Blackjack Calculators, Games and Wheels




Calculators, Games and Wheel Devices

Over the years, several companies produced devices that were called “blackjack calculators”, “blackjack wheels” and in some cases “blackjack computers”. Some of these devices were as simple as a piece of cardboard or plastic while others were sophisticated electronic devices that allowed the user to play blackjack, provide strategy advice and provide calculator like capabilities.  See computers (concealed). See computer software.

Here are a few examples:

Beat the Dealer Computer. {BS} (H.T. Bean, Technical Research of Florida) A non-electronic and palm-sized mechanical computer developed by Dr. H. T. “Tom” Bean in 1964 with some assistance from Edward Thorp. This plastic device was basically a circular slide rule that computed others/tens. The ratio and the bet size could be read visually or they could be obtained by touch.  This “computer” could be used as an aid in learning the Ten-count system.
[ 62 Thorp Beat the Dealer 192 ] [ 87 Snyder BJF ]

Radio Shack EC-21 Blackjack CalculatorBlackjack ’21’ Calculator EC-21. (1978) A Radio Shack wallet-sized blackjack calculator. (Catalog #60-30-11) This device operates both as a four-function handheld electronic calculator and as an electronic game of blackjack.
[ 80 C&S Vol.10,67 ] [ Nat. Museum of American History ]

Black Jack Calculator. {BS} (c1980) (C.W. Roden) Milwaukee, WI. A cardboard basic strategy wheel that fit in your hand.
[ 80 C&S Vol.10,36 ]

Toshiba BC-1010 Blackjack CalculatorBlackjack Calculator. (c1979). Toshiba BC-1010 BJ calculator. Similar to the Unisonic Computer calculator this is a 10-digit game in which you can be player or dealer. It features betting, insurance, double-down, splitting pairs and hit or stay decisions. A win-loss function keeps track of how you are doing. It’s also a regular calculator. Originally sold for about $30 from the May Company (West) and Eastern Department Stores.
[ 79 C&S Vol.6, 11 ]

Blackjack Playmate. {BS}. (c1999) A pocket sized basic strategy wheel. TBD
[ ]

BBlack Jack Wheellack Jack Wheel. {BS}. (1992) B.J.W. Inc. and D. Bertram. Labeled as “The Original Black Jack Wheel“. A basic strategy calculator (Hit, Stand, Double, Split) with progressive betting advice on the front. This device is a composite basic strategy device. Set the black arrow at the total of the player’s hand to see the basic strategy. Interesting collectors item.

Blackjack Winning Wheel. {BS}. Artech Products. TBD

Du-Rite at 21 Strategy Wheel. {BS}. (Leon Dubey) (c1967, 1980) Du-Rite Co, West Babylon, Long Island, NY. A basic strategy wheel.
[ 80 Dubey No Need to Count 203 ]

Instant Blackjack Answers Wheel. {BS}. (c1980) Practical Products, Margate, NJ. A plastic 4 inch diameter calculator-type wheel that provides basic strategy, including when to surrender.
[ 80 C&S Vol.10,26 ]

Magic Wheel of Blackjack. {BS}. (Lane Publications, Miami Beach, FL) A 6 inch diameter basic strategy slide-rule type wheel.
[ 88 Watson Beating Casino’s Blackjack 103 ]

Pro Blackjack. (1991) Saitek Ltd. A hand held, battery operated, electronic blackjack game and computer. Can be used as training tool to learn the Hi-Opt I count or as a game. Includes Las Vegas rules (except no standing on soft 17), 1-4 players or hands, 1 or 6 decks only, insurance, doubling, splitting up to 4 hands, and surrender. Includes hint key for play advice.
[ Fall 92 Dalton BJR 20 ]

Unisonic CalculatorUnisonic Vegas 21 Blackjack Game and Calculators. (c1977) Unisonic Products Corp., New York. Once available through Rouge et Noir, these pocket and desk calculators could be used to learn how to count or test a system. They originally sold for between $30 – $50 and models included those made in Hong Kong and Taiwan. These units deal from a full single-deck and were highly recommended as a practice device. Now a collectors item.
[ 77 C&S Vol.1, 49 ] [ c78? Rouge et Noir 16 ] [ 6/91 Snyder BJF 50 ] [ Apr 79 Popular Science 24 ] [ Nat. Museum of American History ]

Uston Strategy WheelThe Uston. {BS} (Ken Uston) (c1979) A plastic circular slide-rule type blackjack calculator designed for use in Atlantic City when early surrender was available. Now a collector’s item. Although Stanley R. Sludikoff named this device after Ken Uston, Uston said he knew nothing about it at the time. Uston’s response when initially asked about this product – “…This is the first I’ve ever heard of such a product and (I) obviously not only do not endorse the product, but repudiate it.”
[ 8/81 Wong BJW Vol.3,137 ]

Vest-Pocket Blackjack Computer. {BS} (c1970s?) (Lawrence Revere) TBD

Waco 21 Black JackWaco “21 Black Jack”. (c1970s ?) This is a Radio Shack battery operated game (made in Japan) that has 5 buttons and a slot machine type handle. You press two red buttons to pick your first two cards and then you press up to three more buttons to hit your hand. You can’t simulate the dealer unless you use another game unit. Splitting pairs doesn’t work too well either. Now a collectors item.

Win CardsWin Cards. {BS}. (1987). Gaming International, Stateline, NV. These are plastic basic strategy spin cards for beginners and often distributed within major casinos and cruise ships. Cards are available for blackjack, craps, and roulette. These cards, as well as other strategy charts offered by casinos, have typically been incorrect in many plays, although the mistakes generally are of a minor nature. Often, match play coupons were included with the set of cards making the purchase a positive expectation transaction.
[ 3/89 BJC 28 ] [ ]

Winning Gambler’s Pocket Computer. {BS}. (c1979) (Stanley Roberts) Scientific Research Services, Hollywood, CA. Consisted of pre-printed tables that reveal the correct strategy of play when the user pulls the card forward or backward.
[ 79 C&S Vol.8,69 ]

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