Dec 10, 2014

Updated Electric Wheel Network - Including Table


New Tri-Wheel® Table


Slotted Tri-Wheel® tables to be used with tickets have not been produced for Minnesota since 1991.  We are gratified that so many of them remain in play; however, much has happened with technology since they were designed in 1986.

This electronic table uses a multi-touch sensitive playing surface (green) and virtual chips and is played in consort with an electronic wheel.  Both are to be connected to our server which stores records of play and activity on the table as well as conducting spins.  The playing surface includes six player stations.  The chip bank of each player is composed entirely of chips in the denomination value the player selected.  The numbers on the chips are not indicators of value but of quantity.  One player's chips could be worth $1 each while another's could be 10¢.  The computer recognizes the difference and the payouts are in multiples of the respective value.

The table continues to utilize an operator whose job is issuance of chips (currency plunged into the double locking drop box) redemption of chips (printed receipt - to be redeemed at cashier station) and calling for the spins when the table is ready.

Calculations on payouts and even how many chips worth, for instance 50¢ are to be issued for $20 are performed by the computer.  The operator doesn't need to count out and sell tickets and then discard them paying each off one-at-a-time after the spin is completed.  With the operator relieved of needing to perform ticket sales and quick calculations, accuracy is improved while time is saved allowing operators to refocus on player service.

The operator provides instruction in how to play and generally is charged with keeping an upbeat, fun attitude.  We hope to deploy the game sometime in early to mid 2016.

Sep 14, 2014

Electric Tri-Wheel® Network System Configuration


Electronic simulated wheels are already legal in Minnesota.  What we are seeking in Minnesota is an efficient and secure ticket system that could actually work.  With this system, we are still using a paper ticket; however, the player can use paper or a mobile app to plan their play - select their wagers.  Either way, their selections, amounts and quantity of spins needs to be scanned into the system and an official ticket is printed.  In Minnesota, we are also seeking the ability to use symbols instead of being required to always use numbers on the wheel.  If we can use symbols and numbers, our successful North Dakota wheel, Pig Wheel™, would come to Minnesota.  That is, if we can get ticket modifications.

Mar 18, 2014

Flash 2014: Minnesota H.F. 2725 - Parlor Edition of Paddle Wheels Going Down Without a Hearing

Minnesota H.F. 2725 - 
Going Down Without a Hearing

NOTE ON MINNESOTA:  At the 2011 annual Allied Charities of Minnesota Expo and general membership gathering Gaming Studio acquired a double size booth to display the potential for electronic simulated wheels using an on-demand ticket printing system that would electronically record all wagers and payouts at any site at any time in the state.  The process would be more secure, less expensive, greater accountability and regulatory oversight along with opening the game to more rural or lower traffic sites.  The Minnesota legislature did authorize “simulated” paddle wheels in 2012; however, such electronic simulated wheels must still use the very expensive ticket and table process.  At the 2012 Allied Charities of Minnesota annual membership gathering, the membership voted to make the changes in ticketing process one of their legislative priorities.  


We were gratified that the general membership of Allied Charities of Minnesota (ACM) voted in November of 2012 to make it a legislative priority to change the ticketing definitions allowing for the "Parlor-style" Tri-Wheel.  

Mar 9, 2014

MN 2014 - H.F. 2725 - Paddle Wheel Ticket Modifications

Representative Ben Lien and Representative Joe Hoppe have introduced the bill that would modify the definition of Paddle Wheel to allow wheels with symbols in addition to numerals.  In the Senate, the bill is S.F.2612 introduced by Senator Metzen.  If passed the road would essentially be clear for us to introduce our highly successful Pig Wheel™ to Minnesota.  The Pig Wheel would be in electronic simulated format.  You can read more about this edition of the Pig Wheel here.  The Parlor edition of the Pig Wheel [click here] would join our 1986 designed Tri-Wheel table game.  There is nothing in this legislation that would intentionally detract or change the present Tri-Wheel operation with a table and operator.  Yet, we have a keen interest in addressing issues with the Tri-Wheel/table game in the future whereby the table play would be enhanced with features making it more secure and less expensive to operate.  More on that another time.  The Tri-Wheel/table game is one of the most social games in bars operating charitable gaming and we love that a person can sit at the table rubbing shoulders with others he/she may not otherwise meet.

You can see the Parlor edition of the Tri-Wheel® here.  For reasons I can't quite get into now, we believe the Parlor edition of the Pig Wheel will find quicker acceptance and be more fun than a Parlor edition of the Tri-Wheel.  At least in the beginning.

The legislation adds language that would allow tickets to be printed by electro-mechanical printers on site.  When you go to the Parlor sites linked above, you will be introduced to the style of ticket that would be generated.

