UNLV's Florence still creating game
December 30, 2014 3:00 AM
by Mark Mayer
Bobby Florence has taken the “And 1” from the basketball court to the casino room.
Three years ago I featured the UNLV Hall of Fame player and stroke survivor when his “Royal 20’s” version of blackjack debuted on two tables at the Gold Coast.
Now Bobby is back with a second game, “Rabbit’s Play,” at the same venue. Boyd Gaming gave it a 90 day trial run back in November and Florence just received early approval that his version of baccarat will stay at the Gold Coast well beyond that time frame.
In other words, Bobby’s third card betting option for baccarat is proving to be a slam dunk success.
“In baccarat there was no bet on the third card, just the draw,” Florence said. “To me, betting a third card creates a more natural flow to the game. It’s sort of like 3 Card Poker. Bet a buck. That simple.”
Baccarat, for those not familiar with the game, calls for the player to draw a third card if dealt an initial total from 0 to 5. If a player has 6 or 7, you stand. The banker also will draw a third card if at 0-5 and stands at 6 or 7.
In Rabbit’s Play, players can bet on taking that third card. The pay table breakdown is as follows:
• Unsuited pair: 7-1
• Suited pair: 15-1
• Unsuited 3 of a kind: 50-1
• Suited 3 of a kind: 500-1.
“In baccarat, it’s the closest to 9 with two cards and the dealer never busts,” Florence said.
“A 10 is treated like a 0. I saw an opportunity to make the game better by adding a $1 side bet option on taking the third card.”
Florence chose to name his game “Rabbit’s Play” since rabbit means prosperity in the Asian culture.
“I felt rabbit was the right name to use,” he said. “My game creates a way the bettor can prosper if willing to make the $1 side bet. Plus it gives bettors a way to make a lot more money for taking that third card when necessary.”
Florence, now 64, became a dealer 30 years ago when leaving UNLV as the No. 11 all-time scorer in school history. He was selected by the Indiana Pacers of the old American Basketball Association and later had a trial run with the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
“I have always enjoyed gambling,” said Florence, who grew up in Des Moines, Iowa. “I wanted to give something back for being alive, for which I am forever grateful.”
Florence suffered his stroke in 2006 and said it changed his life.
“I changed the way I eat, and think of every day as a second chance,” he said in my first interview with him for GamingToday back in July 2011.
Three years later, Bobby has again delivered and perhaps in 2017 will come back for thirds.
Note: For more info on Bobby’s games email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at MarkMayer@GamingToday.com