Table game supplier TCSJohnHuxley has said a new roulette side bet offered exclusively by the El Cortez in Downtown Las Vegas has been a hit with players.
Called the Cone, the bonus bet is part of the Richer Roulette game. IT is a product of TCSJohnHuxley and Las Vegas inventor Richard Fitoussi, a longtime friend of El Cortez executives and owners.
The new side bet is a bonus to the traditional roulette game. Nothing on the layout has changed with regard to any of the outside or inside bets. Instead, the roulette apparatus itself is different. Inside the traditional wheel is a second wheel; the two spin on independently rotating cylinders. The inner cylinder, the Cone, has bonus icons marked in silver and gold.
The Cone bets are placed on a second set of numbers arranged in a racetrack pattern. Once these bets are made, the dealer announces no more side bets, though players can continue to place bets on the traditional layout until those bets are also called off.
The gold and silver icons are equally spaced on the Cone. The dealer spins it in the opposite direction from the outer wheel. When it stops, each icon is aligned with a number. The player wins when the ball lands in a pocket that is adjacent to an icon and that number matches the number bet on the Cone racetrack.
If the lone gold icon falls on a number with a wager, the payout is 300-to-1. If one of the nine silver icons falls on one of the numbers, the payout is 100-to-1.
The higher payouts have been attracting players to the game. By comparison, hitting traditional roulette numbers pays 35-to-1.
“We have had a long relationship with Richard Fitoussi, and we’ve beta tested a few of his other games,” said El Cortez General Manager Adam Wiesberg. “He’s a great designer, and comes up with some exciting things. When we saw the roulette, we were very interested immediately, because roulette’s a social game. People like the excitement of that 35-to-1 payout.
“Roulette players like the volatility of the game,” Wiesberg added. “That’s why we’re seeing positive early results from this game within the game. We have some people who play it more than the traditional layout.”
Roulette players like to play their lucky numbers; some have a few and others have several, Wiesberg said. If people feel confident about their lucky number, the side bet is where to place it. “We’ve made several 300-to-1 payouts and lots of 100-to-1 already,” Wiesberg said. “This could be the best thing to hit roulette ever.”
Fitoussi called his invention “a one-of-kind revolutionary addition to traditional roulette.” He said nothing in the gaming industry compares to it.
The idea came to him after he invented a version of the game called Double Action Roulette. It too had two sets of numbers, requiring a redesign of the wheel with an independent inner spinner.
“It was approved for play in Nevada, but I soon discovered that the two-cylinder idea would be a much better attraction designed as a side bet,” Fitoussi said. “Side bets are extremely successful. The players like them, mainly because, along with smaller payouts, they offer a jackpot. All the traditional games—blackjack, craps and baccarat—offer them. Roulette was the only game that didn’t offer a side-bet jackpot. Roulette really needed that kind of attraction.”
Fitoussi said El Cortez wants to add a second game. Other casinos are interested in adding it as well.
Patrick Lazarus, the director of gaming operations at El Cortez, cited other spinoffs of roulette, but added, “This one is a game-changer.”
El Cortez is providing data to TCSJohnHuxley that will be able to market the game worldwide.
“We’re positive that it’s going to be big, essentially based on how people have gravitated toward it,” Wiesberg said. “It’s definitely going to be a winner. People just don’t know about it yet. We know we can’t keep this a secret forever. We’re happy to help them get it out to the industry. The more people that know about this, the more play we will get. We all feed off each other.”