Technology brings Hold'em to casinos without poker rooms

With the popularity of poker booming, casinos are looking for ways to accommodate the growing crowd of players looking for a game. PokerTek is offering a new way to fill that niche with PokerPro tables, a fully automated poker table using video screens and a random number generator.

The product is designed to feed players' appetites for Texas Hold'em while providing casinos with an option that doesn't involve outfitting card rooms, training dealers, and providing a game that isn't fast enough to compete with the profits they get from slot machines.

With PokerPro, the games will be nearly twice as fast as those dealt by a real dealer, which makes them more profitable both for the players and the casino. Plus, with an automated system, there's no question of dealer error which minimizes disputes and mistakes.

Right now the tables are only configured for Texas Hold'em cash games and single table tournaments, but plans are in the works to produce programming for other games such as Omaha and Seven-Card Stud.

PokerPro tables were first introduced at the International Casino Exhibition in January 2006 in London, and players had a chance to try out the game during the Aussie Millions poker event at the Crown Casino in Melbourne that same month. They're slowly making their way into American casinos, with tables already installed at the Winstar Casino in Oklahoma as well as the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida.

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