Gamesys blackjack games are Web-capable versions of the
casino classic produced by the UK online game design firm The
Gamesys Group. Gamesys is a software developer, one of the
largest and most-popular in the United Kingdom. They’re also a
gambling game operator in their own right, and they are
responsible for a number of popular social gambling and real
money slots and casino sites in England, Scotland, and Wales.
You may know Gamesys as the first company trusted by Facebook
to launch real-money gambling applications on Facebook’s social
platform. Founded in 2001 by online design maven Noel Hayden,
along with a small team of developers, the company has grown
into a major force in online game design.
Gamesys produces a library of more than 250 games. The
company was founded in 2001 by a small group of game developers
and entrepreneurs. Gamesys now boasts 24 million players
worldwide, and employs nearly 1,000 people working in seven
offices around the world, with headquarters in Central London.
Their success has been recognized many times over in the gaming
press – eGaming Review ranked the company fifth in their
“Power50” list of online gambling companies.
The Gamesys blackjack feature that stands out the most if the
fact that all of their blackjack variants are available in
either a traditional or a “zero house edge” version. As
appealing as a zero house edge variant of blackjack might be,
you more than make up for the difference in odds by paying a 10%
commission on all net wins for a particular session. The catch
is that very few of the games listed by the company as having no
house edge actually have a 0% theoretical house edge. Even if
they did, you’d still only profit if you bet a very specific
way, with low-volatility bets and a narrow betting range.
With just four blackjack games in their library, Gamesys
offers significantly fewer variants of the game than other
online casino game designers. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing
– how many Deluxe or Bonus versions of blackjack do you really
need? A feather in their cap is the fact that three of their
blackjack variants have a house edge that’s at least competitive
with the rest of the industry. In fact, only one of their
blackjack variants, a game they call Diamond Blackjack, offers
the kind of odds that mean you should stay away from at all
The rest of this page takes a look at the blackjack
variations available, the house edge for each, and ideal
strategy for Gamesys blackjack games.
Noel Hayden, Founder
Mr. Hayden’s first career was in Web design in the early
years of the dot-com boom. Hayden built his company Internet
Digital Media from the ground up, selling it Gameplay for just
enough money to launch Gamesys. He founded the game design
company because of his lifelong passion for gaming.
Lee Fenton, CEO
Mr. Fenton joined the Gamesys team as COO in 2008 before
being elected to the CEO position in the summer of 2015. Mr.
Fenton made a name for himself in the executive world as COO of
the mobile division of 20th Century Fox and Global Director at
Vodafone. He is considered a global branding expert.
Michael Mee, CFO
Mr. Mee has served Gamesys as its CFO since 2005. He
qualified at Ernst & Young, and held his first executive
position at Sporting Index. He is an avid sports fan.
Robeson Reeves, COO
Mr. Reeves worked his way up, joining the company in 2005 as
a low-level assistant. His dual background in mathematics and
psychology no doubt contributes to his acumen as a sports
Phill Graham, CTO
Mr. Graham joined Gamesys in 2006, becoming CTO in 2015. He
has a passion for boating and gaming.
Here’s a list of the four blackjack games available as part
of Gamesys’ game library:
American Blackjack is a standard version of the game based on
Las Vegas rules. The house edge is 0.29%, a bit below average
for standard online blackjack games.
Doublet Blackjack is a version of American blackjack with one
unusual rule. In Doublet Blackjack, the player can perform
what’s called a Double Down Rescue. This move allows the player
to surrender after any double. Combined with the European-style
no peek rule that’s in place, and the ultimate effect on the
game’s house edge is negligible. The house edge is 0.37%, about
average for a Vegas-rules online blackjack game.
European Blackjack is a blackjack variant that follows
traditional European rules. The house edge is 0.45%, or about
average for a Euro-rules blackjack game.
Diamond Blackjack is Gamesys’ version of the variant known as
Super Fun 21. The only big difference between this and any other
Euro-rules version of blackjack is that this game has no hole
card. Hence, the rule that allows for surrender at any time is
even more powerful. The rules here are a bit weird – all player
blackjacks are automatic winners, but only a diamond blackjack
pays 2 to 1. Doubles are allowed at any time, in any number.
Player surrender is allowed at any time, even after a split.
Still, the house edge is 1.24%, well above average even for a
Super Fun 21 game.
