I played it for a good session tonight, 11PM to 1AM.Very
Decent. Fun, easy to deal and play, no dealer had a problem.
And, I was on constant anticipation of getting dealt wilds. I must admit, the anticipation of getting a few wild cards was a draw as a player; I was thinking about it every time I was getting my cards, - as the first thing to look for in the hand. This was a bit counter-balanced by frequently seeing the dealer get them. [Once, the dealer had a wild quint 7's - three deuces, a joker, and a 7. People screamed, but that's rare.]
Because wilds are so big in this game, I did appreciate the higher payouts for natural good hands. The layout pay tables were well designed with a natural payouts to the right of the wild payout on the same payout line; having a 16-line paytable is a chore, so, this was an elegant solution. Plus, I saw a lot of natural trips, so the added natural payouts were sweet. In $500, out $300 hours later, but had fun, no regrets.
It was a Saturday night at NYNY, and the game was a little bit slow. I bought in on a dead game, and played for 10 minutes when two guys, apparently friends, jumped on for a half-hour. Aside from that, it was just me, and later my wife joined.
Overall, very fine, but not UTH-level compelling, yet way better and near the top of the sea of new game field trials this spring, of a crop of five.
1. As a player-versus-dealer game, it had very good give and take. Winning every other hand on average means a lot, which asks why play table games like MS, LIR, and the like that are rough, especially if multiple units to play out the hand. No "paytable sweat-the-win" here. Actually, it feels like Crazy4Poker to play, which is good. Minimum hand? 4's. Try it, face the dealer, win half the time, and find yourself a streak or a big hand, - more likely either way with wilds present.
2. This game has GREAT "Poker Eye effect:" you can see your playing position strength, how strong you are from what's dealt. No counting outs, no heavy strategy like Double Draw Poker, etc. Got a pair of 4's? Okay, play, else fold. Very
sensible and straightforward play with a combination of anticipation [of getting wilds], and a decision point [to Play/fold].
3. Dealer always qualifies: Scratch out a win, especially when you gamble on a borderline hand, - your Ante is always paid, too. Much appreciated.
4. Games like this, [and High Card Flush and Poker with a Joker] that are getting traction may help to finally kill off old dogs like LIR, MS, etc. Evolution is relentless.
5. Easy to jump onto for slot players who dabble on table games, like my wife. They know what wild deuces are. "I have a King and two deuces - so that's trips - play it!" That's part of the appeal and sensibility of the game.
6. The lack of the raise bet really helps players to play by correct strategy, and keeps them in the game. On a new game, not knowing when to raise when a raise is a "should do" burns out players for the abandonment of the game. In this way it is a "safe" game like Three Card Poker, and not a rough game like Double Draw Poker, which had a lot of casualties and abandonment.
1. One can say that this might Cannibalize SHFL's older games that are still on the floor with these newer games replacing them. So what. This is actually not a con: If DEQ, Galaxy or AGS were to cannibalize their games, however, then that would be SHFL problem to allow a market share loss. This replacement scenario may be just updating the portfolio and cycling in better products to maintain market share, which is a win in a competitive industry. In this regard, and if DJ Wild becomes popular, it'll serve both expansion and maintenance to remove the obsolete, which is something every company does to shore up things. It if just swaps out the older stuff, then every such replacement keeps the operator in the fold, even if not a blockbuster.
2. Decent, but not awesome.
1. No raise: play 2x or fold, pick one. Again, so what, but the raise would be nice, and is desirable for top-level players who can play strategy. But this also promotes the Trip plus to be bet, to win bigger on big hands, which is a plus for the operator. Plus, adding a raise would have sacrificed the nice "Dealer always qualifies" feature and the blind bet pay table, so this is a good solution.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.