Is Azure Gaming’s Shoot to Win Craps all it’s ‘crapped’ up to be?
For the last two decades, all the classic
casino games of old have been digitally reinvented. An endless online
gambling space was built upon the concept of virtual gaming machines.
Slots, tables, video poker, even horse racing and sports betting now
take place in a virtual realm, just as they do in the physical.
It’s not just cyberspace that is catering to an
electronically interactive realm of virtual gambling. Land-based
casinos are catering to the same technological advancements whenever
possible. Azure Gaming is one of many companies looking to
accommodate that need, going so far as to develop a mechanical craps
game that requires no dealer or boxman.
Shoot to Win Craps by Azure Gaming
Shoot to Win is a mechanical
edition of the same old craps games we’ve come to know and love over
centuries of dice rolling. Modern casinos took the game off the
streets and onto felted tables, where it could be properly wagered on
– in their favor, of course.
A traditional craps table is large, featuring a
massive, dual-sided betting diagram that offers a wide variety of
single and multi-roll bets, props, odds and more. The table is so
large, and often so overrun with players, that at least two employees
are required to run it. For the most part, one handles the dice, and
the other handles the bets.
Azure Gaming’s Shoot to Win game is an
electro-mechanical version that eliminates the need for any employees
to run it. It can accommodate up to 8 players at once, with each
having access to their own touch-screen kiosk. Each player will tap
the screen to place and adjust their bets or collect winnings.
According to the company, what sets this
electronic game apart from so many others is that players still have
a sense of control. There are two oversized dice encapsulated in a
large clear bubble in the center of the craps game. Taking turns,
just like a real table, each player is given the opportunity to be
the shooter. A big red Shoot to Win button is provided to
quake the dice bubble and get them rolling.
“By rolling the dice, the players will
experience the excitement just like the live tables,” says a
spokesman for Azure.
Simulation Allows for Taking Craps Odds
Being an admirable simulation of real craps
tables aside, the first thing any veteran craps player is sure to ask
is whether Shoot to Win offers craps odds. If unable to take odds of
at least 5x, most educated players will walk away. That’s because
taking odds on certain bets is the only way to get the house edge low
enough for a strategy-driven gambler to see it as being worth the
Fortunately, Azure’s Shoot to Win Craps tables
do provide the option to take odds on the same bets a traditional
table would allow for. As for how high those odds can go, that’s up
to the casino that installs the game. Odds of at least 5x are
standard, although some casinos have been known to increase them to
10x or more.
Is Mechanical Craps All it’s Crapped Up to Be?
I suppose it depends on what you’re looking to
get out of the experience. On the positive side, it mimics all
possible craps bets and payouts perfectly. Being electronic, it also
eliminates the possibility of human error by a croupier, boxman, or
On the negative side of that spectrum, the
typical level of excitement shared between players around a
traditional table is almost non-existent. It’s as if the electronic,
touch-screen format sucks the communal experience out of the game. If
that’s not a draw for you anyway, you may still get plenty of
entertainment out of it. If not, the real craps table might be more
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