Digital Tables Don’t Mean Better Tables

Planet Hollywood iTables
Planet Hollywood iTables

As a person who loves technology, I’m easily an early adopter (a term for people who are first to buy any new technology). Technology has revolutionized how we do everything and I’m willing to bet that almost everything you do throughout the day would have been done differently 20 years ago. It’s pretty exciting stuff. So when casinos began to introduce more technology into their table games, you would imagine I would be excited, but you would be wrong. (ED: Same here)

The biggest step forward was probably Rapid Roulette. A few years back the casino companies figured out that you could get many more Roulette spins per minute if you eliminate the time it takes to pay people out chips. Furthermore, if you cut out physical chips, you reduce the risk of people cheating and betting way too late. This was accomplished by making the betting digital, while keeping the roulette spin as-is.

The same people who invented Rapid Roulette (Shuffle Master) gave the same thought to Craps and released Rapid Craps at Bills Gamblin Hall. The concept was the same, where you had a betting terminal that basically made the time between rolls faster. Just like roulette, not everything is digital as the player still gets to throw the dice. I don’t think this game has been as successful since I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

Recently a company (ED: Shuffle Master) has started making a digital blackjack table that keeps the cards and chips electronic. The dealer would still be there running the game, but that’s all that would remain the same. Everything else is digital.

So why am I not fond of this? Because part of the fun (especially in Craps) in all that goes in to betting and interacting with the dealer. Rapid Roulette and Rapid Craps takes all of that interaction away. My dislike with the blackjack table only has to do with that I can just see a lot of people thinking the cards are rigged. Anytime a deck of cards becomes electronic, people are going to think that their hands are no longer left to chance, regardless of the truth. I’d rather just play in a real game, with real cards, with a real dealer. However, I do like that Rapid Roulette has lower limits than the full table game. It allows more people to get in on the action. So what do you think, do you like the technology?

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  1. JMP

    I’ve played ‘plain old’ electronic blackjack at PA casinos prior to table games being legalized and I didn’t like the experience, starting with I always wondered if the dealer’s shoe (each player, including the dealer, had his own 6 deck shoe) was stacked.

    • AC2LV

      Is that the machine with the (usually) busty dealers? I stay away from that. Just feels shady. Haha.

  2. JMP

    yeah, they rotate. sometimes you ended up with a dude. bad times.

  3. Eric

    I haven’t played Rapid Craps, but for Rapid Roulette, there can still be lots of fun interaction with the dealer. The difference is that if a dealer wants to be lousy and boring, they can be, because the computer does most of the work for them.

    But a fun dealer — and I’ve had great fun with the RR “Dealertainers” at Imperial Palace — can still offer lots of interaction at Rapid Roulette. Can still cheer for the players, root for your numbers, celebrate or commiserate with the table as needed.

    Personally, I wonder if the electronic format cuts down on their tips. I *always* tip when I win at RR, even if it’s just a couple of dollars thrown into the electronic tip jar on the screen. The dealers are often *very* grateful, even for small tips, which makes me think the other RR players aren’t heavy tippers.

    • AC2LV

      Eric, you’d have to imagine people won’t tip, generally, when others can’t see. While it’s human nature it’s sad. I don’t think many people tip on RR. I’ve only played that once and I hated it. At least with the regular game you have the action of the table being so close. I see much more fun at the actual tables than RR which is spread out and feels almost dead.

      Still haven’t been to IP…don’t want to ever go. Haha.

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