DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
December 23rd, 2020 at 5:31:50 PM permalink
Some members here already know about my new game. Here's an introduction for the rest of you, and for members that may have forgotten the details. A link to a website for more details is at the end.

While attending the Cutting Edge Game Developers Conference in 2015, presenters at three of the seminar break-out sessions used the same clip from Vegas Vacation, showing Clark and Cousin Eddie going to that locals casino where, as Eddie described it, the games are a little different.

While seeing that same scene for the third time in two days, I started to think, If War is a real casino game, why cant one of those others also be real? Eventually, I got obsessed with the last game shown. The one game that used no props, no method to record the bets, and no device determine the winner.

Yup. The game that was rigged from the word go, was the inspiration for my latest casino game.

Of course, even if devices to prevent cheating were added, the house edge would be 10%. That was just way too high. (Of course, this was before triple zero roulette hit the scene. LOL.)

My first thought was using a small, home style bingo cage, with 51 balls. 50 with an even distribution of five of each number, and one blank which acts like the green spaces on roulette to create the house edge. Simple math says the edge would be 1.96%. Not bad. Add a blank to go to 52 balls, and the edge becomes 3.85%. With 3 blanks, the edge is 5.66%, etc.

This presented three problems:

1  Proving that such a mechanical device was unbiased would be a nightmare.

2  Because of the way I used the green spaces as wild in Poker For Roulette (PFR), I naturally started to think about the blanks as jokers for a side bet.

3  Once I thought about 52 balls, 52 cards became an obvious alternative.

So I switched to using a standard deck of 52 cards. But picking one rank out of 13, meant an edge of 7.7%. I didnt like that either.

Then I was in my local casino, and walked past a closed Sic-Bo table. Ive never played, but have seen it in action. When I glanced at the layout, that bottom line jumped out at me.

They roll three dice, and the simple bet of choosing any 1 thru any 6, pays higher when the chosen result hits multiple times.

That was what I needed. Pick three cards, and give varying payouts for multiple hits.

Doing that also gave me the option to have multiple pay tables, with slightly different house edges. And those edges are difficult to calculate on the fly. Depending on the pay table, its easy for a ploppy to make a mistake and think the game has a player advantage.

Also, I could add a three card poker type of side bet, which pays if the three cards selected has a pair, straight, flush, straight flush or three of a kind.

But I didnt want it to look too much like another three card poker game. I had to have, as our friend Dan Lubin would suggest, a humdinger. I think I came up with a couple that he would have liked.

First, I wanted a method of creating shared excitement. Something like a craps table where the shooter makes his point and everyone cheers. It was my goal with PFR. The individual bets on the basic game dont matter, but when the side bet hits, everyone who was betting it cheers.

Similarly, in Pick A Card, everyone is betting on different card ranks, but only one set of cards is drawn to determine all the winners. Therefore, everyone playing the side bet wins or loses together. When it hits big, there would be a great commotion.

I also wanted to create a shared anticipation. Like in the craps fire bet or all/tall/small where only one number remains and everyone is hoping for that number.

Oh, sure, anticipation and excitement could be generated by turning the three cards slowly, particularly if the jackpot was paid for a 3 card Royal in a particular suit. If the first card shown is a royal card, slow down. If the next is one of the other 2 cards needed, sure it creates excitement, but in my opinion, all too brief and too artificial. Besides, I dislike the mini-Royal concept.

Instead I created a two hand event. Any time the three cards selected forms a straight flush or three of a kind, the bets are locked up as guaranteed winners with resolution after the next hand. If that next hand also has a straight flush or three of a kind, Jackpot! Locking up the bets is a time-consuming process, you say? Not really. Just put a clear cover over the bets. Also, this only happens once every 220 hands.

My second humdinger was much simpler. One of the appeals of craps is that the results lie in the hands of a player. Similarly, a player partially determines everyones fate in blackjack by cutting the cards. Would a game such as the Big 6 get more action if one of the players were allowed to spin the wheel? What about roulette? Sure, but with the delicate balance of those devices, and opportunity for cheating, that would never happen.

So what about letting a player pick the cards used to determine the winner? Not only does this remove any pretense that the casino is somehow cheating, but it follows the name for my game. But, still dont want players to touch the card. Instead, the cards are spread and a player is handed a stylus and asked to select three cards.