Strategy Tips for Gamesys Blackjack
We recommend two basic tactics when preparing to play Gamesys
blackjack games: following basic game strategy, and managing
your bankroll. Following basic blackjack strategy ensures that
you’re making the most lucrative decision in every in-game
situation. Managing your bankroll ensures that you enjoy
yourself while gambling without worrying about spending too much
or going into debt just to play online blackjack.
Let’s address basic strategy first.
Because Gamesys blackjack games are all a bit different from
one another, the proper strategy for playing them is a bit
different, too. Your best bet when researching ideal blackjack
strategy at Gamesys-powered online casinos is to look up a
strategy chart for the specific game you want to play. These
charts have been developed over the years to help blackjack
players make the best possible decision, based on the cards in
their hand and what they know about the dealer’s hand.
Let’s take a look at strategy advice for Gamesys’ American
Blackjack game. One of their simplest and most traditional
variants, American Blackjack follows basic Las Vegas rules, with
very few meaningful variations on that theme. That’s good for
us, as students of blackjack strategy, since it means we can
follow basic multi-deck strategy when playing Gamesys’ American
Always hit any hard hand totaling 8 or less.
With a hard 9, double down if the dealer has a 3 – 6.
With a hard 10, double down unless the dealer has a 10
or an ace. Otherwise, hit.
With a hard 11, double down unless the dealer has an
ace. In that case, hit.
With a hard 12, stand if the dealer has a 4-6. Othewise,
With a hard 13 – 16, stand if the dealer has less than a
6 showing. Otherwise, hit.
Always stand on any hard 17 or higher.
With a soft 13 or 14, double down versus a dealer 5 or
6. Otherwise, hit.
With a soft 15 or 16, double down versus a dealer 4, 5,
or 6. Otherwise, hit.
With a soft 17, double down versus a dealer 3 -6.
With a soft 18, hit if the dealer has a 9 or higher.
Always stand on any soft 19 or higher.
Split 2s, 3s, or 6s if the dealer has a 7 or less
Only split 4s versus a dealer 5 or 6. Otherwise, hit.
Play a pair of 5s as a hard total of 10. Never split.
With a pair of 7s, split if the dealer has a 7 or less.
Always split 8s and aces.
Split 9s unless the dealer has a 7, 10, or ace showing.
In that case, stand.
Always stand with a pair of 10s.
You should memorize this strategy and use it every time you
play at this casino. Or you can print up an appropriate strategy
chart. By ignoring basic strategy, you’re giving up 1% – 4% to
the casino, which is tremendous.
Below is a short guide to three additional casinos that run
Gamesys software. We chose these because they’re popular and we
think they do a good job of representing the larger pool of
online gambling sites that do business with Gamesys.
Virgin Games was established in 2004. It’s one of the largest
and most-recognized brands in the UK online gambling industry.
Gamesys has been providing Virgin Games with their software for
more than a decade. The focus here is on Web-based casino games,
though bingo and social gaming apps are also popular. Membership
is open to several European nations, chiefly focusing on the
Jackpotjoy is the group’s primary brand. It’s a UK bingo site
that offers free-to-play and real-money versions of almost all
of their games. This is a browser-based site that puts games in
front of millions of UK citizens, most of whom don’t play for
real money. A Spanish-language companion site, Botemania, is
popular in that country.
Sun Bingo is a subsidiary of the popular tabloid The Sun.
It’s a reputable brand, a household name in the UK, and host of
every Gamesys game on the market. Three versions of bingo are
the highlight of the site, though plenty of slot, table, and
skill games produced by Gamesys are also available. Sun Bingo is
limited to citizens of England, Scotland, and Wales only.
The Gamesys Group is not yet a major manufacturer of
blackjack games for any market. Their lineup of four titles is
impressive only in that it includes some rule variations that
are new for the online gambling market. They’re not a player at
all in the US market, as even their Facebook branded products
are restricted for US and Canada-based customers. In short,
Gamesys is a big player in a niche market – it just happens to
be a large and profitable niche.
It seems unlikely that Gamesys will try to move into the US
market any time soon. Instead, they’re shoring up the European
side of the industry, creating free-to-play and real-money
contests across a range of popular game styles. If you live in
Europe, you already know Gamesys, a household name in a country
with few gaming regulations and widespread acceptance of social
gambling. For Gamesys to move into the US market, they’d have to
jump through a ridiculous number of hoops, something a
highly-profitable company is unlikely to do when they already
have a dominant share of such a wide-open market.
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