Boris for Blackjack v. 4.43 for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000 and XP

Read Me Notes: All Editions  -- Updated: 11 April 2004


For more information, upgrade Editions and pricing, go to: http://www.joeblows1.com or http://www.borisbj21.com 




Table of Contents


This document contains the following sections:


·         Document Overview & Software Registration

·         Software Overview

Boris for Blackjack - A Software Overview by Boris Himself


·         System Requirements


·         Installing Boris for Blackjack

a.                Installing Boris from CD

b.                Installing Boris from Website Download

·         Boris for Blackjack - What's NEW with Release 4.40

·         Boris for Blackjack Versions 4.41 (and later) -- Upcoming Fixes and Enhancements

·         Boris for Blackjack - Recent FIXES

·         Boris for Blackjack - Known Problems (Under Investigation)

a.     Software Installation


·         Technical Support

·         Appendix A: The Many Editions of Boris for Blackjack





Document Overview and Software Registration Number for Free Upgrades


This Read Me file contains important product information on Boris for Blackjack v. 4.4 for Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT, ME, Windows 2000 and XP.

Casino Gaming Software Systems and our marketing-affiliates appreciate your interest in Boris’ Software products.  We believe that there is no other Blackjack software available that can compare with Boris’ Comprehensive Features and Accuracy.

As you shall see in the following Overview, you TRULY get what you pay for.

For free access to Boris’ on-going upgrades, send e-mail to: upgrades@borisbj21.com to receive a registration code (if you don’t already have one) and the URL of Boris’ Download Page.


Boris for Blackjack - A Software Overview by Boris Himself  (Updated: 4-11-2004)


This File brings you information regarding the latest release of the Boris for Blackjack, Casino Blackjack Simulation Software.  While the software Editions differ greatly in features, ALL Editions contain Boris' famous "Blackjack Engine".  This "Engine" represents the MOST ACCURATE and most HIGHLY DETAILED Blackjack software simulation available to the gaming industry today.  While Release 4.43 has been on the website for a couple of weeks, I decided to issue 4.43 Release 2 to the website before beginning work on the Updates a, b & c.


With Boris' Blackjack-Engine, you are guaranteed accurately simulated shuffle and "wash" (card-preparation) procedures.  Most Blackjack computer software simply generates "random" cards for the shuffle.  Last I recall, that is NOT what is being done in ANY casino.  Random cards would be the equivalent of playing "52-Pickup" 3 times for each shoe.  Not only is that ludicrous, more important, it is NOT ACCURATE. 


Most Blackjack players are not programmers; most programmers are NOT Blackjack players.  With Boris, you get both: expert programming and the collaboration with many Blackjack experts and professional-level players during the last 10+ years.  Due to this, you will find Boris screen layouts (Blackjack Table, Statistics and Casino Management) reflecting the REAL WORLD of Blackjack.  Everything you see on the screen is there for a reason; the underlying reason being casino simulation accuracy.  While Boris may not be as "pretty" as the competition, what good is "glitter" if the "engine" running the software is a Model T, or the software in general is archaic, inaccurate or obsolete?


With Boris for Blackjack, possibly for the first time in Blackjack history, we have a practice tool that can bring us closer to meeting our practice goals in a shorter amount of time.  While practicing with Boris, don't be surprised to find that you LOSE much of the time (in comparison to play against other Blackjack programs).  This is because Boris software simulations mimic Real-World-Conditions so closely.  What you see with Boris is most likely the "way" it will look in that casino at that point in time (since the table opened). 


I am reminded of when I dealt Blackjack for an amusement company outside of Cleveland.  While I trained all their dealers how to properly "wash" and shuffle the cards, they pretty much universally didn't give a damn, and did as they pleased (one dealer even had the PLAYERS shuffling the cards).  My table was the only one consistently dealing a Vegas-style game; and, as a result, was the most difficult to beat.  Needless to say, there were always lines of people waiting to give my table a shot, while the other tables were often near empty.  People want the REAL THING!  (It sure sells a lot of cola...).


In keeping with Boris’ desire to be light-years ahead of all other Blackjack Software, look for the KING Shuffler and 2-Deck Random-Ejection Shuffler to debut on Boris’ Free Download Page in late May of this year.  It is my belief that the KING IS BEATABLE; the 2-Deck REJ may be even EASIER.  With Boris, we will soon find out.


Beating the game of Blackjack is about ACCURACY.  With Boris for Blackjack, you have the most ACCURATE Blackjack Simulation Software in existence.  Give it a whirl... Play it... Use it for PRACTICE, PRACTICE, and MORE PRACTICE!  Then, when you are ready, you can tackle the live casino environment with a confidence you will not believe!


