Update (The debut at El Cortez of the Great 8 table game, an offshoot of blackjack, baccarat and WAR, has been delayed until early July. Richar Fitoussi, the game’s creator, told Gaming Today on Tuesday night that he was called out of town on a personal matter which will delay his training for dealers.
“Everything is all go with the game,” Fitoussi said. “I should be back in Vegas late next week and we can resume the process of training the dealers. No problems at all with the game and we should have it all set for play at El Cortez by early July.
In the Great 8 game, drawing a Great 8 card is an automatic win. Whoever is closest to 8 between the player and dealer wins. The lowest number you can have in a 2 card draw is 2 and the highest number is 15. All face cards are worth 10. Player and dealer stands at 6.
Players have the option to use the Ying or Yang sidebet to win at higher odds depending on what cards are drawn. There are 12 Great 8 Cards in a shoe.) — GT Staff
Richar Fitoussi is one of my Guys in the Desert, who I first met when he was an executive at M Resort and Anthony Marnell was CEO.
Richar lived in France for a number of years, but gradually learned English. His experiences seeing casino life in Monte Carlo attracted his passion and ideas to Las Vegas where he learned the trade at Caesars Palace, Wynn Las Vegas and El Cortez.
Having Steve Wynn and Jackie Gaughan on your resume is pretty high cotton. All I have on mine is Kushnitz, Finkelstein and Bagelmania. Sort of like Golden State-Brooklyn if you know what I mean – and I think you do.
Last week I spent 90 minutes at Fitoussi’s retirement villa on the eastside; it would give “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” a run for its money. A lavish pool surrounded by statues, the finest in French art, a live-in housekeeper, big-screen TVs, a bar that would rival that of any casino and of course the luxury sports sedan.
That’s the difference between Park Avenue life (him) and living in a park on an avenue (me).
But this is not a story so much about Richar, as it is the table game he invented some three years ago with David Moss that resides every day in his palatial estate. This week (plans are for Thursday) it will officially be available for money play at the El Cortez. Six seats, one table – a cross between Blackjack, War and Baccarat.
It’s called Great 8 and online at https://www.great8game.com/play you can try your luck and learn the game. Me seated next to a very tall bottle of SKYY vodka have seen it up close and personal. Believe me, it’s a nice hors d’oeuvre for bettors heading for the Cortez sportsbook.
“We needed a couple of years for licensing,” Fitoussi said. “I thought the game had potential. The business of gaming needed new business. It’s easy to play and has the aspects of War, blackjack and baccarat.”
Here are the basics.
A: There is one shoe with six decks.
B: Each deck has two Great 8 cards that guarantee a win.
C: One card is dealt; 8 is your “21” and pays 6/5 if “great”
D: Player and Dealer hold at 6, take one card for 5 or less. Ace equals 1.
E: The maximum number for a two-card draw is 15.
F: Closest to 8 wins. A two-card 4 compared to a 12 is a push.
G: Side bets called Ying and Yang pay nice odds on certain hands.
“From 1 to 5 you must draw another card,” he said. “Minimum or two cards is 2, the maximum is 15. One shoe, six decks, 12 Great 8 cards.”
The rules are all spelled out in detail on the felt table top itself, and of course on line. I’ve merely given you the teaser to try it out. And this game will be a winner. You don’t live in a home like Richar’s through failure.
“Most of casinos are conservative,” he said. “They love new games, but nobody wants to be the first one. If we have good numbers and people like it we will go to all casinos. It will be one table for now at El Cortez.”
Hey, not every team was sold on Steph Curry at the start and I think he worked out all right.
“Our plan is to take it everywhere,” Fitoussi said. “It could be great or it could be nothing. You can play the game on the website and experience it for yourself.”