Contents of the READ.ME file
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE FOR WINDOWS
SHAREWARE BETA VERSION
Version 1.0c June, 1993
Copyright (c) 1993, All Rights Reserved
Bitwise Software International, Inc.
901 West Hononegh Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
Compuserve ID: 72074, 2677
Last Updated: June 7, 1993
Windows 3.1, windows compatible PC computer, windows compatible
display with 640x480 resolution or higher, 1 Meg RAM, 2 Meg free on hard disk.
Windows 3.1, 386 or 486+ CPU running at 25mhz+, VGA monitor,
640x480 resolution or higher, 2 Meg RAM+, 2 Meg free hard disk.
To install this blackjack game from the Beta Test Version found
on Compuserve, simply copy the file "ULTIMA.EXE" file to the desired
directory ("\ULTIMA21" suggested) on your hard disk and run the program.
This is a self-extracting packed file and running it will unpack all the
needed files and programs. Once this self-extraction is complete, this
file can be removed. However, you should always retain a copy of this
file on diskette or tape just in case you to reload it in the future.
To start the blackack game, run the file ULTIMA21.EXE from file manager.
The icon file ULTIMA21.ICO contains the icon for you to use if you wish
to add ULTIMA 21 DELUXE FOR WINDOWS to your Games program group or set
one up just for this blackjack game. Please see the Windows Users Manual
for instructions on adding Program Items or setting up Program Groups.
This program was written in Visual Basic V3.0 and requires the file
VBRUN300.DLL (included), the file QCARD.DLL (included) and the file
BACKUP.DEF - backup copy of file ULTIMA21.DEF.
BACKUP.SGY - backup copy of file ULTIMA21.SGY.
MHAS200.VBX - Microhelp's runtime Library of ASM routines (licensed).
QCARD.DLL - Steven Murphy's Card Drawing Routines (FREEWARE).
READ.ME - This file.
ULTIMA.ZIP - Self-extracting packed distribution file.
ULTIMA21.DEF - New game default setting file.
ULTIMA21.EXE - Main Windows Blackjack Program.
ULTIMA21.ICO - Icon for adding to Window's Program Manager.
ULTIMA21.SGY - Default playing strategy file.
VBRUN300.DLL - Microsoft's Visual Basic's Runtime Library (licensed).
TEST RESULTS AND FEEDBACK
Please put this program through its paces and report back any positive
or negative feedback, suggestions, or bug reports. Out Compuserve Id
number is: 72074, 2677.
We will be releasing a final version soon and if you find any bugs, or
have any comments or suggestions, please report them to us, thanks.
The help file for ULTIMA 21 DELUXE FOR WINDOWS is being created and will
be available with the release of the final version.
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE is a true windows application which can be run and
controlled by you just like any other windows application.
When first loaded, ULTIMA 21 DELUXE will display its opening window
while it initializes itself. Next a photo of the Casino will appear.
Shortly after that, the Casino's Manager will appear and ask you to
enter your name and then he will take you to a blackjack table.
When ULTIMA 21 DELUXE starts, it will load a file called "ULTIMA21.DEF"
as the default table rules, player names, playing strategy, and other
environment variables. If it cannot find this file, it will use its
own default settings. See the next section for information regarding
saving/restoring games and the default settings.
When the blackjack table is first displayed, you will notice several
buttonsat the bottom of the screen. Some of which will be disabled
(grayed out) and some of which will be enabled. At the start of a
new hand, the DEAL button will be the default button and should be
used to deal the next hand. To deal, move the mouse pointer to the
DEAL button and press the left mouse button.
The other buttons will be enabled/disabled depending on what is
happening at the table. For example: the DOUBLE button will only be
enabled when a player's hand is such that a double down is allowed.
The same is true for the SPLIT and SURRENDER buttons as well. The
status of these two buttons is determined based on the double down
and split rules for the table and one the cards currently dealt to
The HIT and STAND buttons are always enabled during a hand. The HIT
button will deal one card to the player. The STAND button will tell
the dealer thisplayer is done and play will transfer to the next
The DOUBLE button will allow the player to double his/her bet and
receive one card, and only one card. Play will then transfer to
the next player's hand.
