If you walk into Barona Resort & Casino in sunny San Diego, California, you may notice something odd about the blackjack tables. There are no chips. The casino has added new electronic i-Tables (no word on if Apple plans to sue over that name).
To speed up the game and give the players instant verification, the wagers are done electronically at the blackjack i-Tables. The game still has a live dealer and physical cards are still dealt by the players, but instead of the players placing chips in the betting circle and having them taken or being given more chips by the dealer, it is all done electronically on a touch screen (no word on whether their touch-screen device is cooler than the iPad).
By using the electronic transfers instead of chips, players can more easily track how much money they have any how much they win or lose on each hand. Also, the touch screen allows for various side bets. One popular side bet is the “odds bet,” where players wager on the probability of winning or losing that round. Once the players are dealt their hands, they consider their chances and simply place the odds bet on the electronic device. Other side bets include “Bet the Set 21” and “Royal Match 21.”
Because the game moves faster without having to wait for the dealer to collect and hand out chips, the more rounds are played at the table than at traditional tables. For that reason, the game allows for lower minimum bets than traditional tables.
Though the chipless i-Tables are new for blackjack at the Barona Resort, they already offered i-Tables for roulette and baccarat. In addition, the casino has 75 traditional table games, including blackjack. The chipless i-Tables were designed by Shuffle Master, a gambling hardware designer based in Las Vegas.