BlackjackPro Expands Some More

The last we heard from PokerTek was that they were in some financial trouble. Seems limiting their business to only poker just was not cutting it. Thus the expansion began. PokerTek now boosts what it is calling its ProCore system. Mainly it is being presented as an automated blackjack table, called BlackjackPro, although the table’s computer is programmed with six other games.

These blackjack tables with other games seem to be doing very well for PokerTek. Two months ago saw the installation of the first two BlackjackPro tables with the ProCore system. The success is so good that the company is making some additions:

“BlackjackPro has performed beyond our expectation since the initial installation in February and player feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. We have developed an additional casino game which was rolled out for the first time this month. The expansion of blackjack and the addition of new game content represent important steps in our strategic growth plans,” said PokerTek’s president, James Crawford.

What that means is that PokerTek is doing much better since it spread its product base from only poker tables to automated blackjack tables and then some; it also means that sales and interest is good enough for PokerTek to feel that it is coming out of danger. April alone has seen the installation of four more ProCore tables with the BlackjackPro game software. This brings the total amount of ProCore tables with BlackjackPro to six.

The additional game content was added to the four tables that were installed this month. Now I do hope that the first two tables receive the new game content as it would be rather unfair for them to be the two automated blackjack tables that generated the hype and projected success which caused the new game content to be developed, and then not receive it.

Automated Blackjack Tables

I have been doing some more thinking about those automated blackjack tables that PokerTek has created. My mind keeps coming back to the idea that PokerTek believes that these automated blackjack tables will increase the social interaction between players at the table.

The whole reason for their belief in increased social interaction is because of the main screen. This central, main screen will have players all looking at the same place on the table. Players then use the controls in front of them to choose how to play out their hands, kind of like how you click on the appropriate button in a game of online blackjack.

But here is the thing that keeps tripping my mind. Blackjack is a one-on-one game, just you and the dealer. The other players’ plays do not impact your own game against the dealer. It is not like poker in where what the other players do matters. And it is not a social game for the most part. Sure, some people will talk at the table but it is not like craps where everyone is all excited and jumping around and all talking at once. At least that is how craps seems to me.

While I am sure that PokerTek has good intentions—meaning, they are trying to create a unique product and drive their business—I do not think that they can really change the essence of blackjack. And while I have no doubt that players will still play at automated blackjack tables, I doubt those players are going to have more “social interaction” than players at regular blackjack tables. It is just in the nature of blackjack—it is a one-on-one kind of game—and no automated blackjack tables are going to change that.