Pinball Roulette

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In most respects, Roulette is an exceedingly simple game. It has not changed much in over 200 years. Reasoning that the traditional version of the game may not offer enough action for today’s online gamers, software developer Playtech decided to add a few bells and whistles to attract a new and younger set of players. The result was “Pinball Roulette,” a true hybrid arcade-style casino table game.

What is familiar about Pinball Roulette is the table layout, which is exactly the same as the one used for European Roulette with its 37 numbers, including the single zero, 18 red numbers and 18 black numbers. The red numbers snake across the length of the field from 1 to 36. Black numbers outnumber red ones in the middle column 8 to 4; red numbers dominate the third column 8 to 4; and balance is achieved in the first column, 6 to 6. Bracketing all three columns on the far left is the bank’s green zero.

Likewise, the odds, payouts and types of wagers available for Pinball Roulette follow traditional standards. On the “inside” of the table layout, Straight-Up Bets on a single number pay 35-to-1, Split Bets on two neighboring numbers pay 17-to-1, Street Bets on three numbers in a row pay 11-to-1, Corner Bets on a block of four numbers pay 8-to-1, and Line Bets on six numbers in two adjacent rows pay 5-to-1. On the “outside” of the field, Column Bets on a horizontal column of 12 numbers pay 2-to-1 as do Dozen Bets on 12 consecutive numbers grouped 1st 12 (1-12), 2nd 12 (13-24), or 3rd 12 (25-36). All other outside bets pay even money, including wagers on Even, Odd, Red, Black, Low (1-18), or High (19-36).

The method of making wagers will be familiar to anyone who has engaged in online table games. Seven coloured chips appear in the lower left corner of the display, each with a unique denomination: £0.10, £0.50, £1, £5, £10, £25 and £100. The minimum total stake that must be played is £1. On the inside, the maximum stake per number is £100, while on the outside it is £2,000.

At this point, Pinball Roulette takes a departure from the classic game. Clicking on the green “Bet” button at the lower right corner of the display will not set a roulette wheel spinning. Instead, it will reveal a pinball layout with eight bumpers and a maze of pins for a ball to pass through en route to landing in a numbered slot at the very bottom of the display. The slots, which correspond to the numbers/colours on the field layout now appearing vertically on the right, move from right to left like a conveyor belt. Any slot that will result in a win is marked with a yellow triangle, making it easy to see where the ball needs to land for a payout.

The sound effects and ball action are quite authentic, as the ball is shot from the chute, careens off pins and bounces off bumpers. If the ball lands in a losing slot, resulting in “No Win,” the option will be given to repeat the bet or have a new game. The former choice will simply send another ball flying out of the chute will all bets the same, while the latter will return the screen to the field betting layout.

It is upon winning, however, that an extra element of excitement is added to Pinball Roulette. The player is given the opportunity to play in a “Bonus Round” on a different pinball layout. The choice is between clicking on “Collect” to receive the current winnings or on “Gamble” to try for an even larger prize. Choosing Gamble means all winnings must be risked for the possibility to win up to 10 times the stake.

The pinball layout for the Bonus Round features no pins, but eight bumpers, four stars to light up and a “Bonus Ball” trap. The object is to collect multipliers before the ball exits and to avoid falling through either of the “Lose” slots at the bottom corners. If a Bonus Ball is awarded, the player gets the opportunity to use it immediately or else Collect the current winning. Pinball play ends on a loss or when the player selects Collect.

A few other special options are available on Pinball Roulette. On the main field layout screen, there is a “Turbo Bet” button to speed play as well as an “Auto Bet” button for repeat wagering for 1, 2, 5 or 10 games. Note that when Auto Play is selected, bets may not be changed and the Gamble feature is disabled.

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