The Revival casino table games are showing no signs of slowing, and equipment suppliers are responding with new concepts that have made many of the technological advances that slot machines have made so popular.
They say history repeats, and that could only be the case for the popularity of table games.
About a decade back, it was no secret that table games were struggling. New gaming concepts have been introduced on the casino floor, and new technologies have allowed other areas of casino gaming to rise above the historical necessity of traditional table games. Some casinos even went as far as removing pits to make room for more slots.
However, despite this decline in popularity, table games avoided some predicted … Not only have table games survived, they are now thriving and seeing significant growth and expansion with new installations.
The proof lies in the numbers. “If you look at the data from the table game and card shuffler companies within Scientific Games, the industry has never been stronger,” said Roger Snow, senior vice president of table games at Scientific Games. “We have more shufflers out there than ever, more tables out there than ever before, more progressives than ever, and more than ever, customers are hungry for the next new.”
In fact, while the modern table game pit still contains the traditional felt-top games that have barely changed in the last century, this area of the game floor has also evolved into state-of-the-art games, largely due to similar technology enhancements, the slots much of it of their success – features such as multi-level progressive, bonus-like side bets, advanced player tracking, analytics and digital signage to name a few.
“The table signage is definitely advanced and is a way to attract players,” said John Hemberger, senior vice president, table games for AGS. “Today’s casino operators are also very focused on automating the rating process and being able to recognize and reward their table players in the same way they do with their slot players, the integration into the casino management and player tracking systems are the key. “
To bring this theme-based game revival in the right direction, device makers spend time researching trends and getting feedback from players and casino operators to create better product roadmaps. One of the key findings is that operators are looking for games and products that drive more sales and table game progressives do just that. Tabletop Progressives have become more prominent on casino floors.
“Secondary bets are becoming increasingly important and a way to add excitement to a traditional felt game,” said Hemberger. “By adding progressives and side bets to traditional table games, operators can offer players more ways to win and dramatically more excitement and anticipation.”
Modernizing and improving classic games like blackjack and poker is one way to engage today’s players; Also in popularity is growing community-style game, another longtime slot sector trend, which is now improving the table game as well.
“Table players in general are more social than slot players, so if you can add a side bet or progressive with some common bonuses or rewards, it adds tremendous excitement and makes the game much livelier, more social and offers a more connected experience,” Hemberger said said.
In 2019, more than 700 new table games are expected to hit the market through new casino openings and casino expansions. Ready to be part of this growth, table game manufacturers bring new innovations to the table. Below are a few of the top players in the market and their latest news.
AGS’s table games business started just over four years ago when David Lopez, President and CEO, shared his vision of creating a table-top business from scratch for the company.
“Launching AGS ‘DenK gaming business was an exciting – albeit challenging – opportunity, we hired a product development team, hired a sales team, created our product plans and started to develop a unique and robust library of proprietary table games and table solutions “, says Hemberger. “It was a great step for AGS because we are now able to become the property of a customer and offer edge-to-edge solutions for the casino floor, from slot games to table games, card games and more. Shufflers and a variety of other products for the casino pit, operators now have another supplier that they are passionate about and who are focused on the long-term success of this important segment. “
Currently, AGS has an excellent range of tableware for 2019 with more than 30 different offerings. The company’s progressive table games have seen accelerated growth over the past year; the 1,000. Installation achieves what is a significant achievement in the business.
The two-time award-winning STAX Table Game Progressive continues to thrive as a player favorite on the market, offering a progressive and must-hit by multi-level jackpot that adds unprecedented player excitement. STAX transforms basic games like blackjack and even AGS proprietary titles like Chase the Flush and Criss Cross Poker, because it offers more opportunities to win.
“We have several success stories with our bonus spin progressive and look forward to the next generation Bonus Spin Xtreme, a progressive side bet that offers a community or player envy experience where multiple players can win prizes with every spin of the wheel” said Hemberger.
In a game like Roulette, with Bonus Spin Xtreme, when a player wins the grand prize, all other players who have placed the side bet win the secondary prize. Conversely, if one player wins the grand prize, one of the other players who have placed the side bet wins the smaller secondary prize in blackjack. This product adds a community element to the table game.
In proprietary table games and side bets, the company reports that it sees growing momentum from Royal 9 and Criss Cross Poker, as well as steady placings of Buster Blackjack, one of the industry’s leading blackjack side bets.
“As for some of our new content on the horizon, we look forward to launching Vega 3 Poker, a new twist on traditional three-card poker, Pai Gow Linx adding new dimensions to traditional pai gow, and Super Start Hold ‘ em, a heads-up Hold’em game in which the player starts playing with the stronger of the two-hole card options dealt to each hand, “Hemberger said.
And last but not least, the Dex S card shuffler is in the first days of its market launch and should have all year round strategic and thoughtful pure introduction. The Dex S single deck card shuffler for poker uses unique shuffling technology to dramatically increase efficiency and mixes a single card game in less than 36 seconds.
