Shuffle Master Games Slots
Shufflemaster Slot Machines
But the past is littered with companies who started somewhere else in gaming, then ended up manufacturing slots. Since slot machines make up 80 to 90% of the profits for casinos, eventually all gaming companies take a shot at the slots prize. It's just that big of a money maker.
For example, Bally Gaming manufactured pinball machines originally. International Game Technology did the same. So there is nothing strange with Shuffle Master, most famous for manufacturing its card shuffling machines, to eventually try to get their slice of the action.
Shuffle Master is Founded
Shuffle Master is a relative parvenu in the gaming industry. The company was founded in 1982. Its founder, John Breeding, drove trucks for a living back in those days. But he played blackjack in Atlantic City as a hobby.
In the early eighties, card counting had become a major problem for casinos. Mr. Breeding read an article about the growing sophistication of card counters, and how casinos were at a loss to stop the practice. Often, by the time the casino realized what was happening and threw the card counters out of the casino, they had lost a lot of money.
John Breeding thought he saw a way out. He worked on designs for a mechanical card shuffler. This invention alone would restore power to casino managers.
Card Counting and Automatic Card Shufflers
To stop a card counter before the card shuffler, a dealer had to manually shuffle the cards. But the more this was done, the less hands per hour could be played. So the casino was losing profits one way or the other.
With the card shuffling machine, reshuffles could be done in a matter of seconds, even while a hand was being played with another deck of cards. Decks could be reshuffled every hand, if need be. The machine theoretically could do away with card counting.
These days, you would be hard pressed to walk into a casino in the world without seeing a Shuffle Master Inc. mechanical card shuffler. But Shuffle Master was not content with holding this unique niche in the casino.
Let It Ride Poker
In the early nineties, Shuffle Master decided to spur on sales of its card shufflers. To do so, the company invented a game called Let It Ride.
Let It Ride was an inverted kind of poker.
As each hand started, players placed three mandatory bets in three different betting circles. As they were allowed to see more hole cards, the players could draw back two of the three bets. Or they could let the bets ride.
This proved a popular, if slow-paced game. Mostly, inexperienced poker players could learn the game in an laid back setting. A second game, Three Card Poker, soon followed.
In this way, Shuffle Master succeeded, because they were bringing players of slot machines to the poker table, creating more business for their card shufflers.
But for a manufacturer of gaming machines, it was not long before Shuffle Master executives were pondering whether a more profitable avenue was open to them.
Why Not Slots?
Shuffle Master had long manufactured machines to place in casinos. They had business connections with every casino in America. The next step was to start designing their own slot machines. By the late 1990s, Shuffle Master Incorporated was in the slots industry.
Shuffle Master is not what I would call a slots innovator. Instead, they decided to copy the business model of the most successful slot machine marketer, International Game Technology.
There is something to be said for this approach. Why not follow the model which worked for the champion slots producer?
Like IGT, Shuffle Master Incorporated produces slots with brand names, well-known franchises from television history and pop culture in general.
The Three Stooges Slots
Shuffle Master's initial foray into slots manufacturing was The Three Stooges. People could play slots while watching clips of Moe, Larry and Curly. Even Shemp was shown in one version. This machine hit the casino floors in the late 1990s, when the television franchise slots were becoming all the rage for slots players.
The Honeymooners Slots
After IGT's huge success with I Love Lucy slots, it was only a matter of time before The Honeymooners had its own slot machine. The best Jackie Gleason and Art Carney lines are available, bringing back tales from the golden age of television.
Let's Make a Deal Slots
Once again, Shuffle Master is following the IGT model with this game. IGT had huge success with game shows like The Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud and The Price Is Right. So Shuffle Master dusted off its own classic game show, Let's Make a Deal, for a slot machine.
Players can see some of the wackiest costumes ever seen on television, while listening to the voice stylings of host, Monte Hall. The bonus games borrows from the famous "Door #1, Door #2 and Door #3" routine of Let's Make a Deal.
Yes, even beer companies have their own slot machines these days. If you like Budweiser, and you like slots, now you can play Budweiser slots. And if you want to really trick things up, you can order you a Budweiser while trying to win some money on the Bud Slots.