Deal or No Deal Video Poker Games to Debut on Casino Floors Soon
I remember when the game show “Deal or No Deal” debuted. I watched it, intrigued by some new gambling-like game hosted by Howie Mandel. And it had a catchy name. It was stupid. But hey, it’s popular, so why not turn it into a real gambling game you can play in a casino? That’s what Gamblit Gaming has done, partnering with Endemol Shine Gaming, a company which is part of Endemol Shine Group, the creator and producer of the television show, to develop two poker-based versions of “Deal or No Deal.”
Gamblit Gaming unveiled its two real-money games at the Global Gaming Expo last October, but it was not until last week that the company announced that it would finally roll them out to casino floors. The plan is for it to happen this year.
“I’ve loved Deal or No Deal ever since I watched the first episode with my family,” said Darion Lowenstein, Chief Marketing Officer at Gamblit Gaming, in a press release. “Now being able to re-create the excitement, intensity and pure FUN of the massive global hit show with friends or as a single player in the modern arcade – the casino – is both a personal and career high.”
Deal or No Deal the Television Game Show
If you have never watched the show, let me explain it to you. 26 numbered, closed briefcases containing an amount of money ranging from one cent to one million dollars, each flanked by a female model, are presented to the contestant. The contestant selects one to be his potential prize.
In the first round of the game, the contestant eliminates six of the remaining briefcases from the game and, in turn, the models open them to show what dollar amounts were inside. Obviously, seeing a high dollar amount is bad, as that means there isn’t a chance for that prize to be in the briefcase the contestant originally picked. At that point, a “banker” gives the contestant a monetary offer, an amount based on some percentage of the average prize still available. The contest can take the “deal” or say “no deal” and keep playing.
More rounds go on from there, with the contestant eliminating briefcases and the banker making offers. Usually, family members are present to cheer the contestant on or to urge the contestant to take the deal. Like I said, it’s all pretty dumb, as it’s all luck with maybe a little thought involved as to whether or not to take the deal.
Deal or No Deal Poker
The first casino game is Deal or No Deal Poker, a version of video poker using the game show as a vehicle. The game essentially plays just like traditional video poker – it’s five-card draw where you decide which cards to hold and which cards to re-draw. Winnings are paid based on a payout table displayed on the screen. Nothing new there.
The Deal or No Deal twist is that above each card is as column of four briefcases, each containing a card from the deck. When replacing a discard, you select one of the briefcases in the column above that spot in the hand, rather than the card just being dealt from the top of a virtual deck.
If you hold four cards and only select one new one, the game is the same as video poker. If you hold three or fewer cards, it changes. After the first new card is unveiled and injected into your hand, the banker presents an offer, based on the probabilities of hands that can still be made and the pay table. You can take the deal and end the game right there, or reject it and select the next card from a briefcase. Rinse, repeat.
Deal or No Deal Poker Special – The More the Merrier
Deal or No Deal Poker Special is a multi-player game where up two to four players compete against one another on a sit-down video table (picture the classic Pac-Man cocktail table arcade games, but fancier). Here, thirteen briefcases with varying prizes (some of which are less than your bet) are shuffled in the middle of the screen and each player selects one to be his prize should he win (similar to the “Deal or No Deal” TV show). Then, each player is dealt two cards, face-up, and 45 seconds are put on a timer.
When the game begins and the timer starts counting down, playing cards are displayed in the middle of the screen, one at a time. If you see a card you want to add to your hand, you hit the “Grab Card” button. If you are the only or quickest one to do so, that card whisks over to your hand. This keeps going, players racing to make their best five-card hand. It requires fast decision making, as you need to decide what hand you’re going for (there’s no guarantee the cards you want will appear) and how it compares to others’ hands. And then, of course, you need to have the fastest fingers if you want the same card as someone else, or even perhaps want to grab a card to block your opponent.
When a player completes his five-card hand, the timer goes into “Burndown” mode, advanced to just eleven seconds remaining, requiring the rest of the players to go into their own panic mode.
When the clock hits zero, the hands are evaluated and a winner is determined, based on the best poker hand. It’s not over there, though. Most of the potential prize amounts are removed from contention, leaving just a few possibilities for what could be in the winner’s briefcase. The banker then makes an offer to the winner, which can be accepted or declined if the winner wants to take what’s in the briefcase. Remember, several of the prizes are lower than the bet, so even the winner can lose money. After all, the casino won’t make money if someone wins every time.
While I do think “Deal or No Deal” is a silly, pointless gameshow, I could definitely see myself playing one of these poker games in a casino. Deal or No Deal Poker is a more interesting, entertaining version of video poker and Dela or No Deal Poker Special looks like it could provide some exciting, fast-paced competition.