Gandler
Joined: Jan 27, 2014
• Posts: 1491
October 19th, 2019 at 2:33:45 PM permalink
Quote: TumblingBones

I had a long and very enlightening conversation with the Gamblit folks on their approach to the problem. The discussion focused on their PacMan game (which I had seen on the floor at both Park MGM and MGM Grand) and an as-yet-to-be-released word-based game. The latter is a single-player game in which you have to make a word from a bunch of random letters. The longer the word, the better your odds of getting a good pay-out. The Pac-Man variant has 2 to 4 players competing for a prize.

The two main points made by the Gamblit staff were:

• they prefer the term "interactive gaming" to "skill based gaming"
• under the hood, it's always slot math

A description of the inner-workings of the word game explained both these points. The underlying payout-mechanism was their basic slot engine. The length of the word determined the configuration of the "reels" and therefore the pay-table. A longer word increased the max payout but (no surprise) decreased the odds. From the standpoint of the internal software, submitting the word was equivalent to pulling the handle on a slot and spinning the reels. So the bottom line is that word-skills (i.e., speed in coming up with a long word) had little if any impact on how well you did.

The Pac-Man game did have a skill component in that players competed against each other for a chance at the prize. I saw folks playing it at both the Park and MGM Grand so I guess it is doing OK and hasn't bombed. For those who haven't seen it, the game is set up as a flat 4-sided table where each of the players has their own controls (i.e., they play simultaneously rather than taking turns). The game works as follows:
1. Each player enters the amount they wish to bet. The choices are fixed (i.e., \$3, \$5, \$25)
2. The lowest amount entered becomes the amount everyone will be betting
3. Once the bets are locked in the actual Pac-Man part kicks in. All players are simultaneously running the maze, chasing the cherries and avoiding the ghosts. The only new twist over the arcade version is that players can "eat" each other.
4. When only one player remains, they get to pick their prize by clicking on one of about 10 prize icons (don't recall the exact number)

The logic behind the design of the prize-picking process was explained to me by the Gamblit folks. A set of prizes is randomly generated with the amounts ranging from less than to more than the individual bet amount. I didn't ask how the max amount is determined but I assume it it's a bit less than the total amount wagered. After the prize has been selected by the winning player, all prizes get revealed. That way, even if the winner only get back \$2 on a \$3 bet, they see that it's their own fault for not picking a bigger prize.

That sounds extremely fun, 4 player pacman with the goal to be the last to survive (and the ability to eat other players) would be a blast (I love pacman). Prizes don't sound great, but it sounds like one of the more entertaining slot ideas I have heard of, I would play it with 4 friends genuinely for fun.

I love classic arcade games and wish more slots were based on such or some variation that allows multiplayer (competitive video game play is even more fun).
AxelWolf
Joined: Oct 10, 2012
• Posts: 19144
October 19th, 2019 at 3:58:40 PM permalink
What's the hold on the machine?
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
Zcore13
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
• Posts: 3615
Thanks for this post from:
October 19th, 2019 at 4:10:16 PM permalink
Quote: Gandler

Quote: TumblingBones

I had a long and very enlightening conversation with the Gamblit folks on their approach to the problem. The discussion focused on their PacMan game (which I had seen on the floor at both Park MGM and MGM Grand) and an as-yet-to-be-released word-based game. The latter is a single-player game in which you have to make a word from a bunch of random letters. The longer the word, the better your odds of getting a good pay-out. The Pac-Man variant has 2 to 4 players competing for a prize.

The two main points made by the Gamblit staff were:

• they prefer the term "interactive gaming" to "skill based gaming"
• under the hood, it's always slot math

A description of the inner-workings of the word game explained both these points. The underlying payout-mechanism was their basic slot engine. The length of the word determined the configuration of the "reels" and therefore the pay-table. A longer word increased the max payout but (no surprise) decreased the odds. From the standpoint of the internal software, submitting the word was equivalent to pulling the handle on a slot and spinning the reels. So the bottom line is that word-skills (i.e., speed in coming up with a long word) had little if any impact on how well you did.

