The love for Sigma Derby will never cease to amaze me. The jittery electro-mechanical horse racing game is only available in two Las Vegas casinos but has an amazing cult following. The following of Sigma Derby is both fascinating and understandable.
Scarcity is an attractive quality the only casinos in Las Vegas that you’ll find Sigma Derby in Las Vegas are MGM Grand and The D. The games are old and break down often so it’s possible the game will be out of order at any moment. Fans are enjoying the game while they can.
While the game has a large house edge around 25% it probably isn’t very profitable for the casino. If Sigma Derby was profitable you’d see it in more casinos. Many players simply enjoy the game simply because it’s different. It certainly helped The D carve a niche with its Vintage Vegas casino.
Perceived value is a big selling point for Sigma Derby. There aren’t many games in casinos today where you can wager a 25 cents per game and receive complimentary drinks. The enthusiasm of Sigma Derby players is in part because of booze and partly filled by the bouncing action of the horses.
A New Sigma Derby Game
For the past couple of years at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), Alfastreet has been showing off Royal Derby. The game setting is similar to Sigma Derby as it’s a horse track with six mechanical horses and jockeys. The design and mechanics are modern so the horses run smoothly and the track looks pretty.
Part of the appeal of the original Sigma Derby game is the retro feel of the game with bouncing horses and a track that looks like it was made in a basement. Sigma Derby was a casino game that represented the era. There wasn’t a need for research, information or data. The game was like a slot machine, just pick a combination and hope for the best.
Royal Derby has information on each horse’s strengths, weaknesses and past performances, similar to racing forms at a live horse track. This new horse racing game gives you a slew of wagering options, unlike the 2-horse combinations you wager on when playing Sigma Derby.
You can wager on different winning combinations, much like you bet on the real racetrack. Here are your options with Royal Derby:
- WIN: Pick a winner
- PLACE: Pick the horses that will finish first or second
- SHOW: Choose a horse that will finish in any of the top three places
- QUINELLA: Wager on two horses to finish in first or second place
- EXACTA: Wager on two horses to finish first and second – in that specific order
- QUINELLA: Wager on three horses to finish in top three places, in no specific order.
It took a while for casinos to catch on to the game but it’s now available in a few casinos around the country. However, it hasn’t made its way to a Las Vegas casino floor.
You can find more information on Royal Derby here.
Fortune Cup May Be The Next Sigma Derby
Earlier this year at the Global Gaming Expo in Asia there was a new Sigma Derby style horse racing game on display. A prototype of Fortune Cup was being shown by Konami Gaming. The game looks similar to Royal Derby and received a lot of interest and positive response at G2E. However, Fortune Cup is not available in Asia or anywhere – yet.
While Konami considers releasing this game around the world it’s possible that Fortune Cup will find American casino floors in the next couple of years. Konami Gaming is one of the larger casino game manufacturers in the United States with many slot machines on casino floors. Finding floor space for a game this large won’t be easy but Konami Gaming has better access than smaller companies.
Off the top of my head, I can think of the first location for Fortune Cup in Las Vegas. The Linq Casino is currently the only home to the massive Titan 360 slot machine. The game is awesome and often busy but its location across from Tag Sports Bar and Lounge would make for a perfect fit Fortune Cup. By the time the horse racing game hits American casinos it could very well be a good time for Titan 360 to leave casinos after a 3 or 4-year run.
Are you into new games like Sigma Derby or would you only play the original? Drop a comment below.
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