Write me and tell me how you do.



Ron Fitch for Boris - ron@borisbj21.com


System Requirements


·         An x86-based personal computer (Pentium - Pentium  IV, Celeron, Xeon, 

or their AMD and Cyrix equivalents) is required.

·         Microsoft Windows 95, 98, ME or NT4, 2000 and XP (some ME Installations run Boris poorly)

·         Up to 32 MB application RAM (10 MB. is typical)

·         8MB hard disk space




Installing Boris-for-Blackjack



CD Installation

                Boris Installation CD's now come with the Auto run facility enabled.  Putting in the CD and closing the tray will automatically start the new BorisInstall.Exe program which will do some pre-Installation preparations and then fire-up Setup.Exe.  You can of course run the BorisInstall.Exe program directly from the CD itself.




Installation from Website Download

                After downloading Boris from a website (such as Boris’ D/L Page), unzipping the .ZIP file into a temporary (installation) folder.  If your Unzip program invokes Setup.Exe, you MUST exit the Setup program and invoked the unzipped BorisInstall.Exe.  If you have downloaded a LITE Version of Boris, you must FIRST install a FULL Version of the software.  LITE Versions are designed to upgrade current installations.



Boris for Blackjack - What's NEW with Release 4.42 à 4.43

·         Boris is continuing its extensive “under the hood” rewiring making for more reliable operations and faster Blind Simulations.  These enhancements along with bringing the PRO+ Edition out of Beta, pave the way for new features to be added in Versions 4.43, 4.44 and 4.50.

·         Most of Boris’ .DLL and .OCX files have become better integrated, paving the way for all the new features under design-review and implementation.

·         The ShoeViewer.Exe is being overhauled for the PRO+ Edition.  For the PBJ and PRO Editions, Shoeviewer.Exe has now been renamed CardViewer.Exe – none of the functionality has been compromised.  The .Cards file has a new format in Boris 4.43.  Both CardViewer and ShoeViewer automatically/transparently convert pre-4.43 files into the current 4.43 format.

·         The Chip Betting Panel is been enhanced to streamline keystroke betting (in Units) at the Blackjack Table.  This sets the stage for FULL Chip Betting in Version  5.0.

·         The “Decision BOX” has been replaced by a Decision-BAR, which can be positioned along any edge (horizontal or vertical) of the screen (by default it positions at the bottom of the screen).

·         Boris' Screens now have "Tool-tips" built-in.  This is a stopgap to the soon-to-be-released Boris Html Help Facility (a browser-based Facility) that will be available at Boris’ Download Page: , or installable from the 4.43 Installation CD’s.

·         A Series  of “pop-up” screens (with shortcut keys) has been added to the chip tray (Advanced Edition and higher).  In most cases the short-cut keys act as an on/off toggle.

·         An Evaluation-strategy list now appears under the chip tray.

·         The Shoe and  Discard Tray objects (on the Blackjack table screen) have been enhanced “under the hood” paving the way for the new .Cards file in Boris 4.43a (this too will be transparent).  The discard tray now gives you feedback on the cut point (PRO Editions and higher).

·         Random shuffles have been revamped in Shuffles.DLL.  There is now FIVE “flavors” of Random shuffle available: R1, R2, R3, R4 & R5 (soon to include R6, R7, R8 & R9 – which you can use for “research” purposes).  Additionally, components of the shuffle mechanism have been streamlined, making for faster Blind Simulations.  The Shuffle facility will continue to be enhanced throughout 2004.

·         The Advanced (and higher) Editions now allow you to PRE-Play the shoe for an equivalent number of hours (or Rounds) of play in a matter of a few seconds, switching over to visual play.

·         The Blackjack Drills Facility continues to be a separate Application (BSDrills.Exe and BJDrills.Exe).  It even includes a facility to specifically drill "the most difficult hands" (as detailed in Eddie Olsen and Jerry Patterson's book Break the Dealer).

·         The Shoe File (.SHO) Format has been revised to accommodate the new Shoe-Viewer Utility.  It will be renamed to .Shoe in Boris 4.43a.  Additionally, a new Incremental Shoe File (.ISF) format has been added, to the up-and-coming Professional “Plus” Edition.

