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An Interview With High 5 Games

The Leading Slot Designers

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Slots rule the casino industry. Twenty years ago the slot machine accounted for 30 percent of the casinos profits. Today it accounts for about 70 percent. Hi-tech computer chips make it possible to offer life-changing jackpots. The new technology also makes it possible to offer slot games that are creative, exciting and entertaining.

There are still many players who enjoy the old style reel machines such as Double and Triple Diamonds and Red, White and Blue,but these machines don’t offer the excitement to the “Video Generation” who grew up spending numerous hours playing video games. Many of these players spent thousands of dollars playing in arcades before they were of legal age to enter a casino, purely for entertainment with no chance of winning any money for their action. Now when they play the new video slots they expect to be entertained as well as having a chance to win back some of their entertainment costs. This has led to a challenge for the slot makers to create games that will entice players to try their games and entertain them enough to keep them playing and coming back to play some more.

Each fall, hundreds of new games are introduced at the World Gaming Expo in Las Vegas. Some of these make it to the casino floor. A few of them will become hits, while others may sit idle and soon find their way to the scrap heap. An idle slot machine takes up valuable real estate on the casino floor and will not be around long because it is unprofitable to keep it. There was a time when the casinos could expect to get a few years of play form each new machine they purchased. Now many of them come and go within nine months to a year. A slot game based on the latest hot TV show or fad may find itself outdated before making it to the floor or soon after if the show or fad loses popularity. This has led to the daunting task for the slot makers to continuously produce new games.

When you are playing your favorite slot machine, have you ever wondered who created the game? Many of us are familiar with the names of the major slot manufacturers; IGT, Bally, WMS, and others who manufacture the physical machines as well as produce the games for them. There are also a few independent game developers who create unique proprietary games which are licensed to the major gaming manufacturers or casinos.

The industry’s leading independent producer of casino games and gaming concepts is company named High 5 Games located in Nanuet, New York. High 5 Games (H5G) has created and patented over 50 casino games and licensed over 20 of these games, almost all of them have been produced or are in the production stage. Founded in 1995 H5G has produced a broad array of slot machine and video poker games. They have created games that are found in machines manufactured by of most leading slot makers including those previously mentioned.

While many players will not recognize the name High 5 Games, many of you will recognize the names of the games they created. Their first game to make it to the casino floor in 1996 was Pick 5 poker for WMS gaming. This was followed by Side Action 21 a video Blackjack game. In 1998 they produced a game that many video poker players still remember, called Big E Poker. The game looked like a big letter “E” and players saw two cards at a time and could pick which line to place each card on to form a paying video poker hand. It was a little complex but those players who mastered the skill of the game loved it.

In 1999 High 5 Games produced their first big hit with a game still very popular with the players called Hot Hot Hot. This was followed by Cash Encounters in 2000, Platypus and The Heist in 2001, produced for Bally Gaming. These four games are so popular that Masque Software included them in their Slots II and Slots by Bally software games for the home player.

Big Top Circus was created for Sigma Gaming by the creative geniuses at High 5 Games. This is a game with personality, whose main character is Max the Monkey, who acts as Ringmaster and interacts with the players throughout the regular game and the bonus rounds. The game also introduces a unique new concept to video slots. H5G owns the patent to the special Connect-A-Pay Technology which offers 99 possible winning combinations per spin. Here is how it works.

With Connect-A-Pay, the player selects between one and nine of the games symbols instead of choosing pay lines. Players can bet up to five coins on all the selected symbols. Since adjacent symbols can appear on any of the lines the matrix offers 99 winning combinations. Each symbol can belong to more than one pay set making it possible to hit the top prize twice in the same spin. Six of the symbols pay out for 3 or more adjacent symbols and three of them only require two adjacent symbols. Because of the pay structure and 99 ways adjacent symbols can be made, the frequency of hits is 46.41 percent when you select nine symbols. This means an average of one hit for every 2.15 spins.

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