Allentown Resident’s Switch Hands® Table Game
Debuts at Sands Bethlehem
Lehigh Valley-invited new twist on popular Blackjack game enters the Sands Bethlehem casino.
ALLENTOWN, Pa. (December 18, 2015) – A new table game has hit the Sands Bethlehem casino floor, but it wasn’t made in Las Vegas.
Sands Bethlehem is now host to the new award-winning Switch Hands ® blackjack table game invented by Allentown native and Kutztown University graduate, Stephen Berkowitz, of Global Innovative Gaming, LLC.
Switch Hands® won the 2014 Best New Table Game Award from Casino Journal and is a variation of the ever-popular blackjack table game featured in casinos around the world.
Unlike regular blackjack, players of Switch Hands® game receive a pair of face-down cards in addition to their standard blackjack hand after an ante bet is placed. Players may choose to play their original hand or discard that draw and play the two unseen face-down cards as a whole new hand, thus giving the player two chances to make a winning hand. From there, standard house rules apply.
“When gambling was legalized in Pennsylvania, it really sparked my interest in game design,” Berkowitz, who worked at Clear Channel Airports before working fulltime with Global Innovative Gaming LLC said. “I thought to myself, what are the popular games that people love to play and how can we make them even better?”
From those initial thoughts, Switch Hands® was born. The path to getting the game on a casino floor, however, was much more difficult.
Berkowitz spent time in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, while also working with mathematician Charles R. Mousseau and fellow game developer Ed Kokosky to ensure all of the game’s rules and odds fit with what casinos are looking for and what makes players sit down at a table.
“I’m surprised someone has not done this before,” said gaming’s most well known mathematician, Michael Shackelford, a/k/a The Wizard of Odds. “We now know why its inventors say that “It’s ‘Blackjack – only better®’.”
“We hope gamers appreciate a fun, new take on an old standard,” Berkowitz said. “Switch Hands® is easy to learn, fun to play, and offers players a choice every hand. And new players won’t ever feel confused at the table.”
When less than one percent of all new casino table games ever make it to casino floors, this local company has surprised the gaming industry’s giants in its first endeavor. In addition to Switch Hands®, Global’s other new game, High Roll Dice®, is slated to appear in another Pennsylvania casino in the near future.
For more information, log onto www.gigaming.net to learn more about the game.
Switch Hands® blackjack features:
- Colored or suited blackjack pays 2 to 1
- Player/deal blackjack tie pays 1 to 2
- Higher table hold than standard blackjack
- Ability to discard “stiff” hands (12 to 16) for a new hand
- Standard house rules apply
- Only side bet that increases odds of winning
- More chances for players to win
About Global Innovative Gaming
Global Innovative Gaming, LLC’s main focus is to invent and develop unique, easy-to-learn, and easy-to-play casino table games. Currently, Global Innovative Gaming LLC offers its 2014 award-winning best new table game, Switch Hands® (“Blackjack – Only Better™)®) and its popular High Roll Dice® game. G.I. Gaming™ takes gaming ideas from inception through patent and trademark protection, math certification by independent testing laboratories such as Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), state approvals, manufacturing, and placement on casino floors.
About Sands Bethlehem
Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem opened May of 2009 in Eastern Pennsylvania. It is situated on the site of the historic Bethlehem Steel plant and located approximately 60 minutes from Philadelphia and the northern New Jersey suburbs and 90 minutes from New York City. Sands Bethlehem offers over 3,000 state-of the-art slot machines and over 200 table games including a 36 table poker room, as well as a 302-room hotel and over 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space. Culinary offerings include three signature restaurants from celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse – Emeril’s Chop House, Burgers and More by Emeril and Emeril’s Italian Table. The casino also features the Carnegie Deli, Chopstick Asian Cuisine, Steelworks Buffet and Grill, Croissanterie, Joli Bakery and Café, and the varied offerings and cuisines of The Market Gourmet Express. It is also home to Coil bar, Infusion lounge and Molten lounge, which features live entertainment 7 nights a week. The Outlets at Sands Bethlehem launched at the property in November 2011. Sands Bethlehem Event Center, which opened at the property in May 2012 and includes over 14,000 sq. ft. of flexible multipurpose space, accommodates meetings, conventions and a variety of entertainment events.
Additional media contact: George Wacker, Lehigh Valley with Love Media, George@LehighValleywithLoveMedia.com, 484-554-2234