The Pac-Man game did have a skill component in that players competed against each other for a chance at the prize. I saw folks playing it at both the Park and MGM Grand so I guess it is doing OK and hasn't bombed. For those who haven't seen it, the game is set up as a flat 4-sided table where each of the players has their own controls (i.e., they play simultaneously rather than taking turns). The game works as follows:
1. Each player enters the amount they wish to bet. The choices are fixed (i.e., \$3, \$5, \$25)
2. The lowest amount entered becomes the amount everyone will be betting
3. Once the bets are locked in the actual Pac-Man part kicks in. All players are simultaneously running the maze, chasing the cherries and avoiding the ghosts. The only new twist over the arcade version is that players can "eat" each other.
4. When only one player remains, they get to pick their prize by clicking on one of about 10 prize icons (don't recall the exact number)

The logic behind the design of the prize-picking process was explained to me by the Gamblit folks. A set of prizes is randomly generated with the amounts ranging from less than to more than the individual bet amount. I didn't ask how the max amount is determined but I assume it it's a bit less than the total amount wagered. After the prize has been selected by the winning player, all prizes get revealed. That way, even if the winner only get back \$2 on a \$3 bet, they see that it's their own fault for not picking a bigger prize.

That sounds extremely fun, 4 player pacman with the goal to be the last to survive (and the ability to eat other players) would be a blast (I love pacman). Prizes don't sound great, but it sounds like one of the more entertaining slot ideas I have heard of, I would play it with 4 friends genuinely for fun.

I love classic arcade games and wish more slots were based on such or some variation that allows multiplayer (competitive video game play is even more fun).

Not quite as fun when extremely skilled players just wait for others to join and fleece them. Skilled based player vs player games designed for recreational gamblers will never make it. Skill based single player games could make it if designed correctly. A good one hasn't hit the market yet.

ZCore13
I am an employee of a Casino. Former Table Games Director,, current Pit Supervisor. All the personal opinions I post are my own and do not represent the opinions of the Casino or Tribe that I work for.
Gandler
Joined: Jan 27, 2014
• Posts: 1491
October 20th, 2019 at 9:43:28 AM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

Quote: Gandler

Quote: TumblingBones

I had a long and very enlightening conversation with the Gamblit folks on their approach to the problem. The discussion focused on their PacMan game (which I had seen on the floor at both Park MGM and MGM Grand) and an as-yet-to-be-released word-based game. The latter is a single-player game in which you have to make a word from a bunch of random letters. The longer the word, the better your odds of getting a good pay-out. The Pac-Man variant has 2 to 4 players competing for a prize.

The two main points made by the Gamblit staff were:

• they prefer the term "interactive gaming" to "skill based gaming"
• under the hood, it's always slot math

A description of the inner-workings of the word game explained both these points. The underlying payout-mechanism was their basic slot engine. The length of the word determined the configuration of the "reels" and therefore the pay-table. A longer word increased the max payout but (no surprise) decreased the odds. From the standpoint of the internal software, submitting the word was equivalent to pulling the handle on a slot and spinning the reels. So the bottom line is that word-skills (i.e., speed in coming up with a long word) had little if any impact on how well you did.

The Pac-Man game did have a skill component in that players competed against each other for a chance at the prize. I saw folks playing it at both the Park and MGM Grand so I guess it is doing OK and hasn't bombed. For those who haven't seen it, the game is set up as a flat 4-sided table where each of the players has their own controls (i.e., they play simultaneously rather than taking turns). The game works as follows:
1. Each player enters the amount they wish to bet. The choices are fixed (i.e., \$3, \$5, \$25)
2. The lowest amount entered becomes the amount everyone will be betting
3. Once the bets are locked in the actual Pac-Man part kicks in. All players are simultaneously running the maze, chasing the cherries and avoiding the ghosts. The only new twist over the arcade version is that players can "eat" each other.
4. When only one player remains, they get to pick their prize by clicking on one of about 10 prize icons (don't recall the exact number)

The logic behind the design of the prize-picking process was explained to me by the Gamblit folks. A set of prizes is randomly generated with the amounts ranging from less than to more than the individual bet amount. I didn't ask how the max amount is determined but I assume it it's a bit less than the total amount wagered. After the prize has been selected by the winning player, all prizes get revealed. That way, even if the winner only get back \$2 on a \$3 bet, they see that it's their own fault for not picking a bigger prize.

