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Electronic table games3 March 2015
A number of things set the games apart. The machine games were individual contests, the single player versus the machine’s programming. Me versus the slot machine in a battle to the death (so to speak).
While some critics might want to say that “progressive slots” such as Megabucks involve many players, this is not the same. If I am playing Megabucks I have no knowledge of those other people playing the game in other casinos. We are still involved in a singular contest, although with the same chance to get the big payout.
On the other hand, table games are live: You sit down or stand up next to other human beings who are playing the exact same game you are. Yes, in blackjack every player plays his own hand his own way, and so too at roulette for the most part (although some players will bet on the same bets). Craps will often have people betting on the same propositions, more often than not on the bet called the Pass Line. There are times when every player at a craps table is betting the Pass Line bet. Players get to actually throw the dice at craps to establish what number wins or whether a seven-out occurs, with the dice being passed to the next shooter.
Baccarat will have a significant number of players betting on one bet and another significant number of players betting on another bet since there are only two good bets (out of three total bets) at the game, the Player and the Bank. Players actually get to deal the cards in the high-roller room baccarat games, which is often a sight to behold.
The human interaction at table games with real players and real dealers often turns off slot players. Many slot players become annoyed by those table-game players who constantly tell them how to play their hands in blackjack or what propositions to bet at craps. Some even get annoyed at those aggressive roulette players who push aside everyone’s hands in order to place their bets on the layout before the dealer calls, “No more bets!”
Often the solitude of the machines turns off table-game players. They feel they have no say in what is about to happen on regular slots, although some might enjoy video poker. (I do think table-game players prefer video poker far more than they do slot machines.)
These two worlds of casino gambling experiences, table games versus slot machines, stood apart the way oil stands apart from water ever since casinos started to flourish. They existed in two different worlds.
But now a big shakeup is happening in casinos across the country. Slot and table-game manufacturers have developed what are called electronic table games, where such games are simulated at consoles around which maybe a dozen players (more or less) can sit.
There are electronic blackjack games (usually with excellent rules) dealt by a smiling, gracious video dealer who has been programmed to never be in a bad mood; there are electronic craps games in all ways the same as a real craps game except you can keep your bets private and you do not get to physically touch the dice, although in many such electronic craps games the players can take turns simulating a dice throw.
There are roulette and baccarat electronic games, and others games such as Pai Gow Poker might also be coming as well.
Are electronic table games going to catch on? In the Empire Casino at Yonkers Raceway in New York, all the table games are electronic and they seem to be getting plenty of action, from what I’ve heard.
The big question about electronic table games has to do with the odds and the speed of play. It might shock some slot-machine players, but the electronic table games will have better returns than almost all slot machines and most video poker games. You can find wagers that come in with a little over a one percent house edge. You’d be hard pressed to find slot or video poker machines with such good paybacks.
The electronic table games have basically the same bets as their real table-game counterparts, so that table-game players can feel right at home. True, there is no standing around as you would at regular craps games (probably a good thing for older players) and it is rare to hear an electronic blackjack player scold other players concerning how they play their hands (another good thing).
What also makes electronic table games worth playing has to do with the number of decisions a player experiences per hour. They are far fewer than the number of decisions the average slot player faces; indeed, we may be talking about half (or even fewer) decisions faced by slot players. These table games might become a popular alternative to traditional slot machines for slot players simply because one’s money lasts longer.
So here’s some short strategy for the new electronic table games:
Craps: Make Pass Line and Come bets with odds. If the machine does not have Pass Line or Come bets, place the 6 and 8 only. The house edge is around 1.4 percent on these bets and 1.5 percent on the placing of the 6 and 8.
Baccarat: Only bet Bank or Player. The house edge is not even 1.5 percent on either of these bets. Never bet the Tie.
Roulette: Bet one of the outside propositions: red/black, high/low, odd/even. You will find that the game will tend to go back and forth if you bet this way and you won’t need a big hit. The house edge on all bets at double-zero roulette is 5.26 percent.
So next time you are in a casino that has electronic games, why not give them a whirl and see what you make of them?
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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