The Game: Place your bets, ditch some cards, or play with the ones you’ve got. The computer offers the usual enticements – double down and insurance – but the odds are firmly in favor of the house. There’s no limit on how big your bet is, so you’re even free to bet an ante that’ll have you screaming “uncle!” if you lose. (Magnavox, 1978)
Memories: I’m not a big fan of card games. In fact, when I got hold of this rather common cartridge recently, the lovely Mrs. PDF actually had to teach me how to play blackjack. I was hopeless. But it’s grown on me. I’ve now had the opportunity to play both this Odyssey 2 version and a Game Boy Color edition which is part of a card game cartridge called Las Vegas Cool Hand. And I have to say I like the Odyssey version better.
Though the graphics are incredibly simple, do they really need to be anything more? If the houses on the cards mattered, yes, a little more graphic precision – or perhaps a wider color pallette, considering the Odyssey’s graphical limitations – would be called for. But when it comes to blackjack, you don’t need much more than what the Odyssey can give you.
A couple of minor bits of trivia here – Las Vegas Blackjack! is one of the very few Odyssey 2 games played entirely with the keyboard with no joystick use whatsoever. Additionally, the game exists under two different titles – sort of. The box clearly says Las Vegas Blackjack! but every cartridge simply says Blackjack!. And there are a very few rare cases – and no, I don’t have one to show you – where the box only said Blackjack!; overseas, where the game was sold for the European Videopac and Jopac systems, it’s known as Las Vegas Gambling.