Table-game side bets with progressive jackpots have become standard, not because they dangle life-changing payouts, but because they provide “night-changing” wins, Steve Cvetkoski says.
While such wagers at blackjack and other card games have proven their popularity, applying the concept to roulette and craps has been a challenge, because rare events in those games happen over time rather than in a single hand.
“When you talk craps and roulette, the difficulty in creating a progressive is that it cannot be resolved in one spin or one roll,” said Cvetkoski, director of product development for Galaxy Gaming. “You need to follow something along multiple spins or multiple rolls.” That requires a dealer to manually track qualifying events as they occur, which risks slowing down the game.
Galaxy says the newest version of its table-game operating system, which will debut at ICE London from Feb. 7 through 9, resolves those issues by using digital tracking. The system also adds features such as a “dynamic progressive” that randomly increases one or more of the traditional fixed-value payouts for a winning side bet and gives operators the ability to offer up to three progressive sensor betting spots per seat. The OS allows for linked and tiered progressive jackpots.
“This new system provides enhancements to standard progressives and enhancements that are unique to the market,” Cvetkoski said. “We’re offering features that aren’t traditional to table games.”
Cvetkoski said the dynamic progressive feature can be applied to any type of game and can vary from hand to hand and table to table. Instead of the fixed payouts on side bets being a “thank-you-for-playing” prize, “every part of that pay table is attractive,” he said. “It kind of ‘slotifies’ the table-games progressive, because now those static pays are dynamic; they change every round.”
Galaxy’s “Roulette Up” side bet benefits from the digital tracking provided by the new operating system. Players win as each winning number of a roulette spin is higher than the last. The first spin after a bet sets the starting number and the payoff is based on how many consecutive spins the number increases. After each spin, the dealer inputs the winning number on a pad and the system takes over. A digital display shows each bettor’s streak status, using cheque colors as identifiers. Players can make sequential bets in hopes of a good streak triggering multiple payouts and new bettors can start their own streak at any time.
“What we’ve done is give it a visual appeal and take some of the burden off the dealer having to track,” Cvetkoski said. “But most importantly, now the operator can take a (Roulette Up) wager every single round.” The Galaxy system similarly digitizes the Bonus Craps side bet for crap tables.
“There’s enough data by now to know that players like progressives” and the thrill of chasing a big payout, he said.
“And it doesn’t have to be a pay that changes your life,” he added. “It could be a pay that changes your vacation or your day, night, week. We found great success with high-hit-frequency models that hit often for smaller amounts. (Players) want to know that something is achievable.”
Galaxy’s display at ICE London, in stand S8-320, will also spotlight the company’s first three online-casino games built in-house, all due to launch by April. In addition to Roulette Up, they are:
- Split to Double Blackjack, a variant in which players can split unpaired cards and double down for up to four times the base blackjack bet. Players may not hit their initial two-card hand; the only options are to stand, split, double, or surrender.
- Rising Phoenix with Golden Talons, which adds a variety of bonus options to standard baccarat.