This weekend I visited the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma (mostly to hit the buffet), and I discovered 2 casino table games I’d never played before – Shoot to Win Craps and Virtual Roulette. Both games are produced by Aruze Gaming.
I had some fun playing both games, especially since the minimum bets were so low. Below I explain all the pertinent details for each game, and I also provide some notes about my results on both games.
Virtual Roulette is an example of something called an “electronic table game.” In other words, it recreates the traditional table games, but instead of using physical machinery – like a spinning wheel and a metal ball – it generates results with a random number generator program.
The most interesting thing about the Virtual Roulette game that I played was the video display. I’ve played plenty of 2-dimensional roulette simulations on the internet. They’re old hat. I’ve even seen some online games that were supposedly 3-dimensional.
But I’ve ever seen anything like this virtual roulette wheel.
8 roulette players sit in a circle around a virtual roulette wheel – one that looks astoundingly reel.
As the player, you also have a monitor in front of you that you can use to place bets. One of the aspects of the game that was interesting to me was betting limits. You could bet as little as $1 or as much as $4000.
If you’ve read much about the Martingale System for playing roulette, you probably already know that having a big gap between the minimum and maximum bet makes the Martingale more effective (even though it’s still a losing system in the long run.)
The computer monitors above the wheel display statistics about the previous 200 results. It includes what percentage of those results were red or black, for example, and it displays which numbers have hit the most often and least often.
Roulette systems players are bound to love this aspect of the game, even though the Gambler’s Fallacy is a mathematical truism that applies here as well as with mechanical roulette games.
When you’re dealing with independent random events, the results of the previous events have no bearing on the results of the next event. In other words, even if the ball has landed on red 8 times in a row, it’s just as likely to land on red on the next spin as ever – it’s still 47.37%.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve noticed that I’ve mentioned 3 sets of computer screens on this game, and you might be puzzled about how that works.
You have a monitor in front of you which displays the betting surface that you’d normally see at a roulette table. It’s a touchscreen, so you place your bets by inserting money into the game and placing your bets by touching the appropriate spot on the screen. I had some trouble making single-number bets, though – most of the time, when I tried, the touchscreen thought I was trying to make a split bet (a bet on 2 numbers). I eventually got the hang of it. Bigger screens might alleviate this problem, but I’m sure Aruze Gaming tested these games before manufacturing them, too.
The monitors displaying all the statistical information are in front of you and above the round monitor that makes up the actual wheel itself.
One fun thing about this game is that you get to “shoot the ball” yourself – this rotates around the table. To shoot the ball, you just move your finger on the touchscreen in front of you.
Another fun thing about Virtual Roulette is the progressive jackpot. This is a side bet and has no effect on the main game or the main action.
I used the Martingale System while I was playing, and I started with a $5 bet. I lost 4 times in a row before winning, so I almost lost my bankroll:
- Spin #1 – I lost $5
- Spin #2 – I lost $10
- Spin #3 – I lost $20.
- Spin #4 – I lost $40.
On my 5th spin, I bet $80 and won, which won back the $75 I’d lost so far along with another $5.
This was just in time, as I’d only brought $200 to play with, and I wouldn’t have been able to place the next bet in the series.
So, I won $5 playing Virtual Roulette.
Shoot to Win Craps
I was more excited to play Shoot to Win Craps, because it gave me the opportunity to explain how craps works to my date before taking her to the real craps table. Like Virtual Roulette, Shoot to Win Craps involves sitting around the game proper, but in Shoot to Win Craps, you actually have dice in an upside-down glass jar of sorts. They’re big dice, so it’s easy to see the results after each roll of the dice.
Also, like Virtual Roulette, the minimum bet is just $1, and the game also offers an optional side bet on a progressive jackpot. The maximum bet was $4000. I’m sure the minimum and maximum bets are flexible and can be changed by the casino operator in charge of the game.
If you’re familiar with how to play craps, you know that casinos limit the size of the “odds bet.” This is always expressed as a multiple of the pass (or don’t pass) bet that you’ve made.
On the version of Shoot to Win Craps that I played, the limit was 2X.
I’m a proud low roller, so I was betting $1 at a time on the pass line. I was also making a lot of come bets. I maxed out the odds bet on those at $2.
The interface was intuitive and took no time at all to learn how to use, although, if you’re not familiar with the game already, it might take you a little longer to get the hang of it.
The dice in the game were far larger than the dice you’d find at a regular craps table, and they didn’t seem to “roll” as much on some of the rolls. I can’t imagine that they weren’t providing truly random results, because I can’t hallucinate a way that you could rig a pair of dice and keep your license.
But I suppose it’s possible that the probabilities were somehow different from what you’d expect from a pair of 6-sided dice.
I bought in to Shoot to Win Craps with about $25, and I finished with $19, so I lost $6 total.
But I played for almost an hour on that money, so I felt like I got excellent value for my gambling dollar.
I know that Aruze Gaming has multiple other games in the casino, because I saw those games. They were located near the Shoot to Win Craps and Virtual Roulette games. The Wheel of Prosperity slot machine game was especially prominent in that area of the casino, in fact.
According to their website, Aruze Gaming also has electronic versions of baccarat, blackjack, “Lucky Big Wheel,” and Sic Bo.
I didn’t see any of those games, but if they were made with the same craftsmanship as Shoot to Win Craps and Virtual Roulette, I’m sure they’ll be a big success.
I’d almost rather play these versions of the games than the “real” versions.