Gamesys is a UK-based games software company that was founded back in 2001 by Noel Hayden, Robin Tombs and Andrew Dixon. It formed in an era when online casinos were almost exclusively ‘powered’ by a single software supplier (Cryptologic and Microgaming being the two biggest names at the time), so its games appeared first on its own online gaming site, JackpotJoy.
JackpotJoy launched in 2002 with an emphasis on online bingo, pre-empting the explosion of interest in that format allowed it to catch the wave and rapidly grow its business. Within four years of taking its first bet, JackpotJoy had over 100,000 members and seen 100 million bets wagered through its games.
Gamesys are a popular UK software development company mostly known for backing up large brands like Virgin Games. The company was set up in 2001 and soon after it launched its first platform, JackpotJoy, which saw a steady growth in the UK year after year and allowed the company to hit a number of important milestones and soon start exploring other European markets.
But their biggest prominence came after partnering up with major brands like Caesars and Virgin, but also their entry to the online gambling market in New Jersey through Tropicana. Now, the game studio is successfully powering several online operators and provides services to more than 25 million players, while employing over 1,000 people in and outside of the UK.
Whilst online bingo was the core engine of Gamesys’s gaming development in the early 2000s, by 2006 it turned its attention to the world of online slots. Seeing the value in using well-known brands to kick-start player interest in new releases, Gamesys cannily struck a licencing deal with the production company Endemol to create the Deal Or No Deal Slot as its first foray into online slots. The phenomenal success of that slot, spurred Gamesys on to secure further gameshow rights to bring players both The Price Is Right and Strike It Lucky slots.
Other landmarks in Gamesys’s history is that it pioneered the first real-money gambling app on Facebook in 2012, and made a more concerted move away from its origins in online bingo by acquiring Virgin Games in 2013. In 2015 the company sold on its JackpotJoy brand to a Canadian buyer, although it continues to provide the underlying ‘engine’ for its games.
Gamesys Blackjack Games
Gamesys’ game portfolio is mostly consisted of their slots and bingo variants but they also have a number of card and table games to offer. Their games can mostly be found through their licensed casinos and are rarely offered along games from other big-time software makers like IGT, NetEnt, or Microgaming.
When it comes to Blackjack, they have several available variants:
GameSys Single Deck Blackjack – The classic single deck game with 3:2 payouts that is slowly disappearing from land-based offers. Gamesys’ take on this classic game comes with decent rules like dealer stands on soft 17 and doubling down on hands 9-11. However, there is no re-splitting and doubling after a split or surrender offered at the table. There is insurance though, which pays 2:1.
GameSys Atlantic City Blackjack – The Atlantic City rules Blackjack game where the dealer peeks on 10s and Aces and insurance is offered. This variant uses 8 decks, while the rules remain the same: you can double on any cards and double after splitting, split up to 4 hands, and split aces only once. Payouts are standard.
GameSys Multi-Hand Blackjack – The popular multi-hand variant is one of Gamesys’ top picks, mainly because it allows playing up to 5 hands at a time, rather than the usual 3. You can place any bet you want on your five hands, but the rules are altered to counteract the fast gameplay. Namely, here you can only double down on 9-11 and split once, but you can’t double after splitting. Payouts are a standard 3:2.
GameSys Vegas Downtown Blackjack – Another famous variant, the Vegas Downtown is Gamesys’ version of the Vegas Strip game that other software providers make. The number of decks used is 2 and the dealer peeks on 10s and Aces and hits on Soft 17. You can also double down on any two cards, after a split, and split up to 3 times, but you can’t re-split aces.
GameSys Blackjack +3 – This is a standard Blackjack variant spiced up with the 21+3 side bets. The rules have the dealer stand on all 17s and you can double down only on 9-11s, but there’s no doubling after splitting and no surrender available. The side bets combine Blackjack and Poker and would have your cards and the dealer’s up card make a poker hand to win any of the 5-10-33-100 payouts. For the exact bets, you can check out the game.
Today, whilst Gamesys is still well known for its online bingo products, its stated ambition is to be the ‘best gaming operator and games developer in the industry’. Its current roster of online slots is quite limited (at the time of writing it listed only eleven titles on its corporate website) but the games are all of good quality and also work very well on mobile.
Gamesys has come a long way since it launched back in 2001, and on the strength of its historical success and the many industry awards it has won, we imagine it will be keeping online players entertained for some time to come too.
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