The company also expands its display lineup to include two eye-catching, double-sided digital displays for baccarat and roulette.
“We’re adding some exciting features to these displays, including animated characters, real-time role statistics, marketing video content, and highly customizable layouts and themes,” Hemberger said. “We are on the edge of the disruptor in the table game drawing area, using these displays as an interactive tool for messaging and bonus features.”
Progressives continue to be a focus for AGS; they have been very successful on the slot floor for years and are now driving revenue and incremental play in the casino pit. The company has integrated the popular “must-hit” feature, which is widely used in slots, into its STAX platform, which helps to increase its participation in progressive bets. AGS is also expanding the capabilities of its STAX system to directly market and reward progressive players who are separated from high-hand payouts.
“We will launch a new feature called Golden Seat later this year, so stay tuned,” added Hemberger.
Scientific Games is one of the largest full-service providers of casino, lottery and internet gaming products. Its table game product line includes: card shufflers, proprietary table games, electronic table games, progressive jackpot systems, card reading trading shoes and roulette chip sorters. The most popular table games include Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, EZ Baccarat and Blazing 7s Blackjack.
According to the leaders of Scientific Games, the Shuffler is getting more and more involved in the game. For pai gow poker, the i-deal plus shuffler tells the dealer how to set his hand on the way home. The company’s side bet, Cover All, uses the i-Deal Plus Shuffler to count the number of players in the round and places payouts based on the highest hand on the table. And in roulette, Scientific Games has an automatic ball thrower, U-Spin Roulette, who spins three balls for a bonus round.
When it comes to new table games products, “we have many things,” said Snow. “Face Up Pai Gow Poker is a commission-free game where players see the dealer’s hand before they place their hand, and B2B is a roulette side bet that pays up to 1000 to 1 on just a single spin.” Lucky Cat Blackjack pays bonuses and the main bet is when the dealer goes bankrupt. Diamond Rush is another side bet for Ultimate Texas Hold’em Fu Dao Le is a progressive for Baccarat that pays based on your seat number U-turn Blackjack is a game in which the Dealer first plays his hand. “
Table games for the company are placed around the world, but not everything works the same everywhere, according to the company. Casino War, for example, is supposedly huge in Asia. Fortune Pai Gow Poker thrives in the US and Canada. Meanwhile, Ultimate Texas Hold’em populates the European countries hard.
TCSJOHNHUXLEY offers a range of displays that deliver quality and performance. The company’s display palette has powerful graphics that provide vital information and stunning animations. However, these graphics have in the past been restricted to a standard template, unless the operator has commissioned custom designs that are strictly limited to their properties.
The company recently announced its new Adaptive Modular Graphic System, which was originally introduced for roulette but is being introduced for other games. The new display content consists of a variety of variable graphics and animations that can be configured in a number of combinations so that winning numbers, stats, advertising content, and videos can be displayed exactly as each operator needs, rather than configurations.
“We’ve always focused on manufacturing products that offer flexibility but also meet the needs of the individual operator – we realize that one size does not fit all,” says Tristan Sjöberg, Executive Chairman of TCSJOHNHUXLEY. “Our new adaptive pay-per-view ads allow casinos to quickly and easily configure their displays with our local teams to create eye-catching displays that deliver information that’s creative and just right for them.”
The Adaptive Modular Graphic System is available for the Elite 29-inch single / dual display and the new 32-inch Ora Grande, both designed for excellent visibility from all angles on the gaming floor.
TCSJOHNHUXLEY also presented some new products of its worldwide product range at the ICE London in February. In ICE 2019, Blaze Craps debuted in Europe, joining other Blaze products, including Blaze Roulette and Blaze Money Wheel. Like all products in the suite, Blaze Craps features eye-catching, energy-efficient LED lights positioned below the surface of the gaming table, displaying unique “attraction sequences” and custom animations while highlighting winning numbers.
The industry’s only patented table technology to illuminate custom video animations through the layout, Blaze has proven, according to press material, to be an exciting addition to any gaming floor. Blaze LED surface technology has been extensively launched in the global live gaming market with over 600 Blaze Sic Bo units across Asia and over 100 Blaze Roulette tables installed in 2018 in the Americas.
The Blaze suite of products also increases the security on the casino floor and supports dealers with gaming accuracy. Players and gaming staff can benefit from the fact that the winning numbers are clearly highlighted, and with the improved visibility of these sections, pit bosses and security personnel can easily monitor game play remotely.
Alfastreet is another successful manufacturer of electronic and live gaming devices with products that are currently placed in 110 countries worldwide. At the ICE show in London, Alfastreet presented its latest products, including the double-sided Big Wheel, the multi-terminal Blackjack, Fish Hunter at the Felix S terminal and the VIP terminal.
The company’s machines are packed with the latest technology and take them to the top in order to give players the best experience and highest reliability for the operators, according to the press material.