WGS Technology Blackjack

Blackjack Software Vista Gaming

WGS Technology has been in the gaming industry since 1998. They were originally called Odds On Gaming; then Vegas Technology; and, as of 2011, WGS Technology.

While their various name changes and company restructurings are murky, it's worth checking out WGS' blackjack action because they offer multiple games and a large progressive jackpot.

That being said, let's discuss what WGS has to offer in terms of blackjack variations, graphics, in-game options, and return to player RTP. We'll also cover where you can find WGS blackjack, company information, and if you should play their blackjack variants.


General Aspects of WGS Technology Blackjack

7 Games

The first thing to like about WGS is that they offer a nice variety of games. These include: Atlantic City, (standard) blackjack, classic, perfect pairs, progressive, Vegas single deck (a.k.a. downtown), and Vegas Strip.

Given that most casinos offer 3-5 games, WGS does very well in this category.

But as with any provider that offers an abundance of blackjack games, some of these variants run together. This is the case with the classic and single deck versions, as well as the Atlantic City and Vegas Strip games.

Still, there are different rules in play with each variant, and perfect pairs and progressive blackjack give you the option to make side bets.

Graphics

The look of WGS' blackjack tables reminds us of a Wild West-themed casino.

The felt color is a combination of tan and light gold, while the chip and cup-holder area is a rich gold color. The block letters used to explain the rules back up the Old West feel.

This isn't our favorite color combination for a blackjack table, but it's original when compared to other software providers.

The chips and cards in the background offer nice detail, with the card insignias and chip denominations being clearly legible.

Table Layout

The bottom of the screen features chip denominations, hand options, and game play options. The bottom of the table has 5 circles where you can place bets and play hands.

The middle of the table offers rules on insurance, blackjack payouts, and the dealer standing on a soft 17. You'll also see several background decorations in this area, including a card shoe, card decks, and chip stacks.

One thing missing from WGS' blackjack tables that would help is a placard explaining what the minimum and maximum bets are.

Most providers feature these on the table, but you have to back out of WGS' games and look at casinos' website to see the min/max wagers.

Betting

Minimum and max bets for WGS' 7 blackjack variations are as follows:

  • Atlantic City Blackjack

    $2 minimum bet, $200 max.

  • Blackjack

    $2 minimum bet, $200 max.

  • Classic Blackjack

    $2 minimum bet, $200 max.

  • Perfect Pairs Blackjack

    $2 minimum bet, $200 max.

  • Progressive Blackjack

    $2 minimum bet, $200 max.

  • Vegas Single Deck

    $1 minimum bet, $100 max.

  • Vegas Strip

    $2 minimum bet, $200 max.

We're not fans of the $2 minimum bets since most gaming providers allow you to play for $1 per hand.

Music & Sound Effects

WGS' blackjack games don't have music, but they do have a voice that announces wins. You'll also hear cards flipping and being dealt.

Gameplay Options

You can change the voice volume, sound effects, and animations by clicking the Options menu in the lower left-hand corner.

Turning the animation off means that cards automatically appear on the table, rather than being flipped to simulate dealing.

To exit a blackjack game, you click the X in the upper right-hand corner, or Lobby in the lower left-hand corner.

We don't have a problem with this system, but it would be nice if the exit options were bolder. The first time we wanted to change games using instant play/PC, we clicked back in the browser and exited the entire casino.

Return to Player RTP

Below are the returns for each WGS blackjack variation with perfect strategy:

  • Perfect Pairs = 99.64%
  • Vegas Downtown = 99.60%
  • Vegas Strip = 99.59%
  • Atlantic City = 99.56%
  • Classic Blackjack = 99.43%
  • Progressive Blackjack = 99.43%
  • Blackjack = N/A (decks not listed)

When compared to other online blackjack providers, WGS ranks average in terms of house edge.

Perfect pairs carries the banner, offering a 99.64% RTP as long as you stay away from the perfect pairs side bet. Vegas downtown, Vegas Strip, and Atlantic City also pay above average.

Considering that classic blackjack doesn't offer anything out of the ordinary, and it pays below average for an online blackjack game, we recommend that you stay away from this one.

