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The new casino games

21 November 2013

Most new table games come in two varieties: variations on blackjack and variations on poker. So naturally, anything really novel catches my eye when I walk the display floor at the annual Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Double Ball Roulette, from Vegas Game Points, is one of those eye-catchers. Already available in an online version, Double Ball Roulette for brick-and-mortar casinos is played on a standard-sized roulette wheel. Two balls are used, leading to a unique payoff structure topped by a 1,200-1 jackpot if both balls land in the same number.

Ball release is remote, with a player pushing a button to get things rolling.

You have two chances to win with every spin. If you bet on a single number, you get a 17-1 payoff if any one ball lands in that slot -- the same payoff you’d get if you made a two-number split bet on a traditional single-ball roulette wheel.

Other inside payoffs include 8-1 with one winning ball on a two-number split, 5-1 on a three-number street, 3-1 on a four-number corner, 5-2 on a five-number bet, and 2-1 on a six-number double street.

On the outside, it’s 3-1 if both numbers are red or black, odd or even, or in the first 18 or last 18. There are 8-1 payoffs for both balls in the same dozen or column.

And then there’s that 1,200-1 bonanza for both balls winning on the same single-number bet. On single-ball roulette tables, single-number winners pay 35-1, the biggest return on the table. The big one won’t hit often in Double Ball Roulette -- an average of once per 1,444 trials. But it’s a game that’ll spark the dreams of jackpot hunters.

SHFL Entertainment showed several poker games, including Ultimate 7 Card Stud.
You start play with equal bets on the ante and a blind bet. After seeing three cards, you can check, or raise with a bet of three times your ante. You then see your next two cards, and can either check, or raise with a bet of twice the ante.

Finally, you get to see the last two cards. If you have not raised to this point, you must either make an additional bet equal to your ante, or fold. Players who have already raised may make the extra bet equal to the ante, but can stay in the hand by checking.

If the dealer does not have at least a pair, your largest bet is refunded -- if you made the 3x bet, you get it back, or if you skipped that one and made the 2x bet, that’s the one that’s refunded.

If you beat the dealer, the ante and any of the additional bets are paid at even money. The blind bet is paid separately according to a pay table that starts with a flush or better. And there’s an optional trips wager that pays off on three-of-a-kind or better.

That’s a lot of potential action, but it’s easy to play. Anyone familiar with poker hands will pick it up within a hand or two.

CRE8TV Games showed a novel twist on 21 with HighHand Blackjack. In addition to the usual goal of beating the dealer, HighHand adds a little extra game of beat the table. Players make a side bet to contribute to a pot, and the player with the best hand in action at the end wins it.

The house makes its money by taking a 5 percent rake from the pot bets. After that, the pot bets remain on the line for players until someone wins. If there is no winner on one hand -- if the dealer beats all hands and no bets remain in action, or if there’s a tie among the players -- the pot rolls over until the next hand.

If you have the best hand at the end of a hand, you win a spin of an electronic prize wheel. You push a button, the wheel spins, and where it lands determines just how much you win. You could win the pot, or the pot plus added money, or a progressive jackpot.

If only one player makes the pot bet, he becomes eligible for a wheel spin by getting a blackjack. The sample at the show showed a minimum wager of $5, with the single-player prize wheel marked off in amounts from $10 to $100, plus a progressive jackpot space.

As is usual with new table games, none of these is going to sweep the nation and immediately be available in every market. There’s far less space for table games than for slot machines, it takes a table game longer to get a foothold, and there are a lot more misses than hits. Figure these as eye-catching novelties with a chance to carve a niche.

Look for John Grochowski at www.casinoanswerman.com, on Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/7lzdt44) and Twitter (@GrochowskiJ).
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:

> 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