Every inventor thinks their new game is going to be a sure-fire hit. It's taken Three Card Poker about 15 years to get to 1500 or so tables. Everyone else is sure they can do it in 2 to 3 years. So what, if so far, no other game has even come close. I believe the record for fastest game to 100 tables belongs to Ultimate Texas Hold'em and that took just over a year.
So, in reality, I can't say with any certainty that any of the games I'm going to discuss today will make it to a casino any time soon. They will, however, be on display at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) next week, at the Shuffle Master booth. I didn't work on these games, so I can't give much insight into the strategy or the math (yet). If you're going to the show this year, make sure to check these games out. Next week, for the G2E edition, I'll review a couple of games I did the math on and be able to go more in depth on each.
Cincinnati 7 Card Stud
The base game is a simple game going head-to-head against the Dealer. You make an Ante and Blind wager. You get to look at the first 6 cards of what will eventually be a 7-card hand. After reviewing your 6-cards, you can Fold or Play 1x or 2x your Ante. The Dealer reveals his 7-cards and you get to see your 7th card. If the Dealer beats you (best 5 out of 7 cards), you lose all your wagers. If you beat the Dealer, the Ante and Play pay even money and the Blind pays according to the paytable. There is also a bonus sidebet that pays if your 7-card hand is Three of a Kind or better.
The twist in Cincinnati 7 is the second optional sidebet. Here, you are playing against all the other Players as well. Top hand takes the enitre pot - as long as it at least a Two Pair or Better. The Dealer participates just like every other Player - including putting up a wager each hand. If nobody has Two Pair or better, all the wagers carry over to the next round. Obviously, you can't jump into the middle of a pot. If you skip a round, you're out until someone wins the pot. Get a mini hot streak and you can increase your bankroll quickly. It should also be noted that this sidebet has NO house advantage. You're playing true odds against everyone.
Another relatively simple to understand game against the Dealer. Player makes an Ante Wager and is dealt 6 cards. The Dealer is dealt 6 cards as well and turns over three of them, face up. Player can now Fold or Play, making another wager equal to the Ante. The Dealer reveals the rest of his hand. If the Dealer does not have an A-K or better, the Ante pushes and the Play wager is won or lost depending on who has the best hand (best 5 out of 6 cards). If the Dealer does have an A-K or better, then both Ante and Play wagers are won or lost depending on who has the best hand.
There is also an Aces Up sidebet that pays if the Player's hand is a Pair of Aces or better. This sidebet pays even if the Player folds. Yes, you will Fold with a Pair of Aces if the Dealer's three upcards are Three of a Kind.
This one is a bit more complex and a little reminiscent of Mississippi Stud. To begin Play, you make an Ante Wager and get 4 cards. You must now either Fold or discard 1 card AND make a wager of 1-4x your Ante. The Dealer will now expose the 1st of 3 community cards. You must now either Fold or make a wager of 1-3x your Ante. Dealer will expose the 2nd of 3 community cards and you will either Fold or make a wager 1-2x your Ante.
The Dealer will expose the final community card and then expose his 3 cards. Best 5 out of 6 cards wins. The Ante will pay according to the paytable. All other wagers pay even money.
The betting structure on this one means you'll be wagering at least 4 units if you stay in until the end and might wager as much 10 units. Unlike Mississippi Stud, you might have a likely winner, but you will rarely have a guaranteed winner.
There is also a one-way bad beat sidebet. If you lose with a Pair of Jacks or Better, you win this sidebet. This wager stays in action even if you Fold your base wager.
If you make it to the show and get to check out these games, feel free to let me know your thoughts about any or all of them. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my blog at gambatria.blogspot.com.