Standard blackjack's rules aren't listed on any of the casino websites we visited, meaning we can't find out how many decks are in the shoe. This being said, assume that blackjack pays somewhere in between the other variations.

Software Security

In contrast to most suppliers, WGS Technology doesn't have a website. Therefore, we don't know any details on the security they offer.

Without a side, we wonder how they recruit clients because they're found at over a dozen online casinos.

WGS Technology Blackjack Games

As discussed earlier, WGS offers seven blackjack variations - all of which offer different rules.

Some won't like the fact that they have to deal with rule nuances on each table. But the good news is that you can at least enjoy a nice variety.

Below you can read about each blackjack variation along with its rules, RTP, and strategy.

Atlantic Blackjack
Rules
  • Natural blackjack (21 on first two cards) pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 8 decks.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting.
  • You can split up to three times.
  • No re-splitting aces.
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack with ace or 10 up card.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for Atlantic City blackjack is 99.56%, or a house edge of 0.44%.

Considering that the online industry average is 99.5% RTP, Atlantic City blackjack is worth playing.

Notable rules that help players include: being able to double down on any hand; the dealer standing on a soft 17; splitting up to three times; and 3:2 natural blackjack payouts.

Two rules that increase the house advantage include 8 decks and no re-splitting aces.

How to Play

The game starts with you selecting a chip denomination from the lower left-hand corner, then placing it in one of the five available betting squares. You can place as many chips as you want into the betting circle(s) until reaching the table maximum.

When satisfied with your wager, push Deal to receive your cards and see the dealer's up card. If you'd like to change your bet, choose Clear to start over.

Also note that most of WGS' blackjack games are multi-player, and you can play 1-5 hands per round.

After dealing the hand, you'll have the option to hit, stand, or double down. You can also split your hand any time you receive a pair.

Once the round is over, you can click Rebet to make the same bet(s) and play the same number of hands, or choose Clear to start fresh.

Strategy

No specific strategy charts exist for WGS' blackjack variations. That said, we'll list standard online strategy charts for each game, which will get you close to optimal payout.

Below is the common strategy for online Atlantic City blackjack:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: hit when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 3 to 6.
  • Your total is 10: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 11: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Hit when their card is A.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Stand when their card is 4 to 6.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: hit when dealer's up card is 7 to A. Stand when their card is 2 to 6.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A3: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 5 to 6.
  • Your cards are A4 to A5: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 4 to 6.
  • Your cards are A6: hit when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to A. Double down when their card is 3 to 6.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when dealer's up card is 2 and 7 to 8. Double down when their up card is 3 to 6. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: split when dealer's up card is 5 to 6. Hit when their card is 2 to 4 and 7 to A. Split
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: always split.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 6 and 8 to 9. Hit when their card is 7 and 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 10's (or face cards): always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: always split.
Blackjack

Again, WGS doesn't feature rules on their standard blackjack variation at any of the casinos we searched. But we did figure out most of the rules by playing the game, minus the number of decks.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • ? decks.
  • Double down only on 9 to 11.
  • No double down after splitting.
  • No re-splitting aces.
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

Without the number of decks being listed, there's no way to calculate this game's true house edge.

Furthermore, there are a couple rules that hurt your chances of winning, including only doubling down on 9-11, and no doubling down after splitting.

Unless this is single deck blackjack, blackjack isn't worth playing based on the mysterious RTP.

How to Play

This game plays the same as the Atlantic City variation. The only difference is that you can't double down on every two-card hand.

Strategy

Here's standard online blackjack strategy for a game that only lets you double down on 9 to 11:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 10: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 11: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 10. Hit when their card is A.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Stand when dealer's card is 4 to 6.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: hit when their card is 7 to A. Stand when their card is 2 to 6.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A6: always hit.
  • Your cards are A7: hit when dealer's up card is 9 to A. Stand when their card is 2 to 8.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's or 3's: split when dealer's up card is 4 to 7. Hit when their card is 2 to 3 and 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: always hit.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: always split.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6 and 8 to 9. Stand when their card is 7 and 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 10's: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: always split.
Classic Blackjack
Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 4 decks.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • No double down after splitting.
  • No re-splitting of any hand.
  • Dealer doesn't peek for blackjack with an ace or 10 up card.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for classic blackjack is 99.43%, or a 0.57% house edge. This is below-average RTP when compared to the industry.

