Watch Out Poker – Here Comes Blackjack Extreme

There’s a new Poker table game now playing online, using blackjack rules to determine winners. BJX Entertainment today launched BlackJack eXtreme (BJX) on Facebook, if you’re one of those Facebook gamers out there. There’s also an iPhone / iPad version.

As in poker, BJX removes the house dealer and gives each player, a chance to be the dealer – with surprisingly powerful options. Also players can raise up to “all-in” and take unlimited hits. An active tutorial is always available for newcomers.

BlackJack eXtreme (BJX) isn’t just a variation on casino blackjack. It’s an entirely new method of playing a game that almost every card player knows. Patented as “Active Dealer Blackjack,” BlackJack eXtreme give dealers three options not available in casinos. Dealers choose which card to reveal, can fold bad hands and may hit any soft hand – where the Ace is counted as 11. Dealers still must stand on a hard 17 and bust if they go over 21.

Player Power:
Players are armed with more liberal blackjack rules to counter the new powers given to dealers. In addition to the traditional “surrender” fold giving half the original bet to the dealer, they may raise from double up to “all-in”. If the dealer agrees to play, the players may take unlimited hits, including on split Aces.

Because BJX forces the players to declare their fold, check or raise before the dealer must decide to play or fold, dealers may have collected sufficient surrendered bets to cover the half-bets they must pay to remaining players when folding.

Strategy Trumps Luck:
Gamers find that the dealer options and player freedoms reveal important information about their opponent. The core challenge of BJX is to win big by improving weak hands, but not to gamble on losing situations. And the key advantage dealers have of acting last leads to outcomes where the dealer busts – but still wins money on the hand.

The social version playing on Facebook allows for two sizes of blind bets before the cards are dealt. Player cards come out one up and one down. Once the dealer shows an up card, all players must declare their intentions to fold, check or make their raise. Timid dealers might fold a playable hand if the raises are too large. And large raises from a player showing a 10 tells the dealer to expect a split hand, doubling the potential loss.

A raise that doesn’t allow for a second matching bet when a ten is showing tells the dealer that he is facing an eleven since raising a blackjack turns a small 3:2 win on the checked blind bet into a potential big winner on a valuable 11. The social game plays with only two decks and all cards are turned up by the end of the hand which makes card counting another valuable source of information.

Invented For TV:
BJX was created by David Thomas and Mark Koetting as a spectator friendly game along the lines of Texas Hold’em and intended to begin life as TV events. The collapse of the strong demand for advertising on such shows when real money poker was banned in the United States, steered BJX Entertainment to social network play where poker thrived.

With a successful rollout on Facebook providing a global player base, former World Poker Tour CEO Rohin Malhotra has now teamed up with BJX to produce a TV show for international broadcast. The company expects the televised events to do for blackjack what the WPT did for Texas Hold’em. The game plays at a poker table, will reveal hole cards to the home audience and uses the same tournament structures as poker. Tournament tables are currently available on Facebook and will soon be added to the iOS and Android apps.

Watch For Continuing Improvement:
Blackjack Extreme will get added features, options and improvements as time goes on. Look for the addition of “Insurance,” “Five Card Charlie” bonuses and similar house-banked propositions to be added to the non-tournament tables. There will be multi-table tournaments added to the current “Sit and Go” tables, and charity tournaments where BJX will donate to the winner’s favorite (and legitimate) charity.

With several players already approaching a billion chip bank-roll, BJX recently added V.I.P. tables with million chip blinds. There are three speeds of play – fast for the action addicts, medium for the careful players and social for those who want time to chat. Since every player has at least some money in every hand, there are no long waits for action while everybody folds to the big blind waiting for better first two cards.

A classic blackjack app and poker app will launch later this year.

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
* Requires iOS 4.3 or later
* 17.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
BlackJack eXtreme is free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.

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