Galaxy Gaming and Game Protection


I am hesitant to address a company by name, but I have something very good to say about Galaxy Gaming, so I doubt they will mind. Back in August, 2003, when I published my article on Lucky Ladies in the e-zine "Blackjack Insider" (see this post), I was still an advantage player. At the time, absolutely everyone who sent e-mail to me to discuss games was also an advantage player. They were all looking for an edge. Aside from being backed off, I had virtually no contact with the other side of the tables. It therefore came as a complete surprise when I got the following e-mail from Rob Saucier, CEO of Galaxy Gaming, dated October 15, 2003:

"I know that you spent considerable time evaluating the vulnerability of Lucky Ladies ... The reason I am contacting you is to see if you would be interested in preparing a report for Galaxy Gaming that examines this topic.  If you are, please contact me and we can discuss the scope of the project ..."

I later learned that at the time I published my BJInsider article, Galaxy lost quite a few Lucky Ladies placements due to irrational panic in the industry. Rather than being angry at me, wanting to sue me, or being upset over all the confusion and mess my article caused for them, Galaxy Gaming very kindly asked if I could prepare a professional report on advantage play against Lucky Ladies. Because I was still an advantage player, I declined to do this project, and did so with words that were not very kind in return.

Skip forward 10 years. Once again Galaxy went in search of information about advantage play against one of their games, this time with their game Lucky Win baccarat. They hired an outside mathematician to investigate game protection issues and made that information available to the public at G2E this year. It is too bad the advantage play analysis they published was wrong (see this post), but at least they tried! They asked the right questions, they hired a mathematician who did the research, they published and distributed the results in good faith.

I was subsequently told that Galaxy Gaming is also being proactive in advising their clients about the potential collusion issue with their new game, High Card Flush (see this post). Unfortunately, what Galaxy is doing in sharing this type of information is not at all typical of my experience with other large table games companies.

For example, at G2E (2013) this year I discovered a poker-style game that could potentially be dealt down to the last card. Needless to say, it has a huge collusion issue. I tried to warn the company. As I was demonstrating the issue to the game's inventor, I was actually pushed off the table when some passers-by sat down to try the game. In case you're wondering, I have not yet written about that game, but it's a very big problem.

In another case (and another company) at G2E (2013), I was talking with the distributor of a game that had a very significant and known advantage play issue. Even knowing who I was, the distributor denied that there was any problem with his game. When I explained the issue and how it had been exploited quite recently, he argued that I was mistaken. He certainly wasn't warning his clients. Oh well.

My relationship over the years with Galaxy has been very rocky at times. Much of this has to do with the fact that I started out as an advantage player, showing how to beat their games, before I transitioned into the industry. The fact that Rob would reach out to me, knowing who I was at the time, shows his concern about giving his clients the best information he can about his game's vulnerabilities As my experience at G2E (2013) demonstrated, Galaxy's commitment continues to this day.

The other large table games companies should take a lesson from Galaxy: just because your game is defective does not mean it is worthless. Learn what's wrong with your games and learn how to protect them. Do this before you try to sell your games. Be proactive. And if you find out about big problems after a game has already found market success, then warn your clients just as quickly as you can. Give them good information. Show them the steps they need to take. Above all, start researching, publishing and distributing the truth about beating your table games.

Thank you to Galaxy Gaming for showing the industry how it should be done.