is faring, this is most important in tournament play and when running simulations.
The only recommendation I have for the developers of the game is an added feature that will allow practice drills on such things as soft standing rules, soft-hitting rules, pair splitting decisions, double down decisions, and surrender decisions.
If you are a beginning blackjack player, a hearty welcome to the game. You won’t find a more helpful and enjoyable way of learning than Championship Blackjack. If you’re an expert, counter, tournament player, or professional, you will find Championship Blackjack to be an outstanding computer game. Good luck, and see you at the tables!