That sounds extremely fun, 4 player pacman with the goal to be the last to survive (and the ability to eat other players) would be a blast (I love pacman). Prizes don't sound great, but it sounds like one of the more entertaining slot ideas I have heard of, I would play it with 4 friends genuinely for fun.

I love classic arcade games and wish more slots were based on such or some variation that allows multiplayer (competitive video game play is even more fun).

Not quite as fun when extremely skilled players just wait for others to join and fleece them. Skilled based player vs player games designed for recreational gamblers will never make it. Skill based single player games could make it if designed correctly. A good one hasn't hit the market yet.

ZCore13

You can say the same thing about any skill based game. There will always be players who are far better and play against weak players.

You can say the same thing about Poker.

I think it would be cool for more video and arcade games to be incorporated into gambling, even if it's just casinos hosting versus matches for a prize pool in various popular games.
KevinAA
Joined: Jul 6, 2017
• Posts: 280
October 20th, 2019 at 12:47:05 PM permalink
"skill-based slots" can be made that are 100% fake and involve no skill whatsoever.

Decades ago, New Jersey passed a law requiring the slot machines in Atlantic City to give the player a way to "skillfully" play the slot machine, so they did by creating the skip-stop feature. When it looks like a good symbol is on its way around, you hit the spin button again to make it stop. It's total BS because the machine was going to stop on three particular spots on the reels anyway, but it made the player feel better like they had some control over it.

The skip-stop feature still exists on most slot machines today, because lots of players want it. I often see people quickly hitting the spin button over and over and over, betting \$1 or 30 cents or whatever every second.

I can see how someone could manufacture a "skill-based" slot machine where you have to pop ballons on the screen or something like that, but the bonus prize was already determined by an RNG. The only difference between an "unskilled" player and a "skilled" player would be the amount of time it takes to do the so-called "skill" bonus, yet the result is exactly the same.

I have seen people try to use the skip-stop feature on a video slot machine to try to make it stop when they see a good symbol coming around. If you watch this for a bit, you can see that the reels never stop instantly. It takes a little longer on a mechanical reel slot machine than video reels, because the computer can create the reel strip it was going to stop on anyway very quickly, whereas mechanical reels still have to spin around to the point where they were going to stop anyway. It fools a lot of people.
TumblingBones
Joined: Dec 25, 2016
• Posts: 437
October 20th, 2019 at 3:00:52 PM permalink
Quote: AxelWolf

What's the hold on the machine?

No idea but I assume it's adjustable by the casino, just like a regular slot.
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
TumblingBones
Joined: Dec 25, 2016
• Posts: 437
October 20th, 2019 at 3:04:51 PM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

Not quite as fun when extremely skilled players just wait for others to join and fleece them. Skilled based player vs player games designed for recreational gamblers will never make it.

That was one of my concerns but after watching the players in the casino I realized that it's mostly a case of a bunch of friends playing it together. The idea is to appeal to millennials by combining skill will social interaction
My goal of being well informed conflicts with my goal of remaining sane.
DRich
Joined: Jul 6, 2012
• Posts: 7214
October 20th, 2019 at 6:45:27 PM permalink
If I was making a skill based slot I would make it around 92% for the average player with a cap at 98% for the most skilled player. At 92% base a lot of casinos would shy away from it for the hold being to low but I would offer other PAR sheets too so even Caesar's would buy it..
Living longer does not always infer +EV
mrsuit31
Joined: May 29, 2010