Jackpot Blitz is a multi-touch, single surface electronic table games platform (ETG) that allows playing poker and casino games simultaneously. The creation of the product has made a disruptive impact on the live poker world and casino industry since its debut.
The product has been installed in the following brands and more:
Before Jackpot Blitz came out, its ancestor PokerPro was a fully-automated table with 10 seats that deals Texas Hold'em cash games and tournaments in live casinos. The product has been successful as it requires no dealer and allows players to bend their cards like live poker.
However, with the way digital games are going today and the expectation of playing with a touch screen has changed, our challenge was to bring the gaming experience to the next level.
Although PokerPro provides individual touch screens as the means for player interaction, we felt a true poker experience was still lacking. During the ideation session, we asked ourselves: what if the whole table is multi-touch?
This idea opened up a new possibility for replicating the same feel as if playing on a live table.
Multiple screens vs single screen.
After an internal discussion with the stakeholders, we moved forward with the idea which aimed to inherit good features from its ancestor in addition to the following objectives:
In today's market, all display screens are rectangular, and the challenge we were facing was to turn a giant rectangular screen into the shape of a race track, similar to what a poker table looks like.
Our challenge was to figure out a way to mimic the shape of a poker table.
We did extensive research on the hardware needed to assemble the table that would look very close to a real poker table. I helped sketching out the table structure and measurements to conceptualize the vision, then moved on to work on the game flow and interface.
Due to confidentiality reasons, I cannot disclose the work here.
To avoid the overlapping of visual components and actions on a single screen, our strategy was to assign each seat a dedicated zone for user interaction. To figure out the spacing required, we asked several team members with different body builds to take a seat. We observed the level of comfort while at the seats and then measured the best possible size and positions for the player zones.
Wireframe for UI boundaries for each player seat.
Photo credit: Iron Man.
One unique feature of the product we aim to achieve is the simultaneous multi-player interactions on the same screen. We wanted a visually borderless experience for all players, so I took Iron Man's holographic technology in his lab as an inspiration for the UI style to imply the future of gaming.
Environment & UI concept during early development.
In a Texas Hold'em game, each player has the option to bet, fold, or raise when their turn comes. To design the experience flow, we sorted and grouped the primary and secondary elements for different states and scenarios.
Game action flow during player's turn.
For the visual hierarchy and placement, we needed to consider the spacing required between each element and the distance needed from the table rail so the player won't have to stretch their arms to reach.
The action buttons were designed to allow sufficient space from being touched by accident when revealing cards.
To begin play session, players would need to bring the funds. User PIN is required every time players buy in the table for security purposes to accommodate casino regulations. After gathering information from the product manager and stakeholders, I created a user flowchart to illustrate the login process.
Login process flowchart.
One factor to consider when designing the navigation system was to have player's hand cards visible all the time to comply with the regulations while navigating the content. We initially came up with two versions, and we agreed to go with the second version for its quick access and simpler hierarchy.
We went with version 2.
Flowchart for toggle behavior and response.
Showcasing at game expos.
After over a year in development, we launched and exhibited the beta version at various game expos and conferences. The table attracted lots of interest and the inputs gathered were very valuable for us to improve the product further.
The overwhelming feedbacks led us to more ideas that would help the product to succeed. To tackle the needs of our potential leads and business clients, a new objective came to our mind: custom solutions.
Without affecting the core play and overall UX, our designers and developers worked on UI customization to address different client needs.
Jackpot Blitz was launched in 2017 and was shortlisted for the Global Gaming Award in 2018. It’s been hosted for regular games as well as poker tournaments. Product revenue per table has increased by more than 10% year over year. As of 2020, there are more than 64 tables ordered and installed in land-based casinos worldwide and on cruise ships including Carnival, Virgin Voyages, and Royal Caribbean.