We hope like heck that the legislation goes through this year.  Minnesota has pulltabs in electronic form.  Minnesota has electronic networked Bingo.  Minnesota has electronic simulated paddle wheels in statute; however, it needs the ticketing system modifications.  This legislation is NOT about allowing electronic wheels -- they are already legal.  It is about allowing the use of a ticket systems that is more secure, less expensive, more easily audited and regulated while saving tons, literally tons, of paper.

Minnesota Charities - Contact Your Legislator
Support H.F. 2725 and S.F. 2612

Jun 4, 2013

Modification of Paddle Ticket Failed in MN

The pursuit of a modification of the definition of paper paddle tickets in an attempt to allow electro-mechanically on-demand printed tickets failed in the Minnesota legislature.  This despite the wishes of the membership of the largest charitable gaming trade association in the state - Allied Charities of Minnesota.  It was handily muscled down by the tribes who it appeared to be very nervous over the possibility of electro-mechanically printed tickets becoming a dangerous competitor to their tribal casinos.  So, the greater security, lower cost of operation, greater efficiencies and ease of regulating and auditing modification to the method of ticketing wheel games for charitable organizations using gaming as a fundraising activity throughout Minnesota lost to unsubstantiated fear of competition by tribal casinos who operate electronic slot machines, "21" etc.  Rational?  No.  Amazing?  Yes.

Mar 16, 2013

Minnesota Legislation 2013

In the 2012 session of the Minnesota legislature, language was added "a paddle wheel may be an electronic device that simulated a paddle wheel."  The problem now rests with the tickets.  Paddle tickets, attached to paddle ticket cards, are quite expensive on a per-bet basis.  The paddle ticket language was designed before personal computers were in popular use (1985 -1986).  Each ticket is serial numbered and they are sold as a group of five attached to a single serial numbered stub.

For the 2013 legislative session, the membership of Allied Charities of Minnesota, the charitable gaming trade association, voted to have corrective language submitted to the legislature allowing for electro-mechanically printed tickets, similar to those printed for lottery or Keno.  Thus, the bills H.F. No. 1060 and S.F. No. 1006 were drafted and introduced as the charitable gaming bills with language that would correct the ticket associated problems allowing efficient introduction of electronic paddle wheels.

Shortly after the bills were introduced, several lobbyists for the tribes suggested to the leadership of Allied Charities of Minnesota that they had a problem with the paddle ticket language in the charitable gaming bills.  The leadership of ACM consented to have the paddle wheel language struck in order to preserve their alliance with the tribes in good standing.  Thus, in the Senate State and Local Government Committee, the paddle ticket language was struck on a voice vote.  It is not me so much as it was the charities who have been injured.  The charities, especially the rural charities in bars too small to warrant wheels with tables, would have made money not only from the operation of the authorized electronic wheels, but from the efficient use of computer technology in reducing their use of paper tickets by at least 95%.  The charities would have had an excellent control system and the regulatory agency would have had a perfect fix on every dollar moved on the games.  The environment would have been helped by the use of far fewer tickets along with the freight for those tickets.  Obviously, the tribes were nervous over the possible competition the Parlor edition of the Tri-Wheel would have brought their casinos.  We might say, in a backhanded way, they have endorsed the potential of the game.

There is still a chance given the language remains in the House version of the bill.  I would suggest Minnesota charities that care about the possibility of operating the Parlor edition, call Al Lund at Allied Charities of Minnesota 651-224-4533 and call Representative Joe Atkins (651) 296-4192 - pretty much the key legislator for gaming on the House side.  Let Rep Atkins know that you want the paddle wheel ticket language in H.F. No. 1060 to remain in the bill.


Jul 9, 2012

Parlor Tri-Wheel® for MN & ND

We are actively working on the possibility of introducing the Parlor edition of the Tri-Wheel® in Minnesota and possibly North Dakota.  The Pig Wheel™ would be an additional game that we are considering placing on the ND network.  The Pig Wheel is unavailable for Minnesota at this time given that Minnesota does not authorize symbols without numerals for wheel segments.

In Minnesota legislation may be required in order for us to use electronic or machine-printed paddletickets with player's actual selections rather than the preprinted tickets that bear all of the possible bet selections.  We have no desire to replace wheels operated with tables as they are one of the most social games available.  The Parlor Tri-Wheel (or Pig for ND) can also be quite social when a group of people engage in pooling money to see if they can win enough to pay for their drinks but it doesn't get you necessarily rubbing elbows at the table with someone you would not otherwise meet. 

Bear with us as we are working on the prospect.  And, if you have legislators willing to help out -- please have them contact us.