·         In addition to streamlining the logic for existing Shuffle Machines  (ShuffleMaster I, II and BOX) with the new ShuffleMachines.DLL, Boris simulations now include the Random Ejection Shuffler.  The  “King”, “Quickdraw” and 2-Deck REJ machines are currently on the design table for inclusion in Boris this spring and summer.  Look for the “Ace” shuffler early next year.

·         The Detailed Player Statistics Screens have been given a noticeable "facelift" improving screen aesthetics.  The Hand-play Evaluation screen now enables us to track streak statistics, for evaluating side bets like the "Streak Bet" (I happened onto it a couple of years ago in Atlantic City, at Trump Marina).  Additionally, individual hand totals and pat-hand averages are now also showcased (similar to the method used on the Table Statistics Screen).  Boris’ 4.43b PRO+ Edition will include a new Streak-Stat Evaluation facility.

·         The Blackjack Table Statistics have undergone a number of cosmetic improvements, as well as enhancements to the Insurance Statistics.  The Statistics, which track the Dealer Break-Ratio and the Hold, have also been enhanced, paving the way for a facility to GRAPH this data (PRO+ Edition).

·         New ActiveX controls for the Casino Management Screen (available with the Student, Advanced, PBJ and PRO Editions) allow greater control over when/how the dealer Washes and re-Washes the cards.  This has been useful for running numerous series of comparative blind-simulation studies on the effects of Washing, Not-washing and re-Washing the cards. Now we can even compare "short-shifts" and “long-shifts”.

·         The Strategy Database (Strategies.SDB) is undergoing a facelift for the Beta-debut of the Strategy Designer Facility (ADV Edition and higher).   As a result, a myriad of new strategies have been added to the database; as well as the capability for 1 to 5 user-defined strategies (depending upon the software edition); although the user-strategies will not be made available until Version 4.44, when the new Strategy-Designer facility is formally released.  If you join Boris’ Beta-test team, you will have early access to this facility.





Boris for Blackjack Versions 4.44 (and later) -- Upcoming Fixes and Enhancements


Boris Sound Tutor to be implemented -

                With Release 5, look for Boris' Sound Tutor Facility to appear.  With the Sound-Tutor, Boris will be able to VERBALLY instruct you in the proper play and insurance decisions, as well as in the overall play of the game.  To accommodate the people's different requirements, the Sound-Tutor will allow you to select from several degrees of sound tutoring.



Additional Strategies Slated to be implemented - along with the new Strategy Design Facility.

                Look for additional strategies to appear under Version 4.50.  Slated for inclusion is Knockout (K-O) Blackjack, Wong Hi-Lo, and Wong-Halves; amongst others.







Product Enhancements and Bug Fixes

Because the last quarter of the calendar year is always the 1st Fiscal Quarter for Casino Gaming Software Systems, regular Boris Users have come to look forward to software enhancements in time for the winter holiday season.  Versions 4.43 and 444 will accomplish these goals..  In addition to the below mentioned Fixes and Enhancements, Boris 4.50 paves the way for the next MAJOR Release (Boris - 5.0) - with new Shuffles, Shuffle Machines, Shuffle Designers, Strategies and Software Utilities  added throughout 2004; while Version 6.0 will take Boris to even greater heights in 2005.





·                     An MRU (Most Recently Used) List has been added to the container screen (Advanced Editions and Higher) allowing you to select from the most recently run .ENV Files.  To get you started, we put Bellagio6.Env in the list.  The upcoming BorisManual.Html will detail how to toggle off the MRU list or change its display mode.

·                     A [SitDown]  Button was added to the Blackjack table Screen last year, making it easier to sitdown for manual play.

·                     In Boris 4.42, the Betting Circle Popup Menu was streamlined to make it look/feel less cluttered.  With Boris 4.43, we have added the ability to bet in UNITS, keyboard-selecting (1, 2, 3, 5, 10, etc.) the # of Units.

·                     Prior to Boris 4.43, anyone who has brought up the Windoze System Performance Monitor when Boris is in manual play, may have noticed a huge amount of CPU utilization (although Boris always yields immediately when there is something else to be done).  This annoyance has been completely eliminated by used to Windows little-known SLEEP-Api facility.  What it means to you is that switching to other applications while Boris is running, will be more streamlined.

·                     The Old Shuffle-Display screen has been replaced with new utilities: CardViewer (PBJ & PRO Editions) and the ShoeViewer tm Facility (PRO+ Edition).  Look for the ShoeView to sprout some new analysis screens this summer.

·                     A new Cards File has been added to supplant the ShoeViewer Facility and the up-coming (Release 5.0) Design-A-Shuffle tm Facility.  The 1st website upgrade for Boris 4.43 will “quietly” switch the card system in Boris to fit the .Cards File format.  The .ENV Files will automatically/transparently reflect the new format.

