Despite what I was told before the event, there did not seem to be any more table games on display at this year’s Global Gaming Expo than in past years.
I think I counted a total of about eight booths that had any sort of table game. I believe four of them had no new offerings. Masque Publishing, the owner of Spanish 21, was displaying three or four of their existing successful games. I saw a few table games that I have seen for many years that have no placements. There were numerous clones of existing successful table games. Either the patents had run out or these games never had patents.
This week, I’ll focus on the games from two other companies that were on display for the first time.
First was a game called Greed from Joe Awada and Genesis Gaming. Greed was originally invented by Mark Richards and was in a casino a long time ago. It has been modified to better fit today’s market.
Greed is like no other game out there today. It uses a non-traditional deck of cards comprised of 18 fives, 27 10s, 3 Doubles and 3 Greeds. This is a paytable game, meaning there is no play against a dealer.
To begin play, players must make two wagers – 100 or more (pays even money) and 250 or more (pays 3-1). The player is betting that the final point total will be at or above these totals.
The dealer begins turning over cards, which are scanned in. What you don’t want to see is the Greed card, which ends the game and freezes the point total. There are optional wagers for 550 or more and 1020 or more which pay 10-1 and 50-1 respectively. The Double card unsurprisingly doubles the current point total.
The player doesn’t know whether to root for these cards or not as you don’t really want them to show up too early.
Greed is a very social game with the players mostly winning or losing together. It is a simple game with a big hill to climb.
No game has ever been successful with using its own deck of cards. I’m rooting for this one – both because Mark and Joe are friends and because when the first game with a non-traditional deck is successful, it will open up a whole new range of games for the industry.
Next were two games that I saw at the Galaxy Gaming booth. Garnering a lot of interest was a Roulette sidebet/progressive called Roulette Up. It is a relatively simple concept. The player makes a wager with the goal of getting a streak of increasing numbers. So, in essence the first number is ‘free.’ From there, if the next spin is larger than the prior one, the counter increments by one.
There are two variants of the game. One is just a regular sidebet that begins at three spins and pays 3-1. This increases with each additional spin to 10, 15, 25, 150 and 275 for eight spins. The progressive starts at four spins and pays 10, 20, 125, 300 and 100 percent of the jackpot.
It is a simple mechanism for a multi-spin progressive for Roulette. It does come with its operational drawbacks, however, which has always been the challenge for Roulette wagers of this type.
On a traditional roulette wheel, all the players must start their wager on the same spin. So, if you arrive and the wager is in the middle of a streak, you must wait until the streak is over. As a result, the Progressive will be won by all players at the same time. This means the total you see will get split by the number of players making the wager.
The representative from Galaxy said they were working on changing this but did not give me any ideas on how they were going to do that. Obviously, as we move more towards a digital world, solutions will present themselves.
The other game that Galaxy was showing that drew my interest was called Ricochet Poker. In this game, the players are playing not only against the dealer but against each other. In a bit of a twist, players play in order from lowest hand, first against the dealer. If they beat the dealer, each player then gets an opportunity to beat that player. This definitely added some suspense to the process. The downside was that as a result the game was a bit slow.
Also, no game on the main casino floor where players play against one another has gained any traction so far. I think players want to beat the house and not each other. Time will tell if this one can break the mold.