Truck drivers have a lot of time to think when they are on the road. In the early 1980s, truck driver John Breeding was thinking about a newspaper article regarding card counting in blackjack. For those unfamiliar with the concept, card counting is a strategy that gives blackjack players the ability to anticipate what cards are left in the deck.
When they think the next card or cards will be advantageous, they up their bets. Counting cards is far from easy, but those who have mastered the craft can essentially reverse the casino edge and win more money more often. Naturally, casinos don’t really like having card counters playing at their tables.
Breeding came up with a solution to the problem and took out a $30,000 loan to develop a device that took away the advantage gained from card counting. He founded Shuffle Master in 1983 and the automatic shuffler finally hit the market in 1992. The only problem was that his shuffler was designed for single decks while casinos had started using multiple decks.
He wanted to create a demand for his machine so he once again thought outside of the box and created a new single deck casino game called Let It Ride. The game was a hit and he successfully increased demand for his single-deck machine. His automatic shuffling machine had caught on by 1995, but the new table game was generating more revenue.
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Shuffle Master Diversifies
By the late 1990s, Shuffle Master has expanded their horizons by creating casino slot machines. The company partnered with larger companies including IGT and Bally Technologies and specialized in branded slots games like Press Your Luck, Let’s Make a Deal, and The Honeymooners. Unfortunately, Shuffle Master didn’t find success with slot machines. In 2004, they once again turned their attention to table games by acquiring BET Technology which had developed popular casino table games such as Casino War and Pai Gow Poker. By 2012, the company had changed its name to SHFL in order to reflect its diverse range of products which now included more casino table games.
During its heyday, Shuffle Master owned a virtual monopoly of the automatic card shuffler business. It also made Forbes’ list of the 200 Best Small Companies for five straight years. By 2013, SHFL was producing a range of utility products including the wildly popular Deck Mate shuffler and automatic chip sorters. It also owned proprietary rights for several table games and had created a variety of electronic table systems and electronic gaming machines. The company was then sold to Bally Technologies for $1.3 billion. A year later, Scientific Gaming bought Bally.
Today, Shuffle Master continues to develop products under its own name. The company is very active in the creation of electronic tables, table games, and an assortment of shufflers and utilities that are used at casinos all over the world. If you’ve been to land-based casino, there’s a good chance you’ve dealt with one of Shuffle Master’s many products.
Shuffle Master has developed a number of electronic table games that incorporate an assortment of special features like bonuses, progressive side bets, and much more. The Fusion line gives players a range of betting options and multi-game configurations that are played at stand-alone and linked terminals. For example, a Fusion Hybrid machine gives players simultaneous access to as many as four live table games from a single terminal. Stadium Blackjack, Stadium Casino War, and Stadium Three Card Poker are among the innovative game options. It’s the same idea with Fusion virtual Multigame which connects players to live games like baccarat, roulette, and sic bo.
Shuffle Master’s i-Table is another interesting product. It integrates a user-friendly touchscreen betting interface with real live dealers who serve up non-stop blackjack variants, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, Three Card Poker, and Mississippi Stud. Then there’s the all-new Quartz cabinet that is finding its way onto casino floors everywhere. It features a 26.5-inch HD touchscreen that can display up to eight different games.
Shuffle Master Table Games
Table games have always been a key component of the casino experience. Thanks to Shuffle Master, casino goers are gaining access to a constantly increasing number of table games. Shuffle Master’s portfolio of proprietary table games includes over a dozen blackjack variants such as:
Free Bet Blackjack: This version of the casino classic lets players split or double down for free when they choose the Free Bet option. If they win the hand, they get paid even though they didn’t risk any money.
Blackjack Switch: Get two hands and then decide whether you want to switch the second card from each hand to make two better hands. The dealer must abide by traditional blackjack rules.
Super Fun 21: Similar to traditional blackjack, but there are a few neat twists. For starters, the dealer gives out all player cards face up. There is also an optional side wager that can net you a 300-1 bonus if you make a blackjack using only diamonds.
