Wed, Aug 23, 5:03pm by Staff Writer
After enjoying a successful international debut of its “Buster Blackjack” side bet – which has been spread at Crown Casino in Melbourne since this January – American Gaming Systems (AGS) demonstrated several new creations at the Australasian Gaming Expo.
The largest gaming industry trade show in the region, the Australasian Gaming Expo took place between August 15-17, with the world’s leading casino game designers, equipment manufacturers, and technological innovators gathering at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.
There, AGS looked to capitalise on the momentum provided by Buster Blackjack by introducing Australian casino operators to its wider product portfolio.
According to a press release issued by John Hemberger, who serves as senior vice president of table products for AGS, the Australian market is a newfound focus after players at Crown Melbourne warmly welcomed Buster Blackjack:
“After a successful launch of Buster Blackjack at Crown Melbourne earlier this year, we’re excited to expand further into Australia.
The market’s appetite for variety, combined with our deep product portfolio and the passion and experience of our team aligns with our commitment to diversity and expanding our reach internationally.
We are glad to be a part of this year’s show and meet more operators from around the country.”
The Buster Blackjack side bet was originated by AGS in 2015 – with more than 1,100 placements worldwide to date – and it arrived at Crown Melbourne in January to rave reviews.
The wager is added to traditional blackjack tables, allowing players to bet on the dealer going bust to earn a separate 2 to 1 payout. That reward rises to 4 to 1 when the dealer busts holding five cards, 15 to 1 on a six-card dealer bust, 50 to 1 for the seven-card variety, and 250 to 1 when the dealer uses eight cards to go over 21.
From a strategy perspective, the 6.21 percent house edge offered by Buster Blackjack isn’t exactly palatable – but as Crown Melbourne players proved, the wager’s “fun factor” overrides its inferior odds.
With the company’s name now established among Australian casino operators, AGS arrived at the Australasian Gaming Expo to demonstrate three new games/wagers.
Chase the Flush is a table game played against the dealer, with both taking three hole cards and combining them with four community cards. As the game’s title suggests, the objective of Chase the Flush is to create the longest possible flush – or a poker hand consisting of suited cards. In the case of ties, the highest card rank used within the flush determines the winner.
Dai Bacc is a new take on baccarat, offering players commission-free gameplay and a variety of optional “Bonus Bets.”
Hemberger described Dai Bacc as follows this March, when AGS signed a global installation deal with EGC LLC:
“Dai Bacc’s distinctive bonus bets offer very high payout potential with the introduction of The Kill Bet™, which means players have an added advantage of winning even if the other two side bets lose.
Because of its appealing bet structure, we believe Dai Bacc has the potential to become one of the most popular baccarat variations in the world, and our goal is to bring the power of Dai Bacc to casinos worldwide through our well-established sales network.”
Bonus Spin, which AGS acquired in 2015 along with Buster Blackjack, is a virtual game wheel added to existing table games. Players can earn opportunities to spin the wheel during the base gameplay, giving themselves a shot to earn additional bonus prizes in a luck-based “freeroll.”
Here’s what Hemberger had to say about Bonus Spin when the acquisition was completed:
“Bonus Spin is the successful centerpiece of our Count’s Kustoms Blackjack game and now that we own the technology, we look forward to introducing even more entertainment-themed brands that utilize this feature.
The Bonus Spin technology also enables AGS to offer progressive upgrades for our entire library of over 20 table game titles.”
With the Australasian Gaming Expo now in the books, Australian players may be seeing these three AGS products appearing at their local casinos throughout the year.
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