Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Interesting new game from Shuffle Master

While waiting for a seat in a game at the Luxor tonight, I picked up the only reading material they had available: the awful "Gaming Today" rag. For once, I was glad I did. I found this review of a new game from Shuffle Master.

You have to know that Shuffle Master's latest table shuffler reads the cards as they are shuffled, and therefore knows the exact position of every card in the deck. (The current versions do not do this.) The new game takes advantage of that knowledge in an interesting way.

Here's how the company describes it in a press release:

Dealer Bluff Six Card Poker™. Featuring head-to-head play against the dealer and
an optional bonus bet, Dealer Bluff Six Card Poker™ is the first table game to
incorporate the card-reading capabilities of an automatic card shuffler into
game play. Players and the dealer each receive six cards to make their best
five-card poker hand, and when the dealer pulls his hand from the i-Deal®
shuffler, the shuffler reads his hand and makes a bet based on the strength of
that hand which is reflected on an LCD display embedded in the table. If the
dealer’s hand is good, he bets a large amount, and occasionally the dealer will
bluff and slow-play.

But read the review for a lot more detail on how it works. It's still a fixed house edge, of course, but having a computer that knows the cards and makes wagers based on the strength of its hand--but with random variability built in to make guessing harder--makes it, I think, one of the most interesting table games ever to come along, and a whole lot more like actual poker than anything else I've heard of.

I'm assuming that the computer doesn't know the players' hands, because there is presumably no way to input how many players are being dealt in on any given hand. And even if the computer "knew" opponents' cards, as long as the betting algorithm doesn't take that into account, it's irrelevant. (Superstitious and/or paranoid players may not see it that way, however.)

Just thought maybe you'd like to know.


NerveEnding said...

This game is at the Wynn right now. It is interesting to watch.

Anonymous said...

I've played this game a couple times at Wynn. Loads of fun. High variance, though. You tend to lose several hands in a row but then make a big score.