Other innovative blackjack variants from Shuffle Master include:
|Burn 20 Blackjack||Run ‘Em Twice Blackjack||Vegas Blackjack Fever|
|Never Bust Blackjack||Super Fun 21 Extreme||ZAPPIT Blackjack|
|Power Blackjack||U-Turn Blackjack||Zombie Blackjack|
Looking to spice your blackjack experience up even more? Shuffle Master offers a dozen more blackjack variants with each one offering unique side bets.
|Bet the Set 21||King’s Bounty||Royal Match 21 Deluxe|
|Bet The Set 21 Deluxe||King’s Bounty Dealer Envy||TriLux|
|House Money||King’s Bounty Deluxe||TriLux Bonus|
|Jackpot Party with Lucky George||Royal Match 21||TriLux Deluxe|
Of course, Shuffle Master’s proprietary games don’t only consist of blackjack games. They offer a nice selection of Hold ‘Em casino games like Cover All, DiamondZ, Enjoy the Ride Hold ‘Em, Texas Hold ‘Em Bonus, and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em. You’ll also find loads of Pai Gow Poker variants such as EZ Pai Gow, Six Card Fortune Pai Gow, and Face Up Pai Gow Poker. Those who like to roll the bones have some exciting craps side bet games to choose from such as:
- Fielder’s Choice
- Fire Bet
- Repeater Bets
- Sharp Shooter
Do you want to try something a little different? Why not try your luck with the following specialty games?
- Blazin’ 7s Roulette
- DJ Wild Poker
- Fortune Asia Poker
- Four Card Poker
- Snake Eyes
- Three Card Baccarat
- What the Flush! Poker
It’s also worth noting the Shuffle Master brings the thrill of progressive jackpot slots to your favorite table games. With over a dozen options, Shuffle Master offers table games that feature progressive jackpots.
Shufflers and Utilities
It all started with the single deck shuffler. However, cutting edge technology has allowed Shuffle Master to remain at the top when it comes to shuffling machines. The DeckMate 2 is the official shuffler of the WSOP and has some great features and abilities like:
- A shuffle time of 22 seconds
- Card recognition
- Built-in timer for when someone “calls the clock”.
- Sort cards into their original suited and numbered order.
The i-Deal Plus is emerging as the next generation of single-deck shufflers. It has everything the Deck Mate 2 has, but the i-Deal is faster and more efficient. Of course, Shuffle Master mastered the art of creating multi-deck shufflers, intelligent shoes, and continuous shufflers. These products provide the best deck integrity and virtually take away even the sharpest card counter’s ability to successfully ply their craft.
Shuffle Master produces a number of specialty items too. The list includes:
- Deck Analyzer
- Deck Checker
- Multishift Drop Box
- Shuffle flex
Safe-Bacc is the most secure baccarat system on the planet. It shuffles, verifies, and automatically loads cards into a removable smart-reading shoe. The U-Spin Roulette system lets players decide when to spin the wheel and launch the ball. Other Shuffle Master specialty items are becoming the standard at casinos everywhere. The ChipMaster – S and the ChipStar systems use advanced technology to provide accurate and lightning-quick chip sorting. There’s a good chance that the scoreboard you saw at the roulette table was an i-Score Roulette model.
There are a lot of companies creating video slots in a highly competitive industry. Shuffle Master concentrates on everything but slot games. Now, that doesn’t mean Shuffle Master has nothing to do with the ongoing evolution of video slots. Shuffle Master has contributed to the creation of several popular modern slots. 88 Fortunes, Golden Asia, Monopoly Grand Hotel, and Silver Stallion Action Spins are just a few of the slot games that Shuffle Master has helped create in one way or another.
You might not have heard of Shuffle Master if you play at online casinos. However, you’ve almost certainly seen their innovative products in action if you’ve been to a brick-and-mortar casino. Be it a shuffler, electronic table game, or an electronic scoreboard, it’s probably Shuffle Master. Even when you buy and cash out your chips at the table, it’s likely a Shuffle Master product doing the work. In fact, that table game you’re playing could easily be one of Shuffle Master’s proprietary games. And to think that all of this has come about because of a truck driver’s desire to find a solution to card counting?
Are Shuffle Master’s propriety casino table games fair?
You can be assured that all of Shuffle Master’s table games are 100% fair. Most of them involve live dealers who use nothing but the latest Shuffle Master technology to ensure both the players and the dealers are on the level.
How is using a blackjack i-Table different from any other traditional blackjack setup?
The biggest difference is that i-Tables enable players to make their bets electronically instead of having to place their chips on the betting surface. Players use touchscreens to place their bets which make the game more secure, accurate, and quick.
Can I play Shuffle Master proprietary games at online casinos?
Yes. Many of the world’s best online casinos offer Shuffle Master proprietary games. However, the online versions of these games are produced by other software developers under Scientific Gaming’s purview. For instance, Bally makes the online versions of several Shuffle Master games like Let It Ride and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em.