e_gamers operations configurations

 

 

 

 

This document describes all of the games we have or are immediately planned for, and the various hardware configurations upon which they can be run.

 

This pulls everything SpikerSystems e-Gamers division offers together into a single clear perspective.

 

It also explains terminology we use to describe our products and their capabilities, and translates these capabilities into a summary of advantages provided by utilizing our software.

 

 

 

26-May-2009

 

Written by Marty Wollner

Architect for SpikerSystems, LLC


 

Current Games List:

 

1)     Ricochet

2)     RicoCraps

3)     Sic-Bo

4)     TDC_7_14_outs

5)     TDC_7_14_Trips_outs

6)     RouleDice

7)     European RouleDice

8)     Traditional Roulette (single and double zeros)

9)     European Roulette (single zero)

10)Traditional Craps

11)Crapless Craps

 

All of these games include the following TruePlaceBet games:

 

TruePlace-No-Zero_Roulette (See Note 2, below)

TruePlace-Eighteen_And_I_Like_It

TruePlace-Bakers’_Dozen

TruePlace-Cat-O-Nine_Tails

TruePlace-Six_Geese

TruePlace-Four_Seasons

TruePlace-Eighteen_Rock_Paper_Scissors

TruePlace-Eighteen_Coin_Flip


Randomization input sources and games compatible under them:

 

3-dice rolls (using indistinguishable dice):

 

1)     Ricochet

2)     RicoCraps

3)     Sic-Bo

4)     TDC_7_14_outs

5)     TDC_7_14_Trips_outs

6)     Traditional Craps

7)     Crapless Craps

 

 

38-position wheel spins:

 

1)     RouleDice

2)     Traditional Roulette (single and double zeros)

3)     Traditional Craps

4)     Crapless Craps

 

 

37-position wheel spins:

 

1)     European RouleDice

2)     European Roulette (single zero)

3)     Traditional Craps

4)     Crapless Craps

 

36-position wheel spins:

 

1)     Traditional Craps

2)     Crapless Craps

 

Note 1: All TruePlaceBet games listed can be played with all of the randomization sources listed above.

 

2-dice rolls (using indistinguishable dice):

 

1)     Traditional Craps

2)     Crapless Craps

 

Note 2: All TruePlaceBet games, except for TruePlace-NoZero_Roulette can be played from a 2-dice roll.


 

Program components:

 

Game Program

 

These are also called host programs and server programs.

 

Each game program runs only one game from the Current Games List: above, plus all of the TruePlaceBet games listed. One Dealer RollStation, described below, controls a game.

 

Dealer Program

 

Each dealer program can be run in one of two modes; Active and Passive.

 

Active mode is also known as a RollStation mode, or simply called a RollStation. RollStations are operated by dealers and control one or more Game(s), making up a “Dealer Game Domain”.

 

Passive mode is also known as a Monitor mode, or simply called a Monitor. Monitors display live information about 1 or 2 games.

 

 

Player Program

 

Each Player Program is run by an individual player. Typically, a player only operates one Player Program, but can operate several in special circumstances, similar to a slot-machine player who plays several machines at the same time. Player login identification is optionally available (for example, a player rewards system).

 

Each Player program is controlled by one Game program at a time. Additionally, players can switch to other Game programs. The list of game programs available to the player is the “Player Game Domain”.  This list can span multiple “Dealer Game Domains.

 

Configuration Programs

 

These are tools used by the house to define the various configurations of computers, programs, and games to be implemented during runtime in the various domains specified within the casino, and/or between multiple casinos. A domain is a grouping of objects, such as a set of player terminals around a table, or a set of computer nodes in a part of the casino. A node is just another word for a computer.

 

This results in the creation of various lists (domains) of games available for players to choose. The “Player Game Domain” described above can be fixed, or it can vary with unidentified player cash-in, or can vary by identified player login.

 

SpikerSystems implements live updates to the “Player Game Domain” on-the-fly, implementing both types of HGP models patented by Signature Gaming Systems. See note 4 below.

 

 

 

 

See notes 3 and 4 below on advantages that result from these capabilities.


 

Hardware Components:

 

Host computer

 

These are also called servers or game controllers.

 

Currently, host computers must be running under VMS, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista. Plans are in place to allow them to run under Linux.

 

Each host computer must run a copy of BEAMessageQ software. If multiple host computers are to be run on the same network domain, each of them must be configured having unique MQ group numbers. All computers under a network domain should run under the same MQ bus:

 

In addition, host computers are networked via standard IP. Under IP, each computer in a domain must be configured with unique IP addresses.

