Gambling is great fun but it can be a dangerous and ultimately expensive habit. Thanks to games such as Panoramic BlackJack you can practice your card skills without damaging your bank account.
Panoramic BlackJack is a Windows Mobile version of the popular game often known as 'Pontoon' or simply '21'. The object of the game is to attain a hand with a total value of 21, or as close to 21 as you can get without going over, while scoring more than the dealer.
This version of the game is very simple to play and if you don't know the rules then you can just check out the comprehensive help section. All you need to do in Panoramic BlackJack is to select the amount you wish to bet by clicking on the appropriate values. Chips representing that amount will then be displayed in the main window. Click 'Deal' and your cards will be dealt. You can then choose to stand, double, surrender, split or take insurance, depending on the circumstances. Unfortunately in this demo version, you can't view your total bank balance, but you do get plenty of chips to play with so you can keep going for quite a while.
The graphics and overall presentation in Panoramic BlackJack are excellent. The table and the cards themselves are realistic, as are the sound effects of cards being drawn and dealt. The addition of crowd noises is a nice touch too.
Panoramic BlackJack has a few options that you can tinker with. There are four difficulty levels and you can choose between various methods of card counting. There's also a high scores board so you can challenge yourself to improve on your bank balance. Unfortunately there is a glaring omission to the options menu - a multiplayer mode. Playing against your PDA all the time does get a tad repetitive so after a while I was crying out for the ability to pit my wits against a human opponent.
Panoramic BlackJack provides a well polished, realistic Pontoon sim, but being a single-player game it has a limited shelf-life.