·                     The House Advantage Calculator tm (Release 3.1) has been enhanced to be compatible with all of Boris’ new “under the hood” features.  It is accessible from Boris' Container Screen, as well as the Blackjack Table.

·                     The Chip Tray is back (with new POPUP Overlay Screens even) and will soon be fully active – probably Boris 4.43b or 4.43c.

·                     Additional Short-Cut keys have been added to the Blackjack Table and Statistics Screens.

·                     The .DLL and .OCX Files have been "Upgraded", taking advantage of the latest ActiveX tm Technology.

·                     A new BorisManual.html file is being worked on and should become public by the end of March 2004.  Look for a link to it from Boris’ Download page.





·         Implemented the new Chip Betting Panel for easier Wagering.

·         Enhanced  the Even-money Payoff.

·         The Betting/Buy-in/Lock-Up logic has been simplified and made more “friendly”.

·         The Software Installation Folder Structure has been enhanced.  Now, regardless of which Edition of Boris you install (as well as the up-coming Software Utilities), Installation location will default to a (Program Files) Sub-folder by the name of Boris for Blackjack.

·         .SHO (Shoe) files now have a new file structure.  This allows a textual description of the shoe (for the Shoe-Viewer), as well as the shoe itself.  Additionally a new file format (.ISF) has been added to the up-and-coming Professional “Plus” Edition allowing for shoe-tracking studies.

·         Strategy.Ini has been upgraded to include new strategies and now resides in Boris’ “Root” Folder.

·         A table-seat “Rotation” feature (as is found in Tournament Blackjack) has been added to allow more accurate Blind Simulations.

·         A new addition to the Playing Options Screen (CTRL-C) allows you to specify which player should “always” cut the cards.





·         The occasional missing Holecard (after checking for Insurance) has been fixed.

·         The Strategy Evaluation Tables (PRO+ Edition) and been redesigned, to be accurate as well as fast.

·         The [rarely used] Rule-setting “Double 3-Plus” has been fixed.

·         Problems encountered with changing table seats have been fixed.

·         The problem of  “stray” A-I Player reincarnations has been fixed.

·         The problem preventing strategy-selection on the Blackjack Drills Screen has been fixed.







Known Problems and Issues

·         The HelpList facility has been revamped considerably to look and feel more smooth.  Unfortunately, there is an incompatibility with Microsoft’s ActiveX technology, which occasionally puts a square of GREY on the screen.  Pressing Ctrl-H TWICE, forces ActiveX to redraw that aspect of the screen, leaving everything  as it should be – a nuisance, I agree.  We will be researching a solution for an early 4.43 Upgrade (probably b or c).


Should other problems or issues be discovered with Boris' Simulation Software, they will be posted on Boris' Support page at:  http://www.borisbj21.com/software/support.html.



Installation Considerations

Remember to shutdown all running applications BEFORE installing Boris for Blackjack Software.  Because Boris for Blackjack uses a variety of ActiveX (.Ocx) controls, attempting installation while other applications are active may result in a number of Installation Warning messages, requiring your attention.  When in doubt, simply restart Windows before Installing Boris for Blackjack.

If you already have a copy of Boris installed, it is no longer necessary to uninstall it first.  The new BorisInstall.Exe program will delete any Boris files that may be a conflict to the current release.  BorisInstall.Exe runs unattended and then fires-up Setup.Exe to install the software.

If there is a failure at any point during the installation of Boris' Blackjack Software, the Setup.Exe facility will perform a complete uninstall of the software installation up to that point.

Under some Windows installations, there has been a version conflict with the file: EXPSRV.DLL.   Because the most current version of this file is best left to the Operating System itself, as of Version 4.39f this file has been eliminated from Boris Installations.

Some software users have reported that the bottom of the Boris screen is cut off by the taskbar icons.  In Version 5.X, look for Boris to sport a completely re-sizeable screen.  In the meantime, we have determined that the best solution to this annoyance is to change the taskbar settings such that it is automatically hidden until you drag the mouse to the bottom of the screen; which pops it up.  This affects a useful compromise, and, you might find that you actually PREFER it this way.







Technical Support


The following technical support options are available with Boris' Simulation Software


A.            For general information, visit the Boris on Blackjack Web site at :                http://www.borisbj21.com/.


