2011 Global Gaming Expo, part 5

8 November 2011

Leading Edge Design has made its name with its creativity in electronic games. It was Leading Edge who designed the Gems Wild Tiles cascading reels game and Multi-Strike Poker, both licensed and distributed by International Game Technology.

But at the beginning of October, as the casino industry was preparing for the Global Gaming Expo, Leading Edge was shifting perspective from the slot floor to the table pits. Steven De Mar, the director of business development and brother of founder Larry De Mar, was at Las Vegas' Hard Rock Casino, helping oversee the installation of Leading Edge's first table game, 7-14-21.

"The Hard Rock is our second install, and it's very, very exciting," said De Mar, the director of business development and brother of company founder Larry De Mar. "Our first was the Palms, where we went into field trial in June. It did great there, and that's what drew the attention of the Hard Rock."

For its entry into the table games market, Leading Edge initially looked at licensing the game to a bigger company. That model has served the designers well in placing their electronic games with slot giant IGT. But while IGT does manufacture and distribute multiplayer electronic versions of table games, games with live dealers and real cards aren't really in its bailiwick. Leading Edge explored options with other companies before finally deciding to distribute 7-14-21 itself. The company is approved and licensed in Nevada.

The game itself is easy to deal and to play. Each player and the dealer get six cards, and must sort them into three two-card hands. The object is to get one hand as close to 7 as possible without going over, one hand close to 14 and one hand close to 21.

You win on any hand that's closer to the targeted total than the dealer's hand. Ties push. The house gets an edge because on any hand in which both you and the dealer bust, the house wins. A loss on one hand doesn't affect the others, though. If you bust on 7 and 14, you still could win the 21 hand. And the player gets a 4-1 payoff on a "perfect hand" in which the three totals are exactly 7, 14, 21.

Dealers make their best 21 hand first, then their best 14 hand, with the remaining two cards as the 7 hand. Players don't have to follow the house way. In fact, the card distributed by Leading Edge recommends that players first try to arrange the hands so that none bust, with second priority being the strongest 7 hand, then the strongest 14. That leaves a house edge of 7.78%.

You can do better than that. On his wizardofodds.com site, Michael Shackleford details a power rating system that he says takes the house edge all the way down to 0.59%. That would make it one of the better bets in the casino, as well as being a fun new way to play.

The 7-14-21 game comes with an optional bonus bet with payoffs that start on even money if you win two of three hands, then increases to 7-1 for winning all three, 16-1 for a perfect hand of 7, 14, and 21, 50-1 if all cards are the same suit, 100-1 for a perfect hand with all red or all black cards, or a 2,000-1 bonanza for a perfect hand with all six cards in the same suit. The house edge is variable, because your sorting decisions could be affected by whether you make the side bet, but we're basically looking at something between 2.5 and 3%.

ROLL 'EM: One of the new table games on display at Global Gaming Expo was Brill Entertainment's Scossa, a dice game with roots in roulette. There are no multi-roll wagers as in craps — every bet is decided in a single roll, except for a Triple 7s Bonus Bet that pays 200-1 if the shooter rolls three 7s in a row.

You can place your bets on single numbers, just as in roulette, and you can make roulette-like split bets by placing your chips between numbers. For example, there's a long space for a two-card total of 6 just above the long space for a 2. A bet on 6 pays 6-1, a bet on 2 pays 34-1, or your bet can straddle the line between the two and get both numbers for a 4-1 payoff.

Hardways — two dice of the same number — are available 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12, and all pay 34-1. And there are range bets on 3-4-5-6 and 8-9-10-11 that pay even money.

The layout is clean and without the complication of multi-roll wagers, Scossa is easy to learn.

Related Links
Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2011
Live Dealer Games

This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at fscobe@optonline.net.