Allow me to use this article in the G2E edition of GT to introduce you to the U1 machine. It might be the biggest, boldest thing to happen to keno and video poker in a very long time.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of these machines. When the floor models first arrived in Las Vegas earlier this year, GT was there with the story. Just a few weeks ago some of the first bartop versions of these machines hit town at Stetson’s Saloon and Casino, where I was happy to give GT a peak.
In fact, it was this story on the bartop version of the U1 that led to my becoming a columnist for GT.
But that’s not why I’m a fan. I’m a fan for one main reason: the U1’s “fair play” system. Both the bartop and the floor models feature this unique system by which the concepts of denominations, max bets and credits all go right out the door.
So how do you play a machine with no denomination, no max bet button and no credits? It’s simple really. Credits are shown as actual dollar amounts, and so are payouts. Denominations are irrelevant since you can bet virtually any amount between five cents and $20 on most games using simple on-screen keys.
The concept of a “max bet” is replaced by a sliding scale that awards better pay tables for each wager increase instead of only giving your best payback percentage at 5 or 10 credit bet levels.
That is probably the biggest difference from what most keno, slot and video poker players are accustomed. The U1 pay tables change with each bet. In fact, they’re probably best described as fluid, with the payback percentage getting better and better with each incremental increase in bet size.
Since all amounts are in dollars instead of credits, the pay tables can be easily adjusted to an exacting degree instead of having to round payouts to the nearest value.
For example, hitting 4/4 on Classic Keno with a 25-cent bet will get you $29.90 (instead of the typical $25) for an exact 93 percent payback table. Bet 30 cents and the payback table rises to 93.48 percent.
Double your original bet to 50 cents and you’re at 94.99 percent getting $63.05 for 4/4. By the time you’re betting $1, the pay tables have risen to 96 percent, you’re getting $129.40 for 4/4. There’s still plenty of room to go – all the way to over 98 percent!
How do you know for sure about getting a better payback percentage for that bigger bet? Well, it’s because the U1 displays the exact payback percentage right on the screen as you play!
Not enough? Well it also shows the complete range of possible payback percentages available for each keno as well as video poker and slot games.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that payback percentage is not the only thing to consider when playing a machine. Volatility, the fun factor and even machine placement are just a few of the important things to consider when deciding which machine to play.
While it’s not the only thing to consider, most industry professionals will agree that payback percentage is probably the single most important consideration, especially to your bankroll.
So I say kudos to U1. In this day and age it’s not enough to ask people to trust that they’re getting a fair shake. Players want proof that their machines aren’t being tightened to ridiculous levels.
Gamblers deserve accurate information so they can make informed decisions about how to play their bankrolls. U1 Gaming is the first company I know to take such bold steps towards machine disclosure. As a player I appreciate the information.
And, as an operator, I appreciate the ability to be honest and upfront with my patrons.
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