 

Host Computer 1: Bus ID 4000, Group ID 601, IP 192.168.2.10

Host Computer 2: Bus ID 4000, Group ID 602, IP 192.168.2.20

Etc.

 

Each host computer can run 1 to many game domains, each containing 1 to many game programs and controlled by a single RollStation.

 

Each game specifies a unique IP socket and DMQ Queue number for network access. Thus, each game in a given network domain is identified by the combination of node and socket for IP, or by the combination of Bus, Group, and Queue for MQ.

 

Dealer Computer

 

Each Dealer computer typically runs only one copy of the dealer program. It is possible to run multiple copies, however, since the Dealer Program uses an interactive monitor screen integral to its functionality, this must be achieved with multiple windows on a single monitor, or by using multiple graphics cards, each connected to separate monitors. However, since the cost of complete computers (each having a computer and monitor) is now very minimal, it makes more sense to just use them.

 

Currently, Dealer computers must be run under Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Vista.

 

Currently, Dealer computers are networked via standard IP or by BEA MessageQ. Under IP, each computer in a network domain is identified by its IP addresses. Under DMQ, each computer on the network bus is identified by a Group number.

 

Player Computers

 

These are also known as PlayerStations. All of the comments made for Dealer computers apply to PlayerStations, with the obvious exception that they run the Player program.

 

Players can freely switch between games, but cannot switch while any committed bets are booked, unless the player chooses to surrender those bets. A Committed bet is one that cannot be taken down or reduced, such as a come bet that results from a pass line bet. See notes 3 and 4 below on the implications of these capabilities.

 

 

Domain configurations

 

 

Game Configurations

 

Each game must be controlled by at least one Dealer RollStation. It is advisable to not have more than one Dealer RollStation controlling a game, but it is possible and supported.

 

Each game can be monitored by an unlimited number of RollStations run in Passive mode.

 

Each game can also be used by an unlimited number of players in the domains of players allowed to use it, or, it can have player maximums within these domains, and these parameters can be changed on the fly to implement casino-wide player rewards strategies. See notes 3 and 4, below on NGP, TGP, and HGP possibilities.

 

 

RollStation configurations

 

A given RollStation can control multiple games concurrently, which is the basis upon which SpikerSystems patented mapping technology is implemented.

 

There are a very few limitations in the vast number of possible configurations, as shown in the following list:

 

RollStation controlling a single 2-dice (or any wheel) input game

RollStation controlling a single 3-dice game

RollStation controlling at lease one single 2-dice game and at lease one 3-dice game.

 

PlayerStation configurations

 

These have no limitations; a player can freely switch between any games available in the list of domains prepared.

 

 

Dynamic configurations

 

The e-Gamers platform allows these configurations and domain definitions to be defined simply by using some of our configuration tools.

 

In addition, our architecture allows on-the-fly changes to these configurations and definitions, and these can be changed quickly, often on-the-fly. See note 4 on the advantages of dynamic configurations, and the implications of these capabilities.


 

Note 3: NGP, TGP and HGP payouts, and casino incentives for players

 

NGP stands for “Normal Game Payouts”. TGP stands for “True odds Game Payouts”, and HGP stands for “Higher Game Payouts”. These are methods the casino can use for providing player incentives “internal” within the games available and within the payouts in effect, as opposed to “external” incentives, such as free buffet dinners.

 

Having provided the definitions of theses terms, the discussions below and in note 4, below, covers this in great detail. Much of these discussions are out of the scope of configuration operations.

 

However, several revolutionary implications and advantages of our e-Gamers architecture surface because of these configuration capabilities that go far beyond the great games we provide on it. So, please, read on!

 

Many casinos may not explicitly want to provide incentives these ways, because the “bottom line” is profits from gaming house advantages. However, nearly all casinos already do have “internal” incentives in some forms.

 

Gaming control regulations may also restrict some of this, but many private institutions and/or Indian reservations are not governed by such regulations, and besides, these features can simply be turned off or better yet, as shown below, used in ways that are fully approved.

 

Although rarely seen in live table games, here are real-world examples of procedures for providing NGP, TGP and HGP to players, categorized as follows:

 

1.     Changing the rules of a game

In Albuquerque, they had a randomly scheduled "happy hour", when Blackjack rules were altered, allowing players to choose to keep or ask for a new first card dealt, giving them a huge advantage.

 

2.     Changing the payouts of existing bets in a game

In Tunica, the managers randomly walked up to a craps table and announced "on the next roll, the hop-12 will pay 40 to 1 (the NGP of that bet is 30 to 1, the TGP is 36 to 1), so this was a huge player advantage.

It is common for a poker room to "splash a pot", that is, to add money into a table's pot, another example of embellishing the payouts. Again, this occurs at a random time within a schedule of time periods, like “once an hour, but you don’t know when”.

