Electronic Table Games

There are three types of electronic table games: heads up, stadium and video. The sections below cover the differences between each type of game.

Heads Up Gaming

Heads up is when a player bets on the machine directly with no interaction from other players. Examples are craps machines where a dice bubble is located at each station, upright roulette machines and Casino Wizard machines, which have three or four games available.

Heads up machines allow players to gamble without concern about other players’ speed. It starts when a player deposits money, places the minimum required bet, and the timer counts down. The game can be sped up by pushing the deal/roll/spin button. Other stations do not affect the outcome or timing of the game.

Stadium Gaming

Stadium games consist of a set of machine stations and centralized action. Stadiums have multiple games. They can be played at the same time.

Baccarat, blackjack and roulette were the main games in most of the stadiums we saw. Other games we have found on stadiums are big wheel, craps and Three Card Poker.

Three Card Poker is the least common stadium game. We found it at Mount Airy, a Pennsylvania casino. It is also dealt at Lodge Casino in Black Hawk and Silverton in Las Vegas. In stadium Three Card Poker, the dealer receives three cards. Nine cards are laid out in a tic tac toe pattern. Players pick three to make up their hand.

Stadiums may also have a live dealer component. With a live dealer, all players join in the same game against the dealer. Baccarat, big wheel, craps and roulette are played and bet the same as the live versions. Each player has an individual screen to keep track of bets for each active game.

Differences from live table games

All players at a stadium blackjack game receive the same base hand at stadium gaming devices. Differences occur when some players hit or split while others stand. This could create different results for both sets of players and a different resulting dealer’s hand. Cards are dealt in the same order, but where they appear on the board depends on each player’s actions.

For example, one player stands on 12 against a dealer’s 2 while another player hits it. The player that stands will see the next card appear with the dealer’s hand. The player that hit receives this card. The dealer’s draw card is different for these players.

In a live Three Card Poker game, unique cards are dealt to all players. This is not true for the stadium version. Nine cards are dealt face down in three rows of three, resulting in nine different line combinations available. Each player chooses three numbers that coincide with these rows. Cards are then flipped over and players bet according to the hands they randomly chose. The dealer’s hand is dealt separately. 

Stadium baccarat, Big Wheel, craps and roulette do not differ from the live games. Each version plays similarly.

Video Gaming

Small multi-screen setups with only one game variant are considered video gaming. Video games are played like the live table versions. The actions and speed of players may affect the whole game.

Players club policies differ on these games

One of the perks of playing electronic table games is earning slot points through a players club on the action. However, the policy is different at each casino, even within the same company.

Most electronic table games permit the use of a players card. If the machine accepts the card, the player is likely rated at least equivalent to the live version of the game.

The electronic table game may also pay slot points, either at the standard level or a reduced one. If the game does not pay full points, it should have a disclosure explaining what it does instead. For example, if a player typically earns a slot point for ever dollar wagered, an electronic table game may require $4 or more for that slot point. The disclosure may also say no points are earned.

The policy may also depend on the game. If blackjack pays 6:5 instead of 3:2, it is more likely to pay slot points. Games where players can bet both sides, like craps, roulette and baccarat, are less likely to offer slot points due to fears of it being abused by those that bet player and banker in baccarat, red and black at roulette or pass and don’t pass at craps at the same time.

Even if the electronic table game does not pay points, it may still be worth using a players card. The casino may base comps off of the theoretical house edge of the game. This could trigger mailers with free offers like hotel, slot play and food. It may also help you get deals from a casino host.