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Stooges slot machine signals bid to expand15 December 1999
LAS VEGAS Testing the new Three Stooges slot machine at the World Gaming Congress and Expo, I found myself with the faces of Moe, Larry and Curly across the payline.
Just then, a bald-headed fellow in denim shuffled by my machine.
"Pick me!" he said excitedly. "Woob! Woob!"
A stagy Stooge?
"Oh, a wise guy! Go ahead, try me!"
Is that the one with the big bonus?
With that, I hit the lighted button showing Curly's face - "A good choice!" I was told.
That launched a Stooges film clip, both on a small screen on my machine and on a large screen overhead. Passers-by stopped and watched as Curly got fingers in the eyes and a bonk on the head. My bonus mounted.
"That was a good one!"
Curly held out his hand, pulled it away, then shook hands for real. Then he was off to join faux Moe and Larry - no Shemp or Curly Joe - in greeting other visitors.
The Three Stooges is Shufflemaster's entry into the slot machine fray. Until now, Shufflemaster has been known mostly as the manufacturer of shuffling machines and as distributor of the table game Let It Ride.
There are video versions of Let It Ride, but with The Three Stooges, Shufflemaster is trying to gain a foothold with mainstream slot players. Like many new games shown at the expo, it's character-driven, using sights and sounds from the timeless Stooges films.
Tying into pop culture is the hottest trend in slots, whether the tie-in is the Stooges, Addams Family, South Park, Let's Make a Deal or Monopoly.
A couple of things set The Three Stooges apart. First, the basic game is a traditional three-reel slot machine. This is not a video game, even though it incorporates video in the bonus round. Reel symbols are Stooge-themed, including pictures of Moe, Larry and Curly, the words "Woob! Woob!" and a pie, presumably suitable for throwing.
Second, the Stooges game is designed as a slot environment, not just a slot machine. At the expo, Shufflemaster showed a bank of six machines, with two rows of three placed back-to-back. Each machine had its own small LCD screen to show the bonus clips, and there was a 42-inch screen above each row of three.
By playing the film clip on the large screen, everyone at the bank of machines can watch, and so can anyone else in the vicinity. That makes The Three Stooges an attention grabber that casinos will use to draw attention to lightly visited corners of the slot floor.
For more information about slot machines, we recommend:The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
Break the One Armed Bandits: How to Come Out Ahead When You Play the Slots! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of John Grochowski