Also, if the hand is a pair or better, the same player picks the cards for the next hand. This happens about 25% of the time.

Go to my website, www.DaveMillerGaming.com where you can get more details about Pick A Card, as well as see the info on my other game, Poker For Roulette.

So thats the concept.

Let me know what you think.

Note: Earlier I said it would be easy for a ploppy to think the basic game has a player advantage. The paytables pay 3:1 for a single hit. So a player that bets on all 13 ranks, and sees three different ranked cards, would win 9 and retain the 3 bets that won. 12 for 13. On the basic game, hed lose one unit every time the results were all different. Most ploppies that calculate that first easy part would then make the assumption that the higher pay for two or three hits would make up for that one unit lost. Its an easy assumption to make. Unfortunately for those ploppies, pairs happen often, but not often enough to overcome that loss. And while trips pay even more, they are much more rare.

For those of you that have never been to Cutting Edge, its like a very small G2E, held in a banquet room the size use for a typical wedding for an expo of new games where its all about playing and evaluating new games, mostly from independent developers. At the same time, another banquet room is set up like a conference/classroom for break-out sessions that are about any topic relating to the casino operations, and not the hotel or food & beverage operations (except in relation to comps), etc.

And yeah, in addition to three presenters using that scene from the weird locals casino, two presenters focused on customer service, and used the scene from the Mirage featuring Wallace Shawn as Marty, the dealer with an idea of his own.

I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
zbrownson
• Posts: 86
Joined: Jul 2, 2020
December 23rd, 2020 at 7:48:25 PM permalink
I love the name. I think this concept will resonate with a lot of people, not only because of Vegas Vacation but because it is simple and it has a scratch ticket kind of feel to it as well, which I love. My constructive feedback is that I am not sure having a player select cards is enough of an interesting decision to make. I would like some mechanism to give the player more of a sense or illusion of control over the outcome (this is something I have struggled with in designing this style of game as well). If I saw this game in a casino, I would definitely try it out but am not sure if I would eventually get bored for lack of that decision. Then again, I still see Casino War tables so there is a market for that style of game. I like the concept and good luck!
SOOPOO
• Posts: 11083
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
December 24th, 2020 at 7:31:54 AM permalink
Are the 52 cards all dealt out so that each card is not touching another card? Or fanned out? If fanned out, that is traditionally how those using sleight of hand take advantage of their marks. Of course that is not what your game will be doing, but I can see the ploppies not being comfortable with that technique. If fully dealt out, then my point is moot.

Extremely vulnerable to marked cards, but I have no idea if that is really a problem nowadays.

Good luck!
DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
December 24th, 2020 at 12:03:56 PM permalink
I did give game protection a lot of thought, but only glossed over the topic on the website. Here's the details.

I would have the dealer fan out the cards, then hand the player a stylus. The player never touches the card, but uses the stylus to select the card, then the dealer puts the card aside while the player picks the next card, etc. So long as the player doesn't press too firmly with the stylus as to dent the card, or add ink or something to the tip to mark the card, it should be OK.

These are some sample styli I made by removing the guts of a standard casino pen, and inserting a foam ear plug.

Frankly, I'd like the casino to get nice cell phone pen styli and give them out as promo items, to anyone that plays, or any player that picks a pair or better, or something like that.

Also, and I know I'm giving a casino a lot of credit here for observation, but if the player is betting big on one rank, and that rank and suit keeps showing up, it's likely a marked card. Note that since I don't have a pay line for a Mini Royal, there is no benefit of marking one card over another.

Of course, if the casino was really paranoid, they could simply cut the cards single deck BJ style and use the top three off the cut.

Last, the dealer could cut the cards herself, poker style, and use the top 3 cards.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
ThatDonGuy
• Posts: 6405
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
December 24th, 2020 at 1:32:14 PM permalink
The only problem I see is, the rules description doesn't say how often the deck is shuffled. If it's not shuffled after every hand, then the game lends itself to counting, the way, say, Faro did.

Also expect a number of comparisons to Chuck-a-Luck, which is exactly what "the bottom line in Sic Bo" is.
DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
December 24th, 2020 at 2:26:26 PM permalink
You're right, but I kinda thought that shuffling after every hand was obvious. Note that betting is closed before the dealer takes the deck from the shuffler (or before starting a hand shuffle). The newest generation of DeckMate shufflers (the kind used at poker tables) shuffles in about 20 seconds. I don't see this game running faster than 20 seconds per hand - and that only if there's only one player.