The SPLIT button will break a pair up into two hands. This is normally
allowedon like pairs (8 and 8) or a pair of face cards (J and Q).
When a hand is split, one card is moved to second hand (split hand)
and the player must match the bet of the original hand. ULTIMA 21
DELUXE handles all this for you automatically.
The other buttons on the screen and their functions are:
BETS:will prompt you for each player's bet and is available
only at the start of a new hand.
SHUFFLE: will reshuffle the deck before the next hand.
PEEK: will allow you to cheat and peek at the deck and see
the next few cards to be dealt.
STRATEGY: will access the playing strategy window where you may
view, change, save, or load the playing strategy for
this table. The playing strategy is used in conjunction
with the automatic decision help.
A playing strategy consists of hit, stand, double, and
split rules for a player's hand based on what the
dealer is showing in his hand.
EXIT: will allow you quit playing ULTIMA 21 DELUXE.
SPEED: will access the set game speed window which allows you
to control how fast the cards are dealt by the dealer.
STATS: will display the current playing statistics foreach
player and for the dealer.
COUNT: will display the current card counts. This shows the
number of cards dealt (ace, two, three...) as well as
other card counting information.
SAVE: will save the current game to disk.
SAVING & USING THE GAMES DEFAULT SETTINGS:
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE allows you to customize the table rules, number of
players, bank balances, playing strategy, etc... Once you have the game
set up how you like to play, you may save these settings as the default
for a new game.
To do so, click on the FILE menu & select the SAVE SETTINGS AS DEFAULT
option.This will save the current settings into a disk file called
"ULTIMA21.DEF". Each time a new game is started, ULTIMA 21 DELUXE will
read this file and set itself up according to what was saved in this
If ULTIMA 21 DELUXE cannot find this file, it will revert back to its
"factory" or internal settings.
ERRORS AT STARTUP
If you encounter either of the following two errors at startup:
2) "Invalid Control Index"
then the startup default game settings file ULTIMA21.DEF may be
corrupted or may be the wrong version. Try renaming this file to
something else and restarting ULTIMA 21. Ultima 21 will use its
own internal game settings since it will not be able to find this
Once the game has started successfully, use the FILE MENU and select
the option to save the current settings as the default for a new game.
This will create a valid (new) ULTIMA21.DEF file on disk.
If you still have problems after trying this procedure, please contact
the Author by mail on Compuserve or by phone.
SAVING AND RESUMING A GAME
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE allows you to save a game and resume playing it at a
later time. This should not be confused with the saving of default
settings explained above.
Saving a game saves everything about the current game so you may
resume playing where you left off at a later time. When you save a
game, it is normally stored in a disk file called "ULTIMA21.SAV".
However, ULTIMA 21 DELUXE allows you to save multiple games by
allowing you to specify the save file name.
To save a game, click on the FILE menu and select either the SAVE
or the SAVE AS option. The SAVE option will just save the current
game to the current game's save file name. Normally this is a file
If you choose the SAVE AS option, a file name prompt window will
appear and you may select a file name you prefer. You will always be
required to enter a file extension of ".SAV".
At any time, ULTIMA 21 DELUXE allows you to resume a previously saved
game by clicking on the FILE menu and selecting the RESUME GAME option.
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE will prompt you for the name of the save file you wish
to resume. The default is "ULTIMA21.SAV" but you select another save
file from the file list displayed.
CHANGING PLAYING OPTIONS
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE menu system (located at the top of the playing table)
allows you to change every aspect about the casino options, rules,
table limits, player names, bank balances, card deck picture, playing
The following items can be accessed from the FILE menu:
a) Start a new game
b) Resume a previously saved game
c) Save the current game to disk in the default save file name.
d) Save the current game to disk in a selected save file name.
e) Save the current playing settings as the default for a new
f) Exit the game.
