Systems Archive 4
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Blackjack training software from DeepNet
Posted by Dan Pronovost on 18 May 2002, at 11:38 a.m.
I'm the author of a family of blackjack training products for Palm OS, Windows, and Pocket PC. I thought it may be useful to provide a bit more background information about my company and software for the members of this forum. I should have done this a LONG time ago... alas, I've been spending far too much time on writing my software and failing to tell the world about it! The good news is that I now have a huge line of training products for a wide range of platforms (this is a long message...you've been warned!).
Like most of this forumís members, I've got a shelf full of blackjack books, and devour them regularly. Although there is no shortage of books that *talk* about card counting and winning at blackjack, I noticed a definite lack of material or software that *TEACH* people how to master card counting. And being a devote programmer for mobile computing, I particularly noticed the complete lack of tools for handheld devices.
So, a couple years ago I wrote "Blackjack Mentor" for Palm OS. It is not a game: it tests you on basic strategy in several drill and test modes, helping you memorize those tricky plays. It even lets you select different strategy tables, or create your own.
With that under my belt, I moved on to real meat and potatoes: "Blackjack Counter" for Palm OS, released about a year ago. This is heavy-duty software for players looking for the best training software to master card counting in blackjack. You can select from a number of built-in count systems (like Red7 or HighLow), edit/add your own, or buy add-on packs of popular systems. It supports virtually every count system feature I've seen, included fractional card values, red/black value assignments, multiple betting levels, and full index tables. Like Mentor, it's crammed with drill modes and tests to accelerate the learning process, master card counting, and build your confidence to hit the casino. It even includes configurable timed count-down drills to make sure you can accurately count decks in real-time.
But I had yet to write an actual blackjack game... Mentor and Counter are only drill and test tools. So I wrote "Blackjack Expert" for Palm OS. In BJ Expert, you actually play blackjack. As you play, the program compares everything you do to the count systems you've selected in BJ Counter, and notifies you of errors. Betting, insurance, and even index plays are all checked and assessed as you play. You can configure the program with almost any casino rules, and choose how you want to be tested. When you can play blackjack in Expert without mistakes, you know you're ready to hit the casino.
I think handheld devices are the ideal platform for training at blackjack, since you can practice anywhere with those spare minutes. All the same, I've ported many of my products to Windows, and plan to have all three products available for Windows and Pocket PC by the end of the year. Right now, Counter and Mentor are available for Windows, and Mentor is available for Pocket PC. BJ Expert for Windows is next in the plans! Of course, Mentor, Counter and Expert are available for Palm OS right now.
I've also written a high-end blackjack simulation and analysis tool called "Blackjack Audit". This is for serious professionals looking to analyze the game for different rules and strategies. I wrote it because I was increasingly dissatisfied with the programs out there. They are: expensive, buggy, cryptic to use, and tended to be aimed at mathematicians instead of gamblers looking to improve their game (fighting words, I know). I wanted more information, such as breakdown data for *each* individual hand combination. BJ Audit works with Counter (Palm or Windows), so you don't have to use a goofy text editor to enter your systems... just point and click!
My most recent product is a 100+ page e-Book (print publication in the works) called "Blackjack Count Master". Many of my users said they loved my software, but really wanted a book that would tell them what training exercises to do, in what order, and guide them as to when they were ready to play for real. Count Master is an exhaustive book with detailed exercises (using Counter and Expert) that take you from mastering basic strategy all the way to full indices. When you can pass all 15 exercises, you know you're ready to hit the casino. The book also includes chapters on "Playing for Real" and "Fine Tuning your Game" that talk about common pitfalls for blackjack players as they transition from practice to the casino. Detailed analysis material is included throughout (using BJ Audit, of course), including sections on "Knock-Out" and "Double Deck Blackjack". I'm proud of this book, and think it allows me to say I now have a *complete* set of products that can make an expert card counter out of anyone, with the least amount of training time and most amount of fun.
Enough of my dribble... if you want to learn more, come visit our web site: www.HandheldBlackjack.com. And a final note: *ALL* of my software is 'shareware', which means you can download and try it out for free before buying.
Blackjack software from DeepNet
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