Amaya Gaming Blackjack
Amaya Gaming blackjack are online versions of the classic table game as produced by the Amaya Gaming Group. Amaya is a Montreal-based gaming business that has products in both the Web-based and land-based markets.
Amaya is a huge organization, difficult to pin down with a few sentences – they're technically a conglomerate of gambling companies that came together to form what is now the largest publicly-traded name in the industry. Amaya is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange, and is best known in the gambling business for its $5 billion purchase of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker back in 2014. With the company's recent acquisition of CryptoLogic and a few other small-scale competitors, they've shored up their international presence, maintaining headquarters in Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Asia.
We'll get into the company's blackjack offerings in more detail further down the page, but first, some more background on the company.
About Amaya Gaming
Amaya Gaming produces games and offers gaming industry services to both online and land-based gambling businesses. They offer services in multiple niches - casino, poker, sportsbook, lottery, slot machines – you name it, they produce it. Amaya Gaming is also famous in the industry for providing back-end services for all the forms of gambling mentioned above. The company now provides software to some of the biggest names in the online gambling industry, and are in the middle of a spate of new game releases.
With the purchase of CryptoLogic, Amaya Gaming expanded their game collection as well as their online casino holdings. Their collection of blackjack games now totals six variants, ranging from standard Vegas rules to a micro-limit game and even a version based on the rules found in Atlantic City. It's an interesting collection of blackjack games that doesn't include any unnecessary "expert" or "platinum" mode games.
A quick search of casinos hosting Amaya Gaming blackjack titles reveals a four-tiered wagering system. Limit options for blackjack games come in three tiers - $0.10 - $5, $1-$100, $5-$250, and $15-500. Don't expect these ranges to be standard across all casinos that host Amaya titles – we include this information here for educational purposes only. You should always check the specific rules and restrictions of all online games before you play them for real money.
The rest of this page focuses on Amaya Gaming blackjack variations, including details like house edge figures for each game and ideal strategy.
Here's a list of the six blackjack games available via Amaya Gaming's online casino software:
The best game in terms of house edge is (of course) Single Deck Blackjack, at 0.26%. That's not just low for Amaya, it's one of the lowest house edge figures we've found in reviewing games from designers all over the world. The worst game on this list, when ranked by built-in house advantage, is Lucky 7 Blackjack, with a 0.7% edge. It's nice that none of Amaya's blackjack games are particularly long on odds, though 0.7% is a little bit steep.
Bear in mind that all the house edges we report on this page are based on a player following ideal blackjack strategy. If you don't play according to mathematically-ideal strategy, you're handing money to the casino. When you lose more money, you have less fun. Thus, playing according to basic strategy means having a better time playing blackjack. Basic game strategy isn't difficult to learn – we even cover basic strategy for one of Amaya's most popular variants further down on this page.
Here's a quick guide to all six of Amaya Gaming's blackjack variants.
Atlantic City Blackjack is a variant based on the rules of the game as played in New Jersey's gambling hotspot. This is an eight-deck game in which the dealer stands on a soft 17, players can double any two cards, and a single split is allowed per hand. Amaya Gaming lets its Atlantic City blackjack players juggle up to five hands at a time.
This game uses a single deck instead of the usual six. That has a huge impact on the house edge. The rules are altered to adjust a little for that decrease in the casino's odds – the dealer stands on a soft 17, doubles are allowed on 9, 10, and 11 only, and players can't re-split aces or perform any kind of surrender. The overall effect of the reduction to a single deck is still a net-positive for the player, and the house edge is among the lowest in the industry.
Lucky 7 Blackjack is identical to Amaya's Atlantic City Blackjack, except that it includes a special side wager. That side wager, which pays off for different combinations of 7s in the player's hand, is one of the worst side bets we've ever seen, with a house edge just under 50%.
This game is identical to Amaya's Vegas Blackjack, except that it has a tiny wagering range. The minimum wager is $0.10, and the maximum wager is $5. The house edge is 0.46%, exactly average for online blackjack variants. It's not a bad game, it's just not the best game available at casinos powered by Amaya.
Perfect Pairs Blackjack is identical to Vegas Blackjack rules, except that it includes an optional side bet that pays off based on the appearance of pairs in the player's hand. The house edge on the overall game is just over 0.5%, not bad for an online blackjack game with an optional side wager.
This is the closest thing to a standard game of blackjack available in Amaya Gaming's table games collection. The house edge is 0.4%, a bit below-average for Web-based games of blackjack. It's a four-deck game in which the dealer stands on a soft 17, the player can double on any two cards, and splits are limited to once per round.