4 decks and being able to double down on any two cards help you. But there are too many house-friendly rules, such as no doubling after splitting; no re-splitting, and the dealer not peeking for blackjack.

Based on how classic blackjack offers nothing different, and it's low-paying for an online variation, we recommend you avoid this game.

How to Play

Classic blackjack largely plays like the first two games on this list. But it's also a restrictive game since you can't double down after splitting, or re-split hands.

Strategy

Aside from the lack of re-splitting, classic blackjack plays like Atlantic City blackjack. This means you can refer to the Atlantic City strategy listed above and get close to the optimal 99.43% RTP for the classic version.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack

Perfect pairs is unique in that you can place a side bet on being dealt pairs.

The pairs bet is optional, meaning you can play this like a regular blackjack game while making an occasional side bet.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 4 decks.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting.
  • You can split up to three times.
  • No re-splitting aces.
  • Dealer peeks for a blackjack.
  • No surrender.
Perfect Pairs Payouts

The following payouts are based on your first two cards:

  • Mixed Pairs (different colors and suits) = 5 to 1
  • Colored Pair (same color, different suits) = 10 to 1
  • Perfect Pair (same color and suit) = 30 to 1
Return to Player RTP

RTP for perfect pairs is 99.64%, or a 0.36% house edge. This is the best blackjack variation in WGS' library form a house edge perspective.

Even if you have no intention of making the perfect pairs side bet, you should play this game since it offers the best chance to win.

How to Play

The lone difference in how this variation plays from the others is the perfect pairs bet.

Each betting circle features a smaller circle above it for the perfect pairs wager. After placing a regular bet, you then have the option to make the side bet.

The perfect pairs side wager is separate from your main bet, meaning you can win one and lose the other in the same round.

Given that WGS' perfect pairs is multi-hand, you can play up to 5 hands and side wages per round. Clicking Rebet after the round is over makes the exact same regular and perfect pairs bets.

Strategy

You can refer to the Atlantic City section for basic strategy on this game.

If you're solely focused on your long-term chances of winning, then don't make the perfect pairs wager.

Although tempting due to the 30 to 1 top payout, perfect pairs is a sucker bet because the house edge is 6%. Your best option is to play this variation without making the side bet.

Of course, if it adds more entertainment for you, an occasional $2 perfect pairs wager won't kill your bankroll. But know that the house edge is worse than what's featured in most online slots games.

Progressive Blackjack

WGS' progressive blackjack plays just like classic blackjack in terms of rules. But the exception is that you can make a side bet to qualify for the progressive jackpot.

Not only does this give you a chance to win the progressive blackjack, but also additional side payouts. We'll cover these side payouts along with everything else you need to know about this game below.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 4 decks.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • No double down after splitting.
  • No re-splitting of any hand.
  • Dealer doesn't peek for blackjack.
  • No surrender.
Progressive Jackpot & Side Payouts

The following payouts are all based on the first four cards that you're dealt:

  • 4 aces, same suit = 100% of progressive jackpot
  • 4 aces, any suit = 10% of jackpot
  • 3 aces, same suit = $2,500
  • 3 aces, any suit = $250
  • 2 aces, same suit = $50
  • 2 aces, any suit = $25
Return to Player RTP

The RTP for progressive blackjack is 99.43%, or a 0.57% house edge. This and the classic blackjack game are WGS' two lowest-paying variations.

The side bet is optional, meaning you can play progressive blackjack like a regular game. But considering the 0.57% house advantage, there's no reason to choose this variant over perfect pairs or Atlantic City.

How to Play

When you place your normal bet into one of the 5 available betting circles, the gold bar above it lights up, indicating that you can make your progressive jackpot wager.

When playing for real money, you can click the space again to place your jackpot bet.

The progressive jackpot counter is featured at the top of the table, while you can see available side payouts in the top left-hand corner.

Note that the progressive side bet is separate from your regular wager, and you can win one and lose one in the same hand.

Strategy

Refer to Atlantic City blackjack for basic strategy on this game.

As for whether or not you should place the side bet from a strategy perspective, this depends on the jackpot size.

