Geoff Hall has played a key role in the development of the new Playtech poker rooms, which were released to the general public only recently, after an extensive period of rigorous alpha and beta testing.
He organized and managed a team of experienced poker players which assisted in the development of the new Platyech poker software. One of his special assignments has been the design and implementation of measures to prevent poker collusion. It has been one of Playtech's priorities to minimize the problem of poker collusion in their new software, so that regular players would be able to enjoy the games without the fear of being cheated.
In addition to his involvement in the development of the new Playtech poker software, Geoff is also the inventor of an exciting and very innovative game called Blackjack Switch. This game offers an house edge of only 0.05% when played in an online casino, and approximately 0.2% in a land-based casino. As a consequence, Blackjack Switch is one of the best Blackjack games available in any casino nowadays, and a very welcome departure from the trend to offer players more and more unfavorable Blackjack variants, like 6/5 Blackjack.
Geoff is a father of two daughters aged just 3 and 1. He started his career as a teacher and lecturer in Mathematics and Statistics at schools and colleges in the U.K. He was introduced to Blackjack by accident when he was 28 years old and learned about card counting a year later. After a little while, Geoff became a full time professional Blackjack and Poker player, for about 7 years, in the UK.
Being the professional that he was, Geoff always liked to play 2 hands at the same time. And so it happened that during one night, back in 2000, Geoff realized that if he just could switch the top cards of his two hands, he would have had a very successful night after all.
Not long after this discovery, Geoff invented the game that is now known as Blackjack Switch, a game that allows just what he envisioned: switching cards between two Blackjack games played simultaneously. Blackjack Switch is now conquering the casino world at a staggering rate, and is already available in a couple of Vegas casinos, located in downtown Vegas as well as the Las Vegas Strip.
We are very thrilled we had the opportunity to interview Geoff Hall, even though he was on a very short time schedule, preparing for for the Global Gaming Expo 2004, which took place in the Las Vegas convention center during October 5th-7th.
We have divided the interview into three parts. The first part focuses on Blackjack Switch. The second part discusses Geoff's role in the development of Playtech's poker rooms, and the third part deals with some of the current and future projects Geoff is working on. We hope you will have just as much fun reading the interview as we had conducting it.
This interview starts with Part 1- Blackjack Switch.