Amaya Gaming Casinos
Amaya Gaming licenses their games to dozens of online gambling sites all over the world. Because of the widespread availability of Amaya Gaming Group titles, it'd be impossible for us to review every single place that hosts their games on the Internet. Instead, we've selected three sites to review in brief, to give you an idea of the kind of websites that Amaya does business with:Betsson Casino
Betsson Casino has been open since 2003, is a major force in the European market, run by the same people who operate Mr. Smith, BetSafe, and Casino Euro. Betsson has one of the largest libraries in the industry, hosting not just Amaya titles, but also games by BetSoft, NetEnt, RTG, Microgaming, and pretty much every other big name in the industry. Betsson's 100% signup bonus is maxed out at $100, and has very reasonable rules and restrictions, making it easy for players to actually earn their bonus offer.BetVictor Casino
BetVictor Casino has roots in the industry that go all the way back to 1946. It's no wonder BetVictor Casino is a household name in the UK where the company is headquartered. They host a library composed of hundreds of games from a dozen different game designers, including Amaya Gaming and others. At last count, BetVictor hosts a half-dozen blackjack variants, all of which are Amaya Gaming titles, which is a huge endorsement for the blackjack lineup of this game designer.InterCasino
InterCasino has been open since 1996, and it's one of the oldest online casinos still hosting real-money games. One curious feature of InterCasino is the fact that they host just one variant of blackjack – luckily, its Amaya's Vegas Blackjack, one of that company's better blackjack variants. The welcome bonus currently available is a 100% deposit match worth up to $100. InterCasino is currently open only to the European market, though Canadian players have reported successfully signing up for a membership and making a deposit.
Strategy Tips for Playing Amaya Gaming Blackjack
The best advice we can give anyone playing Amaya Gaming blackjack is to play the game that has the lowest house edge, and to use basic blackjack strategy when playing it. If you do both of these things, you're getting the best possible odds and risking the least amount of cash you can risk.
If you want to improve your odds of walking away a winner, you should also consider putting a bankroll management strategy in place. The simplest of these is to set two limits – one for wins and one for losses. If your win goal is $200, you'll walk away as soon as you're up $200. If your loss goal is $100, you'll walk away as soon as you lose $100. So long as you can stick to this plan, you'll never find yourself gambling with the rent money or chasing losses.
Of course, putting a budget in place doesn't do anything to improve your actual chances of winning at the virtual blackjack table. If you're looking for help improving your actual blackjack game, you'll want to use basic strategy.
Since blackjack rules vary so much from one game to the next, the ideal steps taken by a blackjack player (according to basic strategy) are a little different from one variant to another. Below, you'll find a guide to basic strategy as it applies to Amaya Gaming's Single-Deck Blackjack. We've chosen to share basic strategy tips for this game because it is by far the best that Amaya offers in terms of the house's built-in edge. If you play every hand the way we recommend below, the casino's edge is just over a quarter of a percent.
- With a hard total of 5-8, always hit.
- With a hard total of 9, double down if the dealer is showing 2-6; otherwise, take a hit.
- With a hard total of 10, double down if the dealer is showing anything but an Ace or 10; otherwise, take a hit.
- With a hard total of 11, always double down.
- With a hard total of 12, stand against a dealer's 4, 5, or 6. Otherwise, take a hit.
- With a hard total of 13-16, stand against a dealer 2-6; otherwise, take a hit.
- With a hard total of 17+, always stand.
- With a soft total of 13-17, always take a hit.
- With a soft total of 18, take a hit against a dealer 9 or 10. Otherwise, stand.
- With a soft total of 19+, always stand.
- With a pair of 2s, take a hit against a dealer 8-A; otherwise split.
- With a pair of 3s, split against a dealer 4-7. Otherwise, take a ht.
- With a pair of 4s, always take a hit.
- With a pair of 6s or 7s, split against a dealer 2-7. Otherwise, take a hit.
- With a pair of 8s and Aces, always split.
- With a pair of 9s, stand against a dealer 7, 10, or A. Otherwise, split.
As Amaya Gaming increases its presence in online market, by making big acquisitions and opening new casino websites, gamblers around the world will grow more familiar with their brand. Though they're not one of the names that come to mind when you think about online casino software, that's likely to change.
Amaya Gaming is increasing its presence in some major emerging markets - daily fantasy, online poker, and social gambling are all on the shortlist of "the next big thing." Though most of Amaya Gaming's products are still restricted from the US market, as a consequence of the 2006 UIGEA bill, it's likely that we'll see Amaya games in the North American marketplace in the next couple of years, particularly as US laws about daily fantasy evolve.
As for their blackjack games – if they were made available to a larger audience, we think they'd be among the most popular on the Internet. Amaya Gaming can be a bit of a bear to write about, since they have their hand in so many different markets. But that's also a good thing. It means they're adaptable, ready to change to address new segments of the still-burgeoning online gambling market.