The following items can be accessed from the VIEW menu:
a) View the players statistics
b) View the card count statistics
c) Peek at the next few cards to be dealt
The following items can be changed from the OPTIONS menu:
a) Double down rules
b) Surrender rules
c) Splitting pairs rules
d) Splitting aces rules
e) Dealer hitting soft 17 rules
f) Insurance options
g) Six card hand winner options
h) Hand totals display options
i) Dealer hole card display options
j) Speed of the game
k) Automatic decision help
The following items can be changed from the SET menu:
a) Table limits
b) Table color
c) Payoff amount for a blackjack
d) Number of decks in play
e) Number of players at this table
f) Each player's name
g) Each player's bank balance
h) Card deck picture
i) Shuffle point
j) Number of cards to bury
k) Dealer first two cards each hand
l) player's first two cards each hand
m) playing strategy
In addition to using the menu system, you may also access and change
most of these items by using the mouse and clicking on certain items
on the table.
Clicking on a player's name, will display the change a player's
Clicking on a player's bet will access the Change Bet Window for
Clicking on the "table limits" text in the game stats window
will display the set table limits window.
AUTO DECISION HELP AND CUSTOM PLAYING STRATEGIES
When this feature is active (see the OPTIONS menu), the dealer will
help you make playing decisions. That is, the dealer will tell you
whether you should hit, stand, double down, or split your hand.
These are only suggestions from the dealer and you may play your hand
anyway you would like. This feature is for practicing a strategy or
designing and testing a new one.
Playing strategies are stored in disk files and are identified with
the file extension ".SGY". The default strategy is located in the file
"ULTIMA21.SGY" and is found on the master diskettes you received.
When ULTIMA 21 DELUXE first starts, it attempts to load the default
playing strategy from file "ULTIMA21.SGY". If it cannot this file, you
will have to access and set the playing strategy by clicking on the
STRATEGY buttonor using the SET menu and selecting the PLAYING
The Set Playing Strategy Window allows you to view and change the
currentplaying strategy for this table. You can save the playing
strategy changes to disk or you may load a previously save playing
strategy from disk. Both the save and load features allow you specify
a file name.
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE is very flexible and can help you build a winning
strategy or practice your blackjack skills.
As with all windows applications, the faster your CPU and video card
are, the better the performance will be.
ULTIMA 21 DELUXE's default game speed is designed to run on a 486-33
CPU with a VGA display. If you experience slow card dealing or slow
video performance, try changing the game speed to "medium" or "fast".
This will improve the card dealing speed and improve some of the
game's video performance.
This game is written in Visual Basic for Windows by Microsoft Version
3.0 and we have taken great care to get the maximum performance from
Visual Basic. However, some areas of Visual Basic, such as graphics
display, are inherently slow, and our hands are tied (for now).
However, if the game is still too slow when you set the game speed to
"fast", contact us to see if we may have a faster version (If Visual
Basic has been upgraded and made faster by Microsoft).
COMMENTS AND SUGGESTIONS
This windows game is the culmination of hundreds of suggestions and
comments from our very popular DOS version of ULTIMA 21 DELUXE. As you
can see, we have listened to those suggestions and implemented almost
every single one of them in this version for windows.
Please drop us a note with your comments or suggestions. They are
always welcomed and help us improve our games in future versions.
This product is being offered in the shareware manner. This program is
NOT FREEWARE NOR PUBLIC DOMAIN SOFTWARE. We rely solely on honest
shareware users for income from these products.
If you find this program of value and intend to play it, please send us
$20.00 and your name and address. Registrations are the only income
from this product and give us the incentive to continue to market our
software in this manner.
All registrations, comments, and suggestions can be sent to:
Bitwise Software International, Inc.
Attn: Jay J Falconer
901 West Hononegh Drive
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
All registered users are placed on our preferred mailing lists for
new products, upgrades, new versions, bug fixes, as well as receive
Please help keep the spirit of shareware alive!
Special thanks goes to Stephen Murphy, author of the FREEWARE card
drawing routines QCARD.DLL (can be found on Compuserve). His outstanding
work and support helped make this product's card drawing faster and more
Also, I would like to thank the dozen or so excellent beta testers
who have taken the time to completly test and evaluate this program.
Their many bug reports, suggestions, and general comments were of
great help to us.