Last Updated: Nov. 2, 2015
Soft Magic Dice Happy Ending
The games seemed pretty standard until I got to blackjack, where the rules were extremely liberal. The best game had the following set of rules:
- Single deck.
- Blackjack pays 3-2.
- No dealer hole card.
- Dealer stands on soft 17.
- EARLY SURRENDER against 10 and ace.
- Player may double on 9 to 11.
- Player may double on three or more cards.
- Double after split allowed.
- Player may not re-split.
Using total-depending basic strategy, these rules result in a player advantage of 0.71%. Using composition-dependent strategy, it goes up to 0.75%. Let me repeat -- this is a player advantage! Not just a thin one like you sometimes see on low-denomination video poker machines in Las Vegas, but a nice big one. A player flat betting $100 at a rate of five hands a minute would average a profit of $225 an hour, to say nothing about the points and bonuses the casino offers as well.
Not one to be selfish about advantage plays, I posted about it on my forum at Wizard of Vegas in a thread titled Blackjack Game with 0.75% Player Advantage.
Using an affiliate link, many savvy forum members rushed right over, deposited, and started playing. Then the complaints started rolling in. Despite the very generous odds, everybody seemed to be complaining about losing on the blackjack game.
Some wandered off to other games and found other problems. In video poker, an A-2-3-4-5 straight was counted as a loser. In slot games, any winning combination starting with a wild symbol also didn't pay. Suffice it to say, there was a lot of discontent among our players.
Here at the Wizard websites we stand behind our players. Our policy is that if you ever click through a Wizard affiliate link or ad, which leads to opening a casino account, and you have any kind of dispute or grievance, we're happy to hear about it and try to make sure the casino plays fairly and honors its own rules, at the risk of losing their listing with us.
We try to choose only the best advertisers to begin with, so fortunately we're not bothered by complaints very often. However, when they started flooding in about Soft Magic Dice, we took it very seriously.
First, we verified that the complaints about slots and video poker were true. This was enough to add them to the Online Casino Blacklist. The details were explained in our Incredible Rules at Soft Magic Dice/Mission2Game. Then I played hundreds of hands of blackjack in an effort to prove a case that the software was not playing fairly. While I lost badly every session, I couldn't determine why. My results could have been explained as just very bad luck.
When Mission2Game got wind of the blacklisting, they worked hard with us to correct the problems we found. It did not take long for the video poker and slot machine problems to be fixed. Those bugs were quite obvious to anybody familiar with conventional gambling rules. The blackjack game proved to be a thornier problem.
Soft Magic Dice wanted some hard evidence that their blackjack game wasn't playing fairly. I could give anecdotal evidence only. It simply defies logic that a blackjack game with a 0.75% player advantage could stand for months in a world of advantage players using bots to exploit much thinner advantages than this.
After about five months of going back and forth by email and Skype, a software engineer with Soft Magic Dice took my word for it that there was some flaw in their blackjack game and took it down for a thorough evaluation.
A week later, he came back to me saying he did indeed find a flaw in the game. I don't know what the flaw was, but when he put the game back up he eliminated the early surrender rule, allowing double after a split, and allowing doubling on three or more cards. This changed the game from a 0.75% player advantage to a 0.21% house advantage, under composition-dependent strategy. At our urging, Mission2Game then issued full cashable refunds to every Wizard player.
It just goes to show we don't just give lip service to honest and ethical gambling but work hard to stand behind that pledge. Over about five months, we exchanged hundreds of emails with Mission2Game and Soft Magic Dice in defense of our players. To be honest, it would have been easier to just reach into our own pocket and issue players refunds ourselves, but that isn't how we roll. We stand for fair gaming on every Internet casino.
When refunds finally hit Wizard player accounts and credit card deposits reversed, I think we finally got some well-deserved praise. Here is a sampling:
"I have been more than impressed with the Wizard's services. I would never gamble online without the Wizard's protection. The two problems I've had so far were completely resolved to my satisfaction." — Teddys.
"I received my full refund. It showed up in an odd way on my account, without attribution to a merchant, but it has to be the reimbursement from M2G. So thank you, Mike, for the hard work." — Beachbumbabs.
"When Wizard makes a promise, he keeps it. He provides a sense of credibility and honesty to an industry that needs it. I feel confident playing with the Wizard's guarantee." — Deucekies.
At the risk of tooting our own horn, I hope this story shows the lengths we go to for our players. Between our efforts to promote only reputable casinos to begin with and our player protection policy, we hope that our readers will feel safe playing with any casino advertised on this site. Just don't forget to click through our site, which is tracked, to ensure you have Wizard player protection.