Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 94 / MARCH 1988 / PAGE 30

Casino Blackjack

John Hamilton

Win your ticket home or lose your shirt in this accurate simulation of the most popular Las Vegas card game. Originally written for the Commodore 64, we've included versions for the Atari eight-bit computers, Apple II series, IBM PC/PCjr and compatibles, and the Amiga. The PC version requires BASICA or GW-BASIC or Cartridge BASIC for the PCjr. The Apple II version works on any Apple H-series computer under either DOS 3.3 or ProDOS. The Amiga version requires 512K of RAM.

"Casino Blackjack" is real blackjack, played the same way it's played in the best Las Vegas casinos. Starting with a bankroll of $100, you play against an intelligent computer dealer. Just like in the casinos, you can "split" your hand, double down, or buy insurance.

The original version of Casino Blackjack was written on the Commodore 64. We've included translations for the Atari 400, 800, XL and XE, Amiga, Apple II series, and IBM PC/PCjr and compatibles. Type in the version for your computer and save a copy; then, run the program.

In The Cards

The rules for Casino Blackjack are simple to learn. The object of the game is to get more points than the dealer—without exceeding 21 points. An Ace can be counted as either 1 point or 11 points. Jacks, Queens, and Kings are all worth 10 points. All other cards count as their face value.

Before each hand, you decide how much of your bankroll you want to bet. Next, four cards are dealt—two to you, and two to the computer dealer. The dealer's bottom card is face down and his top card is face up, so you can only guess at the total number of points he has. Both your cards are dealt face up.

If you've been dealt a "blackjack" (21 points), you automatically win 1½ times your bet, unless the dealer was also dealt a blackjack, in which case no money exchanges hands.

After you've taken a look at your cards, decide whether you want to take a hit (take another card) or stand with the cards you have. If you take a hit and exceed 21 points, you have gone "bust" (lost the hand). If you take a card and still have less than 21 points, you're free to take another hit if you like. This process continues until you stand or bust.

"Casino Blackjack" for the 64—so realistic you'll think you're in Las Vegas.

The Apple II version of "Casino Blackjack" features custom-designed cards.

If you stand, the dealer may deal himself a card. The dealer takes a hit if he has 16 or less points. He stands on 17 or more. If the dealer doesn't go bust, the cards are inspected to see who came closest to 21. A tie is known as a "push." In the case of a push, no money is lost, otherwise, the winner takes the money.

"Casino Blackjack" for the Atari 400, 800, XL, and XE.

Special Plays

If the dealer's top card is an Ace, you may elect to insure yourself against the dealer having blackjack. You pay half your original bet for insurance. If the dealer does have blackjack, you keep your bet. You lose the insurance money, whether the dealer has blackjack or not.

If you're dealt a total of 10 or 11 points, you may double your bet. This is known as "doubling down." If you choose to double down, you're dealt one more card and then you automatically stand. If you think the dealer will win the hand, you may choose to "surrender" instead. Surrendering costs half your bet.

If you're dealt two cards of the same denomination, you may elect to "split" your hand. When you split, you double your original bet and play the two cards as two separate hands, one after the other. Each hand has a chance to beat the dealer.

Commodore 64 Version

Two programs make up the 64 version of Casino Blackjack—a BASIC program and a machine language program. Type in Program 1 (the BASIC program) and save it to disk. Do not run it yet—it attempts to load Program 2 when it runs.

Program 2 (the machine language program) must be entered with the "MLX" machine language entry program found elsewhere in this issue. Here are the addresses you need to type in the program with MLX:

The IBM PC and compatible version of "Casino Blackjack."
Starting Address: C000
Ending Address: C247

After you've typed in all the data from Program 2, be sure to save a copy as BLACKJACK.OBJ before you leave MLX.

Apple II Version

The Apple version of Casino Blackjack is made up of two programs. Program 3 is the BASIC portion. Type it in and save it to disk. Do not run the program until you've entered and saved Program 4—it attempts to load the machine language program when it's run.

Program 4 is written in machine language. It's the same ML program used for "Canfield" in January 1988. If you've already typed in CANFIELD.ML, you can copy it to the same disk you saved Program 3 to.

If you haven't typed in CANFIELD.ML, type in Program 4 using the "Apple MLX" machine language entry program. When prompted for starting and ending addresses, respond with the following values:

Starting Address: 8000
Ending Address: 86A7

Be sure to save a copy of the program as "CANFIELD.ML" after you've finished typing in the data.

Atari 400, 800, XL, And XE Version

On the Atari, Casino Blackjack is written entirely in BASIC. Type in Program 5 and save a copy before you run the program.

IBM PC/PCjr And Compatibles

Casino Blackjack runs under both BASICA and GW-BASIC on both color and monochrome monitors. Type in Program 6 and save a copy before you run the program.

"Casino Blackjack" for the Amiga.


The Amiga version of Casino Blackjack is written in Amiga Basic and requires 512K of memory. Type in Program 7 and save a copy to disk before running the program.

For instructions on entering these programs, please refer to "COMPUTE!'s Guide to Typing In Programs" elsewhere in this issue.