For what it's worth, if I ever move forward and get a math guy to evaluate it, I'd also ask him for a couple specialty charts: I.E. The altered edge when the dealer is sloppy and showing the bottom card, and then not picking that card since it wasn't one of the ranks the player selected. Of course if the exposed card IS one of the ranks selected, it's rather bad for the casino. I'm also curious about a somewhat absurd situation. Say the dealer ALWAYS exposes the bottom card. What's the optimal number of ranks to bet on in that situation, and the resulting edge? Yeah, crazy crap.

Also note that the newest generation of standard table game shufflers can add a blank/cut card at the bottom to safeguard against this type of sloppy dealer.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
December 24th, 2020 at 3:49:56 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

You're right, but I kinda thought that shuffling after every hand was obvious.

Actually, it was already on my website, on the betting / rules page, in the section Individual Betting Area / Rules:

Quote:

Once all players have made their bets, the dealer shuffles the deck, or takes a shuffled deck out of the shuffler, and spreads the the deck between the player's bets and the chip rack. One player is given a stylus to use to select three cards. After the cards are selected, the dealer will put the remaining cards in the discard rack, and turn over the three selected cards.

I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
ThatDonGuy
• Posts: 6405
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
December 24th, 2020 at 4:05:35 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Actually, it was already on my website, on the betting / rules page, in the section Individual Betting Area / Rules:

My bad - I misunderstood what you meant by "take a shuffled deck out of the shuffler." I didn't think CSMs could shuffle individual decks separately.
DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
December 24th, 2020 at 4:23:31 PM permalink
Yeah, I was never thinking about a CSM. My math is all about 3 cards from a regulation 52 card deck, which isn't what a CSM is designed to do.

I was thinking the DeckMate. It's used in most poker rooms. There may be other models that can shuffle and deliver an entire deck....
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
Zcore13
• Posts: 3815
Joined: Nov 30, 2009
December 24th, 2020 at 5:19:51 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

Yeah, I was never thinking about a CSM. My math is all about 3 cards from a regulation 52 card deck, which isn't what a CSM is designed to do.

I was thinking the DeckMate. It's used in most poker rooms. There may be other models that can shuffle and deliver an entire deck....

Its an ideal shuffler in Table Games. I believe poker uses the deckmate.

If using the ideal, it can be set to dispense three cards when ready, so nobody sees the cards before betting is complete.

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.
100xOdds
• Posts: 4346
Joined: Feb 5, 2012
December 25th, 2020 at 7:40:35 AM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

Its an ideal shuffler in Table Games. I believe poker uses the deckmate.

If using the ideal, it can be set to dispense three cards when ready, so nobody sees the cards before betting is complete.
ZCore13

but doesnt that defeat the 'Pick a Card' name and purpose of player interaction?
Craps is paradise (Pair of dice). Lets hear it for the SpeedCount Mathletes :)
DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
December 25th, 2020 at 12:05:56 PM permalink
Quote: Zcore13

If using the ideal, it can be set to dispense three cards when ready, so nobody sees the cards before betting is complete.

Quote: 100xOdds

but doesnt that defeat the 'Pick a Card' name and purpose of player interaction?

Yeah, that kinda defeats that part of the game. But, thinking back to the original Pick A Number from the movie, the player is only guessing what they hope the result to be. IE, They are picking the rank that they hope to see in the selected cards. Also selecting the cards was a twist I added.

I would hope that the casino DOES allow a player to pick the cards, but if they don't want to allow that, I would hope they allow the dealer to at least cut the deck, thus adding some random element, so that players can't think the shuffler delivered a losing hand.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
DJTeddyBear
• Posts: 11006
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
May 13th, 2023 at 11:41:02 AM permalink
On todays Las Vegas Advisor Question Of The Day, I dropped a mention of my Pick A Card game.

A couple people picked up on that, with one thinking that it may be a form of a lottery.

Whacky stuff.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/  Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
ThatDonGuy
• Posts: 6405
Joined: Jun 22, 2011
May 13th, 2023 at 1:29:26 PM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

On todays Las Vegas Advisor Question Of The Day, I dropped a mention of my Pick A Card game.

A couple people picked up on that, with one thinking that it may be a form of a lottery.

Whacky stuff.