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Designer puts his cards on the table

Jul 22, 2003 3:00 AM

Slot machines may dominate play in casinos, but innovative new table designs prove that nothing can compare with the experience of live table game action.

Something about the feel of the felt and cards, the interaction with other players, the tension, and conversation make table games a part of the gaming world that just cannot be duplicated on a computer chip.

Helping to keep table games on the cutting edge is an up and coming company, Gaming Entertainment, Inc. In business for a little over a year, the company supplies products to nationally known companies, such as Sigma, Williams and IGT among them.

Ya Awada, owner of Gaming Entertainment, Inc., is no freshman in the gaming industry. He has been in the business for over 25 years with the Circus Circus group and other game manufacturers. One key factor that is contributing to the success of Gaming Entertainment, Inc., is the welcome responses they have received for integrating traditional games with a new variety, as in 3-5-7 poker and Hi-tie blackjack.

The former, 3-5-7 Poker, is already a hit nationally with the game in over 25 casinos in Nevada, California, and Mississippi, with MGM being the latest customer.

"Players want action, and 3-5-7 poker is packed with it," Awada says.

Combining three popular games, 3-5-7 will draw new players and seasoned players alike. Players that are normally drawn to 3-card poker, 5-card, or 7-card poker, can play all of them in 3-5-7 poker.

Players may bet on all three hands. First, patrons are dealt their three-card hand, combine it with two more cards for the five card hand, and then into the seven. Bets don’t have to be even and after the players review their three-card hand, they may surrender their last wager or let it ride.

Hi-tie blackjack is another Awada brainchild that uses the traditional game of blackjack with a new spin. Developed only three months ago, players are given the option to place a bet on whether their first card will be higher than the dealer’s first card or if it will be a tie.

A "high" win pays even money with the odds at almost 50/50, while a tie pays handsomely at odds of 11-1. The game can also be played with one side bet. Traditional blackjack commences after the bets are paid up.

"Hi-tie blackjack increases the action for both the customer and the casino," Awada notes, adding that, "patrons will want to play longer due to increased betting and excitement."

Indeed, the game provides an up front bet on the first card, allowing for action before the second card is even dealt!

As fall approaches, so does the Global Gaming Expo. Expect surprises from Gaming Entertainment, Inc. at this year’s convention. An unveiling of Awada’s newest game, Play Four Poker, is highly anticipated. The name may give it away, but you’ll have to join the crowd to see this fast-paced variety table.