Got an idea for a new table game? You might live in the perfect state. Arizona offers almost two dozen casinos and plenty of gamblers. Are they looking for new games? Always. Will they love anything that comes out? Well, not exactly; it comes down to what’s fun, easy to learn, and a win-win for the customer and the casino.
Blackjack is the most popular table game in the world. Simple to learn, good odds, and casino owners love it because the game is in the public domain. No pesky royalties to pay to a game inventor. Most popular games like Pai Gow and Ultimate Texas Hold’em come with monthly fees.
That cost isn’t much to a casino, but the payback is sweet for an industrious soul who harnesses lightning and proves their game is more than just a one-time flash in the atmosphere. Still, it’s a numbers thing. With hundreds of new games designed and pitched to casino owners each year, very few are field-trialed, and fewer accepted by the public.
Successful game inventors hold a winning combination of utter determination and good luck. A person who marries a spark of genius with a dash of gaming savvy can succeed. Could it be you?
Derek Webb was a professional poker player who thought up the poker-style table game Three Card Poker. You’ve probably played it. All it took for Derek was a little know-how, some knowledge of basic math, and several years of blood, sweat, and frustration. Sounds about right for a gambler, doesn’t it?
Webb tirelessly pitched his game to seasoned Las Vegas executives for a year before landing a field trial in Mississippi. Once it went live, he hung around the table and talked-up the game. He explained it in simple terms that even us gamblers could understand. And, the game has very easy rules, a reasonable win rate for the casino, and some payouts that make blackjack seem extremely boring.
Good for him, you might say. Or, great for him, since the game was enthusiastically accepted most everywhere and now sports more than 1,600 tables worldwide. And the royalties? At several hundred dollars per month they were strong and steady. Eventually, Webb garnered more than $20 million through a sale of rights and ownership. That’s a nice payoff for his years of work.
Arizona casinos add new games each year, some of which have been invented by local state residents like Paul Harry, currently watching intently as his Super Easy Aces goes through a Nevada field trial at Primm Valley Resort. It’s an entirely new game with a special 54-card deck consisting of just aces, twos, threes, fours and jokers.
Payoffs run from even-money up to 50 to 1 on a Dealer Match of jokers. It’s new, it’s fun and it’s simple to learn. If the game makes its way to Arizona, it will be with a house edge half that of Three Card Poker.
Another local designer, Roy Ritner, helped invent Shanghai Poker and Pai Gow Express. He also brought the AGS-owned side bet Buster Blackjack to the state, lobbying casino managers for eighteen months before it showed up on a gaming floor. Players love it! Payoffs happen often, it’s inexpensive to play, and the house edge is very low. So, have you got any great table game ideas?
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