According to Michael Shackleford (a.k.a. Wizard of Odds), the jackpot needs to be at $180,209.81 before this becomes a break-even prospect. At the time of his analysis, the jackpot was at $13,599, which led to a 67.75% house edge on the side bet.

At the time of this writing, the progressive jackpot sits at $66,103. Although better than $13.6k, this still gives the casino a tremendous advantage.

That said, we don't recommend you make the side bet on every hand.

Vegas Single Deck (Downtown) Blackjack

Vegas downtown blackjack features a single deck, which is in your favor. But it's also the only WGS variation that allows the dealer to hit on a soft 17.

Another notable exception is that Vegas single deck is the only single-hand version. Instead of having the option to play up to 5 hands, you can only place one bet per round.

Below you can see the full list of rules along with single deck strategy.

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer hits on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 1 deck.
  • Double down only on 9 to -11
  • No double down after splitting.
  • No re-splitting on any hand.
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for Vegas single deck is 99.60%, which is the second-highest paying game in WGS' collection.

The other variations in this list feature 4-8 decks. This is where Vegas downtown's big advantage comes in because it only has a single deck, which lowers the house edge by 0.59% when moving from the 8-deck version.

In order to counteract this player edge, WGS includes house-friendly rules like the dealer hitting on a soft 17; double down restrictions; and no re-splitting hands.

How to Play

As mentioned above, Vegas single deck only allows you to place one bet per round. This means you'll see one circle in the middle of the table - rather than 5 - and you put your chips here.

Also note that this is the only game with a $1 minimum bet, which makes Vegas downtown a good option if you have a small bankroll.

Strategy

Below is standard strategy for a single-deck online game with the common double-down restriction:

  • Your total is 5 to 8: always hit.
  • Your total is 9: hit when dealer's up card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 10: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • Your total is 11: always double down.
  • Your total is 12: hit when dealer's up card is 2 to 3 and 7 to A. Stand when their card is 4 to 6.
  • Your total is 13 to 16: stand when dealer's up card is 2 to 6. Hit when their card is 7 to A.
  • Your total is 17+: always stand.
  • Your cards are A2 to A6: always hit.
  • Your cards are A7: stand when the dealer's up card is 2 to 8 and A. Hit when their card is 9 to 10.
  • Your cards are A8+: always stand.
  • You have a pair of 2's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 3's: split when dealer's up card is 2 to 8. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • You have a pair of 4's: always hit.
  • You have a pair of 5's: double down when dealer's up card is 2 to 9. Hit when their card is 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 6's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 7. Hit when their card is 8 to A.
  • You have a pair of 7's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 8. Hit when their card is 9 to A.
  • You have a pair of 8's: always split.
  • You have a pair of 9's: split when the dealer's up card is 2 to 6 and 8 to 9. Stand when their card is 7 and 10 to A.
  • You have a pair of 10 to value cards: always stand.
  • You have a pair of aces: always split.
Vegas Strip Blackjack

Vegas Strip offers the most-detailed rules section of WGS' blackjack games. As you'll see below, this is the only 6-deck game, and it has the unusual rule of splitting up to 2 times (rather than 1 or 3).

Rules
  • Natural blackjack pays 3:2.
  • Dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • 6 decks.
  • Double down on any two cards.
  • Double down after splitting (except aces).
  • You can split up to two times.
  • No re-splitting aces.
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • No surrender.
Return to Player RTP

RTP for Vegas Strip is 99.59%, or a house edge of 0.41%.

6 decks and no re-splitting aces won't help you win. But this game includes other player-friendly rules like doubling down on any two cards; doubling down after splitting; and splitting up to two times.

How to Play

Refer to the Atlantic City section because Vegas Strip plays exactly like it.

Strategy

The Atlantic City strategy will get you close to the 99.59% optimal return.

Where is WGS Technology Blackjack Found?

You can find WGS blackjack at several casinos, including Intertops, Liberty Slots, Lincoln Club, Miami Club, and Red Stag. Here are some notable points about these casinos in relation to WGS and their licensing.

