***Updated: November 18, 2018***
AMAYA began in a suburban Montréal industrial park manufacturing software for electronic poker tables, eventually extending its expertise to other products, but founder David Baazov had a vision to grow through acquisition. So into the fold came Cadillac Jack, who built slot machines in cabinets that tickled ceilings at more than eight feet in height.
Then Diamond Game Enterprises with its casino and lottery games came on board. After that, CryptoLogic and its more than 300 creations was acquired, originally started by brothers Mark and Andrew Rivkin in their suburban Toronto house in 1994. Finally, Chartwell Technology was brought into the fold, which was yet another software provider.
In August of 2017, their moniker was changed to The Stars Group to reflect their new “star” business acquisition and also to distance themselves from the tarnished brand Baazov soiled.
In 2014, AMAYA Technology became an industry heavyweight by shelling out $4.9 billion to acquire PokerStars, the world’s most popular poker website at the time. Cryptologic was subsequently sold, but they still powered over 125 online casinos, supporting predominantly English-speaking clientele.
However, once toes were on American soil they were taken to court by Kentucky and ordered to dish out $870,000,000 in fines to replace poker losses of state residents visiting the website in previous years. This was a landmark decision unlike any the industry had ever seen.
CEO David Baazov was ultimately charged by Canadian lawmakers with numerous securities offenses, including tipping off family members on when to sell stocks. He ultimately resigned in disgrace and hasn’t been associated with the company since.
Heralded as an innovator first to market with Flash based games, instant creations, and numerous technological advancements, others built onto their ideas. Sadly, AMAYA then became complacent and lagged behind competitors, appearing clunky and stale.
That all changed when CryptoLogic was acquired, who had always pursued an uncluttered, user-friendly presentation, an early developer of video slots, as well.
CryptoLogic jumped into third-party branding much earlier than most, paying off handsomely thanks to marketing arrangements with blockbuster movies such as Forrest Gump, King Kong, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The company’s biggest coup was securing exclusive rights to the superheroes of DC Comics, Batman, Green Lantern, Superman, The Flash, and Wonder Woman, just to name a few.
In addition, AMAYA partners enjoy standard tables including uncommon offerings such as Casino War and Crazy 4 Poker. Of course standards of roulette, craps, and others are provided as well.
Certainly original back in the innovative days of iGaming, they didn’t necessarily breed excitement. Although, dealing from the CryptoLogic catalog has enabled licensees to deliver the same sparkling graphics, life-like animation, and attention-grabbing sound effects of stronger competitors.
AMAYA offers licensees a generous selection of 21 variations, starting with “basic” and piling on different versions from there, no shortage of options to choose from. Here is a list of their best blackjack games currently found at websites around the world.
- Single Deck Blackjack: Permits up to three hands at a time, shuffling after every hand being great value for players. (0.26% House Edge)
- European Blackjack: Dealers don’t take hole cards in this six-deck game, five hands playable at once. (0.52% House Edge)
- Vegas Blackjack: Participants may receive up to five hands from a four-deck shoe. As is obvious by its name, this is closest to what’s found in brick and mortar establishments in Las Vegas. (0.40% House Edge)
- Atlantic City Blackjack: Nothing is normal in Atlantic City and the game baring its name also has something a little special about it, this version dealt from eight decks. (0.49% House Edge)
- Lucky 7: Identical rules to Atlantic City, casinos mostly profit from unique
Lucky Sevenside bets. (0.49% House Edge)
- Blackjack Micro Limit: A plethora of rules are attached, both good and bad for players via give-and-takes. (0.46% House Edge)
- Perfect Pairs: This five-deck variant allows side bets on the first two matching cards dealt, putting participants at an approximate 8% disadvantage, unquestionably quite large. (0.55% House Edge)
Live Dealer Blackjack
Live feeds broadcast 24/7 from studios in Estonia, high quality streams providing grid, video, and views of the lobby. It’s dealt from eight decks to a seven-seat table, shuffling halfway through shoes.
Participants can lock in decisions before their turn so real-time action moves quickly, enabling simultaneous stakes on multiple tables. Waitlist alerts are available and if all are full, functionality facilites betting behind on seated players’ hands.
Practice Blackjack at AMAYA Casinos
Usually, all products may be tested for free on various partner sites, occasionally even live dealer. In addition to rules, auto-strategy advice and audio commentary are sometimes found, a great way to practice and improve skills.