Modern slot technology has enabled a new tournament form to set up in seconds, display standings in real-time, stream online video of game entrants, and instantly verify final results.
These aren’t tournaments as we knew them a few decades ago, or maybe a few years ago, or even as they’re still run at many casinos now. Modern slot technology has affected how do slot tournaments work and has enabled a replacement sort of the tournament which will be found out instantly, display standings in real-time, transmit video of entrants at the games, and immediately verify final results.
It’s a long cry from old-style tournaments when the casino had to either maintain a bank of specialized tournament games that were turned off during non-tournament periods or physically replace chips and reel strips so that all participants could play the same game. To provide the high frequency of huge wins that makes tournament play so thrilling, games had to be installed with tournament chips, which had to be changed back if the machines were to be utilized for cash play.
Aside from that, players had to check in at a desk or with a roving casino staffer with a clipboard, and their names and admission status had to be checked. Modern systems can link a player’s entrance status to their club information. Instead of an employee writing down a final score and delivering a slip to the player, which might lead to disagreements if the player believes the score was greater than the recorded information, scores are finalized electronically. It is a printout of the player obtaining a written record.
GAMES FOR MULTIMEDIA
TournEvent enables casinos to switch connected machines from regular play to tournament mode in less than 10 seconds. Casinos may hold tournaments and in any location with networked devices. TournEvent products have been available from Multimedia Games since 2009, but the continuous improvements make it something new every year. It provides real-time standings updates, has a camera for streaming video of participants, and the most recent version has a Pop’n’ Win function in which players physically strike balloons or objects on the screen for extra points. Instead of just hitting the play button as in previous tournaments, participants must be prepared to launch a two-handed attack when the balloons emerge.
TECHNOLOGIES FOR BALLY
Bally tournament games may be played in full-screen mode on machines from any manufacturer using the iView. Bally DM tournaments have already been held on slot machines from Aristocrat, Konami, IGT, and WMS, in addition to Bally. Eight DM games, including video slot and poker games, are developed for various tournament formats.
The DM tournament system includes “automatic player enrollment,” which means that all participants have to insert their rewards card to confirm their eligibility. Scoring is automated, and gaming displays provide real-time standings changes.
Bally has long been a pioneer in supplying casino floor management systems, and all DM tournament deployments have taken place at casinos that employ Bally systems. However, a new program called Tournament Express will soon make casinos that use other management systems to operate Bally DM tournaments.
GAME TECHNOLOGY ON THE INTERNET
If there is a market for electronic gaming, you can bet IGT will be a part of it. In the case of instant tournaments, IGT’s key offering is the Tournament Manager system. It’s a centralized web-based application that manages things from the player and the operator perspectives.
Players can enter a tournament by swiping their player rewards card at a kiosk or a workstation. Tournament play is being streamlined thanks to automated setup and the elimination of old-school clipboard signup. The iPad will soon be able to produce entries. A casino staffer wanders across the slot floor near tournament times, asking players if they’re interested and signing them up on the spot with a card swipe on an iPad attachment.
Tournament Manager contains tournament-optimized game versions. Operators may swiftly alter machines to display high-paying tournament-style games, whether a unique tournament version of a famous IGT game like Siberian Storm or a video poker game at a high paytable.
IGT’s Tournament Manager has a wild-card re-entry option, a fun twist. Suppose the casino operator wants to provide the function. In that case, the system can randomly choose a player eliminated by a low-scoring early round and award them a pass into the next game. The random pick might be released later in the day, before the next round begins, providing those who performed poorly in the early rounds a reason to stay and possibly a second opportunity at some prize money.
True-Time Tournaments is Konami’s foray into the brave new world of updated slot events, and Konami’s SYNKROS casino application suite powers it. It takes advantage of True Time Windowing’s picture-in-picture functionality to allow tournament games to be played on the entire game screen of any touch-screen equipped system.
A Tournament Director module administers leader boards and keeps track of players. Even if the machines aren’t nearby, casinos can set up quick tournaments. Competitors can earn entry and compete at their own pace using a Player-on-Demand system, rather than being confined to preset event periods. Players can earn several entries and play multiple times to publish their best score if the operator so desires.
Using the same technology that tells players when they’ve received free play, meal comps, or other prizes, a message system directly at the machine may inform players when they’ve earned entries.
When a player selects an entry, the machine immediately enters tournament gaming mode. When the threshold is finished, the game returns to normal mode, and the player may resume regular play.
The slot tournament has finally become what it was always meant to be. There is no need to change reel strips. There will be no taking games out of play to shift chips. There is no fuss. There is no hassle—just some good old-fashioned tournament fun.