 

3.     Introducing new "bonus bets" in a game

I can’t think of an example of an HGP introduced as an on-the-fly bonus bet, but I'm sure it is also common.

 

 

4.     Decreasing the table minimums required to play a game

This is something already done manually by nearly all casinos, an example of a common practice to offer some forms of NGP and HGP; the incentive in this case is providing low table minimums in order to fill the tables during off hours.

 

 

We also need to consider the availability of HGP. This is discussed in note 4, below.

Note 4: Advantages of dynamic wager definitions and configurations

 

1.     Our software allows dynamic changes to the wager definitions, implemented on the fly during live gaming sessions.

For example, automatic scheduling of changing the table minimums during busy and off hours is implicitly provided.

 

2.     Our software allows changes to the definitions of the domains of PlayerStations controlled by various RollStations, and the games these RollStations control.

The instant benefit of this is that our casinos don’t have to continuously pay for Bally's or Shufflemaster to come in and re-configure their topology... our systems run on standard computer hardware with easy to use configuration tools, and programs that run in our architecture can be run upon and communicate with any node in the network, be it closed loop, area LAN, casino-wide, inter-casino, and/or the public internet.

 

3.     Our software allows dynamic changes to the definitions of domains of available games that players can choose from.

An entire new set of great advantages of the e-Gamers platform result from this capability.

 

 

I have seen some “slot machines” that offer multiple games. Lets call these Multiple Game Selection Stations or MGSS. These operate just like our Thrice suite, but against "Programmed" electronic games using random number generators.  These game stations work by having an "outer" screen to select a game, and one to many "inner" game screens. Similarly, in our Thrice suite games, you can also change games any time you don't have a committed wager.

 

However, I don't recall ever seeing a set of slot machines that all play against the same randomization event, giving everyone involved a truly shared gaming experience. And I have never seen a slot machine that plays against live gaming events giving players the best of both worlds.

 

And, I don't recall ever seeing a slot machine that offers a DYNAMIC game, that is, one that can change from "NGP" to "HGP” while it is running, although, a slot machine hooked up to a “progressive” jackpot really is a form of dynamic NGP and HGP.

 

For dealing with regulations that restrict such variability in games, implicit within the Thrice suite on the e-Gamers platform, those issues are bypassed simply by providing several separate games, each of which is distinctly defined. This simplifies the activities they are trying to define, and simplifies the reporting and accounting of these activities.

 

So, it is better to simply use more games with varying degrees of HGP, than to use fewer games with dynamic changes to provide HGP. Again, we already have that in place right now within the Thrice suite, and we also have it working for the player’s choice of live table games!

 

Next lets consider whether the HGP is OPENLY available (as I have only ever seen it), or is the availability LIMITED? And if so, how is it limited? (By the way, limited is good!)

 

Thrice implicitly has this capability simply by limiting maximum number of players allowed in a game, and so, players get play these “special HGP” games on a FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED (FCFS) basis. This translates into another big incentive, like having a free buffet diner with a bonus raffle prize. An immediate planned enhancement is to provide the PlayerStation game selection screen with fields showing the maximum number of players allowed, and the count of players currently in use, by game, allowed in the domain.

 

For example, a very generous HGP game can be made available to only 3 players out of 30. All 30 players will line up to play the HGP game when it becomes available, but have to play the SGP games while waiting.

 

To make it more attractive, FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED availability, with QUEUING (FCFS/wQ) is very simple to implement under our architecture, and one of our planned enhancements. Note that FCFC and FCFS/wQ do not require player identification, only PlayerStation identification.

 

The next feature is to provide dynamic game domain lists BY PLAYER, by connecting our systems into house player identification systems, such as the casino rewards system. This provides not only enhanced HGP games as “internal” player rewards (by making higher and higher HGP games available for bigger and bigger whales), it also provides a way to control “problem gamblers”, in a very controlled manner that is both simple and private; if a problem gambler exceeds say, a daily loss limit, the list of games available can be reduced to those which limit the maximum bets, or change to penny, and even “for fun only” bets, thus keeping the customer in the casino, and everyone happy.

 

The casinos utilizing our e-Gamers platform to provide these great advantages can advertise any or all of these capabilities to achieve maximum utilization and profit potential, in addition to the myriad of other benefits implicit with our platform, including safety, reliability, prevention of theft, reduced and simplified manpower requirements, decreased payout time and game cycle time, monetary accountability and reporting, and above all, player enjoyment because the shared live gaming experience and cross-randomization inputs are unheard of in live gaming today, in addition to the vast savings passed onto them resulting from these efficiencies.