Will Electronic Poker Tables Make Real Dealers Obsolete?3 years ago
Those of us who believe that job-stealing robots are just a fairy tale straight out of a science-fiction book might be in for a rude awakening - and soon. With self-driving cars just around the corner, a giant piece of the job-market pie is about to be swallowed by machines.
Turns out that even relatively niche and complex jobs like casino dealer aren't really safe, given how electronic poker tables are about to be introduced to a wider audience.
"The Future is Now"
Jackpot Digital, a Vancouver based company behind the revolutionary but slightly obtuse PokerPro electronic table, that was all over the poker media outlets a few years ago, is back with their new and improved invention. Blitz electronic table is basically an 84-inch 4k touch screen inside of a poker table that allows up to 10-player to enjoy hold'em, omaha and a number of different casino games including roulette and video poker, without the need of a dealer supervision. The modular software enables players to participate in more than one game at the same time.
Blitz makes it possible to bet on a few roulette spins right after folding a hand in a cash game, which is something that both casual gamblers and casino owners are going to love. The electronic table features an automated payment kiosk to handle all player transactions and boasts an impressive average of 50 poker hands per hour. Blitz is not a prototype or a proof of concept, it's a complete product that will start showing up in the cruise ship and casino poker rooms in a few short months.
There's a number of obvious advantages that Blitz electronic table offers to both the players and the casino owners. It makes the games considerably faster, by reducing the downtime which is a huge part of live poker games in their current state. Electronic table eliminates the dealer mistakes and the need to tip them, while still allowing customers to enjoy the social aspect of poker, albeit in a slightly different flavor. If we ignore the problem of automation in the broad context, we might conclude that eliminating a niche profession such as casino dealer is a small price to pay in the name of progress.
The fact that some old souls might have trouble adjusting to the games without the dealer supervision, or miss the tactile feedback offered by plastic cards and ceramic chips is not going to be a strong enough reason for halting the innovation, especially given the fact that said chips, cards and dealers won't disappear from casinos overnight.
Electronic tables - along with other technological advancements like Virtual Reality - seem like a natural next step in the evolution of live poker, and we're going to hear more and more about them in the next few years.
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