Once upon a time—more than a decade ago, I’d reckon—I was at a blackjack table at Caesar’s Palace, having a pretty decent evening by my admittedly low standards when a pair of young men sat down. And it didn’t take long to realize that neither gent could claim anything resembling a passing familiarity with the rules of blackjack. Both were making criminally stupid plays—I can’t say for certain that they were doing things like hitting on 17, but my memory tells me it was the moral equivalent of that.
I managed to escape their reign of terror relatively unscathed, thanks to conservative betting that became ever more reactionary the second it became apparent how badly these two yokels wanted to hand over their money to the casino. One of my tablemates wasn’t so lucky—when one member of the two-man doofus crew made a particularly boneheaded play that spared the dealer a certain bust and cost this gent a healthy stack of chips, he finally exploded. “We are playing for real money here!” he bellowed in a kind of a scream-howl hybrid of outrage I still hear anytime I witness someone behaving particularly foolishly.
I’m not sure what my gambling compatriot from that night at Caesar’s would have made out of a pair of iPad-based blackjack apps I’ve been testing—Blackjack HD from Haolan Qin and Blackjack for iPad from MobilityWare. But given his demanding standards and apparent lack of patience for tomfoolery, I don’t think he’d be very impressed. Both apps cover the basics of blackjack but offer little beyond that.
Give Me a Hand: Tapping the advice button in Blackjack for iPad (which also works on the iPhone, incidentally) can help you figure out how to play a particular hand—good for practicing outside of a casino.
Both Blackjack HD and Blackjack for iPad sport the same look and approach—you sit down at a green felt table with a $1, 000 bankroll and face off against the house in a game of blackjack. The controls are what you would expect from a blackjack game: you can hit or stand or—when appropriate—split cards, double down, or surrender. Each app also has an Advice button to tap when you want to know how to play a particular hand. The idea, apparently, is that you’d use either app to practice your blackjack skills at home before disgracing yourself in a casino.
The Tipsport Arena is an indoor sporting arena located in Liberec, Czech Republic, sponsored by gambling firm Tipsport. The capacity of the arena is 9,000 people and it was built in 2005. It is currently home to the HC Bílí Tygři Liberec ice hockey team. It hosted matches from Group B and the Relegation Round at the 2008 World Junior Ice Hockey...
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