Earle Hall likes to say that it’s the end of the beginning for table game bonusing.
For the president of DEQ Systems Corp. of Canada now is the time for table game bonusing systems to end their dependency on card payout charts and to begin emulating the successful bonusing model that has been enjoyed in the world of slot machines.
“The slot machine segment of the market has defined all the premises of bonusing, not the table game segment,” Hall said. “The table segment has been in its infancy stage and it has been there for more than 10 years. The first bonus was born about 15 years ago, and since then nothing really changed.”
What Hall and DEQ have witnessed in the slot machine segment, and are now duplicating around the world for table games, is the success of linking otherwise independent games to offer more player excitement as well as bigger and more frequent bonus payouts.
To add this type of bonusing to table games, DEQ Systems has rolled out its Lucky Player Jackpot bonusing system that operates independently of the base game. With Lucky Player Jackpot, there are no specific card combinations – no matched pair or push side bet – needed to win. Powered by the company’s G3 platform, Lucky Player Jackpot randomly selects the winning cards and positions. Prizes are not dependent on any specific game so the system can be deployed across all table games.
“Our bonusing system is not related to the table game. It can sit on roulette, baccarat, poker, blackjack…it doesn’t matter,” Hall said. “So now a casino doesn’t need to go to its proprietary game vendor for a bonusing system. Let’s say they have five blackjack tables, two baccarats, a couple poker derivatives, this can go on all of them because this is not looking for a card-dependent payout card chart…it’s all mysteries.”
Hall highlights several betting enhancements of the Lucky Player Jackpot, which was approved in October for commercialization in Nevada.
First, he explained, instead of making a side bet with chips, players purchase credits when buying into a game. The credits are then banked and displayed on LCDs embedded at each player station. Betting credits instead of dollars, said Hall, allows operator flexibility. A higher-end casino can establish a $5 credit denomination, for example. A 25-cent credit demon can be set at a local venue where players might want more time at the table. If a player hits a side bet, the winnings go back into the credit bank.
Second, Lucky Player Jackpot allows players to bet multiple credits with prizes multiplied by the number of credits wagered. Finally, DEQ’s system offers players the option of betting, not only on their own hand, but the dealer’s hand as well. Several Las Vegas properties, including the Wynn, Venetian and Hard Rock, began offering bets on the dealer’s hand for the first time this August.
Hall calls the three bonus betting innovations “added revenue drivers.”
“With DEQ’s Lucky Player Jackpot the system draws a Magic Card, randomly generated like a slot machine. Say it’s looking for a two of diamonds in a player’s hand and a nine of clubs in the dealer’s hand, the player would automatically win a small bit of money. The hit frequency is so high, it’s like a slot machine. Every single hand there is a high hit frequency coming out,” Hall said.
The Mystery Jackpot progressive shows the accumulated coin-in in real-time on an LCD mounted on the table. The Mystery Jackpot is randomly generated after a specific number of hands and links multiple tables. The more tables linked, the more frequently the jackpot hits. The percentage won of the Mystery Jackpot depends on the number of credits wagered.
The other mystery prize for individuals is the Player’s Magic Card that wins when a player with a side bet has the randomly selected card in hand. Aside from the individual prize options, the Lucky Player Jackpot system offers community prizes, which include a Dealer’s Magic Card, when a player bets that the dealer will have the randomly selected card, and Lucky Table, when the prize generator selects a table and all players wagering on the community bet win.
“Everybody who is betting on the community bet gets money. Everybody is yelling and high-fiving each other so it creates excitement,” Hall said.
DEQ’s jackpot system is driven by the company’s G3 platform, which includes the game server or the computer that runs the system and connects the tables together into a linked configuration. It also includes the table controller mounted under each table that controls the table display, the dealer interface or keypad that the dealer uses to manage the side bets, and the player’s betting interface or personal bet managers stationed in front of each player position at the table.
Within a single property, DEQ’s Lucky Player Jackpot is designed to link bonusing between different table games. The company’s Real Link technology takes that concept to a new global level.
“With Real Link we are eliminating the limits of the single property jackpot and the constraints of cabling,” Hall said. “It provides a next-generation platform to connect tables with no geographical boundaries. Global jackpots are bigger, grow faster and are a great attraction technique for clients.”
Hall defines Real Link is a standard, off-the-shelf wireless link between any multiple of tables anywhere in the world. Real Link manages shared jackpot and prize values between table games regardless of their physical location.
“If you think of a casino chain that has 15 properties, 2,000 tables, you’re going to have an $8 to $10 million jackpot hitting once a week,” Hall said.
Real Link is already operating in several casinos in Latin America and Eastern Europe through DEQ’s partner DEK International. Hall said a big benefit to operators is ease of use, and that Real Link requires no new additional hardware or infrastructure.
“With our system there is no infrastructure. It’s all standard when you put our systems in a casino, you don’t have to add any infrastructure to link,” he said. “We wanted to give the casinos the capacity, without having to spend money, to link anything in the world that they want to link at no cost.”