  • All of these casinos except for Red Stag serve US players. All of them are licensed in Curacao, except for Intertops (Kahnawake Gaming Commission).
  • Liberty Slots, Lincoln Club, Miami Club, and Red Stag are owned by Deckmedia N.V., and they only feature WGS Technology software.
  • Liberty, Lincoln Club, and Miami Club all have a similar look and feel, while Red Stag stands out with their sleek look and deer-horned emblem.
  • Intertops is owned by Thinkquick Ltd., and they feature products from both WGS and Realtime Gaming.
  • WGS software is featured at a variety of other casinos, but we can't find their blackjack variations anywhere beyond the 5 casinos that we discussed here.

WGS Technology History & Reputability

History

As discussed in the introduction, WGS Technology launched in 1998 as Odds On Gaming.

We can't find anything on their early history, and why they changed their name to Vegas Technology. But the company became more famous under Vegas Technology than Odds On Gaming.

Operating casinos such as English Harbour, Millionaire Casino, and SuperSlots, they became one of the dominant forces in the US-facing market.

But in 2011, their casinos briefly went offline and Vegas Technology went into limbo. We're not sure what caused this, but online poker's Black Friday may have forced the company to rethink their US-friendly position.

They quickly resurfaced as WGS Technology the same year and have continued serving US players ever since.

Licensing

Considering that WGS Technology is one of the few online gaming providers without a website, we don't know what licensing they hold.

The online casinos they power are mostly licensed in Curacao, which has a below-average reputation among iGaming licensers.

WGS does supply games to the famed William Hill Casino, which is licensed by the UK Gaming Commission and Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.

Complaints about WGS Technology Casinos

Focusing on popular casinos with a heavy WGS influence - i.e. Liberty Slots, Lincoln Club, Miami Club, and Red Stag - we don't see an abundance of complaints.

On AskGamblers, one common complaint is the lack of game variety, which can be explained by WGS being the only software provider for these casinos.

We also saw some complaints on Lincoln Club's customer service. But overall, there isn't much bad to report on Lincoln either.

Unknown Testing Certification

It's hard to have 100% confidence in WGS because we can't find any evidence of their software being tested. Most reputable gaming providers are tested to ensure fair gaming and random results.

But we also haven't seen any major incidents involving WGS, meaning they seem reputable.

Other WGS Technology Games

Slots

WGS is the only provider we know of that produces 7-reel slots. These haven't taken off like they'd hoped, but the 7-reel games are interesting nonetheless.

This company is best known for their dozens of 5-reel slots.

Most of these games are simplistic and easy for recreational players to pick up. But some of their newer slots offer detailed features, including Cash Cow, Reel Poker, and Amanda Panda & the Jackpot Journey.

Table Games

The most-impressive table game selection is definitely seen in the blackjack category. But WGS does offer a few other table games, including 10-card high poker, 5-card mulligan poker, American roulette, baccarat, casino hold'em, craps, European roulette, Pai gow, and Red Dog.

Specialty Games

WGS' specialty section offers keno, and slots-style poker and dice games. One example is Poker Dice, which is set on a 5x5 grid and features poker hands as the winning combinations.

Video Poker

You'll find nearly two dozen video poker variations in WGS' library, dividing up into single-hand, multi-hand, and 100-hand variations.

Conclusion

We found a lot to like with WGS blackjack, including the game variety, solid RTP, and progressive jackpot.

As for the games, we appreciate how there are seven variations available. While learning the different rules for each of these games is taxing at first, we don't mind if it means more blackjack options.

Several games offer good RTP, including perfect pairs (99.64%), Vegas single deck (99.60%), Vegas Strip (99.59%), and Atlantic City (99.56%).

We also like how WGS offers both perfect pairs and progressive blackjack, giving you a couple options if you enjoy chasing big payouts.

One more thing to appreciate about WGS is the company themselves. Although not a fixture in regulated markets, they at least have history and haven't been involved in any scandals.

The main downsides to WGS blackjack are the $2 minimum bets and strange game navigation.

Single deck is the only game where you don't have to wager $2 to play. And while this may not sound like a big difference, many low rollers only like playing for a dollar per hand.

Regarding the navigation, we accidentally clicked back on our browser a few times - rather than X or Lobby - which took us out of the casino. We'd rather just have the blackjack games take up the entire browser, rather than appear in its own window.

But these are small complaints about what's otherwise a quality blackjack supplier.

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