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Stooges slot machine signals bid to expand

15 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?

"Why, soitenly!"

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
Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski