Bringing MORE to the tables
by James J. Hodl
September 5, 2012
Why should slots
players have all the fun and get all the rewards?
Advances in computer technology have not only made slots machine faster and easier to play, but also added capabilities that enable bonusing, progressive jackpots and other features that boost the energy and excitement of playing. So we can excuse pit bosses for looking in envy and saying, “Damn! I got to get some of that on the table game floor.”
Fortunately manufacturers heard these murmurs and responded with products that likewise add electronics and betting options to ordinary table games. And the current crop of products is taking this trend even further to not only ramp up playing fun but enable casinos to exert tighter controls over the games and better reward their best players.
Here is a rundown of some of the latest games and devices:
Galaxy Gaming has teamed up with World Poker Tour to create WPT—Two Way Hold’em, a game that offers regular Texas Hold’em play with the chance to also win on the dealer’s hand.
Interblock’s G4 Organic line of electronic table games features roulette and other forms of traditional table play.
Among Interblock’s offerings is G4 Organic Roulette that provides players with every wager available on a live game but with a much faster pace and immediate payouts, and in versions that seat six, eight and 10 players. G4 Organic Virtual 10 allows players to wager on a common, life-like roulette wheel and game layout that is horizontally placed them. G4 Organic Virtual Blackjack stages the games in virtual space with no dealers, and with digital rather than real cards and chips. The fully automated G4 Organic Dice offers craps or sic bo, either as stand-alone games or simultaneously, and is equipped with two large built-in community displays. The latter system has six LCD displays that provide statistics and live video image that inform players and catch the eye of potential players as they pass by.
Count the Hippodrome Casino in London among the gaming companies willing to devote large chunks of floorspace to Interblock’s G4 line of table games. Indeed, the property spread Interblock’s Organic Island multi-game environment over all three of its levels.
To create a G4 Organic Island environment through different sections of the casino, Interblock used the G4 Organic Live Card 06 with three stand alone units of roulette and dice games, Organic Live Roulette, four single wall PIDs and stand alone PIDs, everything connected with 51 play stations in black-gold design in the theatre layout. “We have developed site-specific multi-game environment that addresses different type of players in different areas of the casino, but connects all the Organic PlayStations in one amazing gaming environment,” said Miha Miklavcic, Interblock sales director for Europe in a prepared statement.
Pai Gow table with progressive jackpot feature from DEQ Systems
The SuperNova Table Bonus System from TCSJohnHuxley lets gaming properties offer floor-wide progressive jackpots.
TICKETS TO RIDE
The TableXchange printer/scanner system from FutureLogic
“Many casinos are now considering delivering promotional content to the player via TITO printers at slot machines, and this new device will allow them to do the same at table games,” said Nick Micalizzi, vice president sales and marketing, North America, for FutureLogic.
With TableXchange printer/scanner, a player moving from a slot to a table game no longer needs to stop at the cage on the way to redeem a TITO voucher for cash. They can buy in to the table game by handing the voucher directly to the dealer to scan. An LCD or touch screen quickly displays the voucher value and they receive their chips and a TITO voucher for the balance. To cash out, the dealer simply collects and enters the value of the player’s chips on a keypad and TableXchange printer/scanner dispenses a cash-out voucher.
TableXchange printer/scanner also records and updates loyalty card information, enabling casinos to award slot-style points for table play. It can further be integrated with FutureLogic’s dynamic new PromoNet couponing solution, which links promotional campaigns directly to specific player actions and enhances cross-venue marketing by tying together reward programs across a variety of non-gaming as well as gaming activities.
FutureLogic is not the only company with a TITO-centric solution for table game play. As part of a recent distribution agreement it inked with CountR, Minnetonka, Minn.-based Table Trac now offers TiTa, a micro ticket redemption and issuing device that can be used at table games.
“CountR’s ticket redemption device, the TiTa, designed for the table games market, is especially appealing as it provides operators with a reliable and secure way to increase revenues while reducing costs, said Table Trac CEO Glenn Goulet in a prepared statement. “This new TiTa system allows table games to accept and issue gaming tickets, all the while providing increased accountability and profitability. It is truly one of the most innovative technologies for table game operators seen in years.”
NEED FOR SPEED
Shuffle Master’s i-Table system is compatible with roulette and other common table games.
“On a traditional felt table game, only one side bet is typically offered due to the complexity of multiple paytables and the time it takes for bet reconciliation. With the i-Table, players can now wager on up to three additional side bets concurrently on blackjack and three card poker games, creating even more opportunities to win,” said Don Taylor, emerging media manager at Shuffle Master.
“With i-Table Roulette, up to 60 percent more games can be played per hour as players bet on their screens rather than reach across the table to make bets. One added advantage is that changes the role of the dealer, as ‘chipless’ play enables automatic bet reconciliation, allowing dealers to better engage with players and make play more fun. And all play is recorded to assure better security and to resolve disputes,” he added.
Operator Wide-Area Progressive (OWAP) Table Games piggybacks on Shuffle Master’s existing table games progressive system and expands its capabilities. OWAP provides casino operators with the ability to offer a linked progressive jackpot across multiple properties. Because it builds quickly and hits frequently, this inter-casino progressive jackpot delivers even more excitement to the table and to the player.
Shuffle Master’s new MD3 batch shuffler for blackjack and baccarat builds upon the success of its previous shufflers and improves the overall offering. While previous models would shuffle and count the number of cards, the MD3 integrates optical card recognition, allowing the operator to also verify that all the correct cards are in play and that nothing is missing or added. The MD3 can now scan, shuffle and verify eight decks of cards in seven minutes. The high speed verification-only mode checks the cards in less than two minutes and, when coupled with the optional onboard printer, creates significant savings in time and manpower for opening and closing tables.
UPPING THE ANTE
Creative Casino Games’ Shootout Poker is the first casino table game that allows players to play against each other and concurrently play against the house.
For example, the company’s Shootout Poker is specifically designed to attract new and casual players who dislike the intimidation of a poker room and want an exciting, easy approach to table gaming. Shootout Poker is the first casino table game that allows players to play against each other and concurrently play against the house. The use of poker skills invites strategic thinkers who may not otherwise be attracted to casino table games. Officials for Creative Casino Concepts describe it as Texas Hold ’em with a dealer button.
This innovation also allows the casino to realize an extra profit center by adding a rake to its edge.
Lo-Ball Showdown from Creative Casino Games offers players a very easy way to play poker on the casino floor.
SIDEBAR: Tracking changes
The Bally Chip Recognition system uses optical bet recognition to view and distinguish chips during table game play.
The Bravo Pit & Poker Management System from Genesis Gaming Solutions detects cards, chips and other objects placed on a gaming table with embedded light sensors located beneath the felt.
The line of Paltronic components includes the One Link table game management and marketing system.
GPI’s RFID Total Money Management combines the efficiencies of RFID with a high-speed table bill validator designed by JCM.
GPI also offers RFID Total Money Management, which combines the efficiencies of RFID with a high-speed table bill validator designed by JCM. RFID Total Money Management streamlines table game cash and chip transactions to enable an increase in rounds per hour while providing increased currency security through instant authentication and validation.
“We are… excited about the table game cash and chip management solution we are co-developing with JCM, as it will enable an increase in rounds per hour by streamlining table game money handling procedures,” said Gregory Gronau, GPI’s president and CEO in a prepared statement when RFID Total Money Management was showcased at the recent G2E Asia trade show in Macau, China. “We are anxious to debut this innovative product to our Asia customers and receive their valuable feedback.”
James J. Hodl
is a Chicago-based freelance writer covering the gaming industry. He can be contacted at +1 773 777 5710; or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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