B.            Go to Boris's Software Support page: http://www.borisbj21.com/software/support.html


C.            E-mail your comments and questions to:   boris@borisbj21.com.


D.            You can contact Boris by Telephone at 818-893-2922 - from 10 a.m. to 6pm. (Pacific Time)


E.             If you have any suggestions for additions to the drills facility, feel free to submit them to:                 wishlists@borisbj21.com.  PLEASE do NOT use this address for any other reason.  It is the ONLY Boris e-mail address that has not been FLOODed with SPAM (We getting nearly 2,000 SPAM E-mails a week).






The Different Software Editions

                To facilitate the widest number of users, Boris for Blackjack is the FIRST Blackjack Simulation Software to be available in several Editions (or Levels); beginning with the Party Edition, all the way through the (to-be-released) Professional "Plus" Edition.

While the Editions may offer different feature-sets, ALL Editions encapsulate (i.e. include) Boris' famous Blackjack Engine".


1.     Party Edition - Bare-bone features at a bare-bones price.  This Edition allows for manual play coupled with a simple statistics screen.  The Party Edition comes with a small mix of pre-set Casino Environment (.ENV) Files.  This gives you a reasonable cross-section of Blackjack environments to choose from; including single-deck and double-deck games, 6 and 8 deck shoe games, and even a ShuffleMaster game.


2.     Gambler's Edition - This Edition (also available as Freeware) allows randomly generated A-I (Artificially Intelligent) players to join you in your play.  An advice key allows you to query Boris on the correct Basic Strategy play of every hand.  A Blackjack Drills Facility is included, allowing you to drill Basic Strategy outside of the Blackjack Table.  The non-Freeware addition allows you to select by name from a large selection of casinos, in different venues; including: Vegas, Reno/Tahoe, Atlantic City, Riverboats and Indian Reservations.

3.     Student Edition - This Edition was designed for people who are beginning to get their feet wet with one of the basic Card-count methods currently available.  A pop-up Strategy Data Box gives you card-count related information during play.  The Drills facility not only allows drilling the strategy plays for a given card-count, but also allows you to drill keeping the count; be it a "Running" or "True" Count.  The Summary Statistics screen offers more data from which to evaluate your play; while a card-count graph facility allows you to examine a given count during play.  The Student Edition allows you to select by name from a large selection of casinos, in different venues; including: Las Vegas, Reno/Tahoe, Atlantic City, Riverboats and Indian Reservations.  The Rules and Settings screen allows you to experiment with Boris for Blackjack Rule Variations, noting their effects.

4.     Advanced Edition - This Edition takes the Student Edition to the next-level for Blackjack study.  It is designed for advanced players of all kinds; including Multi-Level card counting and various progression systems.  The Summary Statistics Screen is complimented with additional screens: A Table-statistic screen (offering a view of the game from the casino's point-of-view) and 2 Screens offering a detailed look at each individual player - from the betting perspective as well as the hand-play perspective.  With the Advanced Edition, you can define your hand-play strategy table, allowing the study of your own strategy variations and the Blind-Simulation facility allows you to run thousands and millions of hands to study the efficacy of your devising strategy.  The Player-Setup Facility allows you to setup nearly any player combination you wish.


6.     PBJ Edition - This Edition is designed for students of the various Clumping and Clump-Tracking strategies.  Beyond the Advanced Edition, this edition allows you to study Hit card and Hole card prediction, with feedback statistics available at any time.  Individual shoes can be saved for reuse later.  It is in this edition that the Shuffle Display (now the ShoeViewer) was first introduced.

7.     PRO Edition - This Edition is intended for Professional players of all kinds.  In addition to a series of additional statistic screens, the Casino Management facility allows you to experiment with card-tracking concepts as well to study Shuffle/Wash/Riffle combinations.

8.     Professional "Plus" Edition - This Edition (Released – July 2003) will take Boris to the level of "SST" in the Blackjack Software Community.  In addition to the PRO Features, the "Plus" Edition contains a host of new Stat Screens and Strategy Evaluation facilities, along with added features for Manual Players.  Version 4.50 will also include several new utilities: An Advanced Strategy Table Design Facility, a Design-A-Shoe tm facility and a Design-A-Shuffle tm Facility.






America Online is a service mark of America Online, Inc.  Microsoft and Windows are registered trademarks and ActiveX and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.  Pentium is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.  Netscape, Netscape Communicator, and Netscape Navigator are trademarks of Netscape Communications Corporation.   “Boris for Blackjack” and “Boris on Blackjack” are Trademarks co-owned by Ron a. Fitch and Casino Gaming Software Systems.


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