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Blackjack fans are likely to be looking for a fun and simple, but feature-rich blackjack game to practice their skills on the iPhone. Of course, it's always a plus if the app is free. If you're looking for a basic blackjack game with some simple features and customizations, Blackjack Free by Mobilityware makes a good option.
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The interface is simple and uncluttered, but gives you the feel of sitting at an actual blackjack table. As a nice touch, you can see your position at the table as well as the dealer's. While the graphics are admittedly nothing stellar, they are fine for a free app. The layout of options, from betting chips to controls, is clean and neat without being too small for your fingers.
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Actual gameplay progresses fairly easily, and starting up the process is basically intuitive. All the expected options are there, from hitting to standing to doubling down. If necessary, a button for splitting appears when the option is available to you. While some have said that the game feels unfairly stacked toward the dealer, over the long term, the odds don't seem any worse than Vegas odds.
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Blackjack Free: Options
The ability to customize your game is a little bit more than I expected for a free application, and I was glad to see it as a part of the blackjack game. The level of customization in terms of the number of decks was also a welcome surprise. While I do wish that the button to access these features was a bit more obvious, I do appreciate that they found a way to include these options without cluttering up the interface.
The game has many options for you to control. To access these options, simply tap the small information button located on the deck at the top of the screen. You can select the number of decks with which to play, as well as whether or not features like advice, insurance, or counting are enabled.
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Note that on the customization screen, there is also a button that will allow you to keep track of your statistics as you play. These keep track of your winning percentage, as well as the number of times that you, or the dealer, busts. Several other useful statistics are also tracked, which is good for those that are practicing their game as well as those that are just wasting a little extra time. You can reset the statistics at any time with the click of a button.
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Blackjack Free: A Note on Ads
Some complaints about this particular app have been noted in the app store, with regard to the ads that appear during gameplay. During gameplay, a banner ad appears at the top of the application. I find this particularly unobtrusive, and frankly don't even look at it most of the time. I suspect that the game's designer noticed this as a possibility, which is why there are also full-screen ads that occasionally appear. These seem to only appear occasionally between hands, particularly when changing decks. Personally, I did not find these particular ads so much bothersome as I did a welcome break from the relatively addictive blackjack game play.