Jan 6, 2012

Parlor Tri-Wheel™ Legislative Approval?

The Parlor Tri-Wheel image above is what you would see on a 70" Samsung monitor in a bar that is connected to the statewide Tri-Wheel network.  Players would find "Player Selection Forms" on the table and select their bet choices for as many spins forward as they wish.  The payoff is a multiple of the wager and the minimal selection would be 10 cents with a minimal bet per spin of $1.  Once the player fills out the form it is scanned and a machine printed ticket is produced as the official game ticket.  The wheel spins every four or five minutes.  A table of people might pool their money to play the wheel for several consecutive spins.

This becomes the lowest cost Tri-Wheel game affordable to have in almost any environment.  It also becomes the most secure and can include automatic reporting to the state. 

Affordable, secure, fun..........let the Tri-Wheel spin.  All it needs is legislative authorization.  Go to:  Tri-Wheel.com and look at the Parlor and Lotto editions.  Let us know if you can assist getting this approved.

Dec 4, 2011

Some Places to Play

A partial list of sites to play.  Call to check.  This is as of November 2011.

In Minneapolis/St. Paul Area:

Space Aliens Grill & Bar, 11166 County Road 37, Albertville, 763-497-6718

Classic Bowl, 11707 Round Lake Blvd, Coon Rapids, 763-421-4402, www.classicbowlmn.com

Hopkins Tavern on Main, 819 Main Street, Hopkins, MN
952-933-1230   http://www.hopkinstavern.com

The Dog House Bar and Grill, 2029 Windlynn Ave., Maplewood, 651-621-1535

1029 Bar, 1029 Marshall St. NE, Mpls  612-379-4322  www.the1029bar.com

Big Louie's Bar and Grill, 790 County Rd D, New Brighton, 651-636-2901

Monties Sports Bar, 8299 University Ave, Saint Louis Park, 763-784-2230

Povilitzki's on 65, 8407 Plaza Blvd., Saint Louis Park, 763-784-7110

Lonetti's Lounge (on Friday and Saturday only), 1091 Rice Street, Saint Paul, MN  651-488-0004

Blue Fox, 3833 Lexington Ave. N. St. Paul, MN, 651-483-6000, www.bluefoxgrill.com

Biff's Sports Bar and Grill, 7777 Hwy 65 NE, Spring Lake Park  763-784-9446, www.biffssportsbar.com

In North Dakota the Tri-Wheel is played at:

Blue Wolf Casino at Cactus Jacks Saloon inside West Acres Bowl, 3402 Interstate Blvd. S., Fargo,
http://bluewolfcasino.org  701-232-2019.

The Bowler, 2630 South University, Fargo, 701-293-0200: http://www.thebowlerfargo.com/fargo-nd-bars.htm

Note:  North Dakota is Pig Wheel™ country.  They play the Pig Wheel instead of the Tri-Wheel® except at the above two locations.

If you know of more -- write us at: info@tri-wheel.com

Nov 8, 2011

Newest Tri-Wheel® Released Today

The Dakota Tri-Wheel has just been released on the App Store as a full featured Tri-Wheel® with three independently spinning rings. It gives you a good idea as to where we are going with our Parlor Edition. You may want to click the icon above to acquire this very fun application. Hey, it's cheap.

Also note that we now have the www.tri-wheel.com Website functioning in addition to our www.gamingstudio.com and www.dakotatri-wheel.com.

Aug 7, 2011

Entirely New Tri-Wheel Version Coming


A new line of Tri-Wheels based on the Minnesota Tri-Wheel. This Line has versions for charitable gaming, lottery, casino and a tie-in amusement rendition. We expect to announce in September. You can also watch for this at: www.dakotatri-wheel.com and www.gamingstudio.com

It's been a long time coming.........

Mar 20, 2009

Community Pages -- Tell us your Tri-Wheel Story

Use the comment area and let us know your tri-wheel story or comment on the game. If you are an operator, player or the Minnesota Tri-Wheel Queen Sandy Hoff --- feel welcome to share a story with us.

From 1986 through end of 2008, over $311 million has been wagered on Minnesota paddlewheels producing about $57 million in gross profit to the nonprofit organizations conducting them. We hope players have fun and know they are helping fund a myriad of great public projects and organizations. Remember that this wheel is for "gaming" and not "gambling." Game for fun and gamble for profit. Don't "gamble" on games with fixed house advantages.... In short, don't try to "income play" this game.

Jul 23, 2007

Tri-Wheel® North Dakota - Present


Tri-Wheel® operated at the Blue Wolf Casino in Fargo, North Dakota. Note that it uses chip betting and not the tickets that are used in Minnesota. The laydown (felt) could use changing. Ahem. The Tri-Wheel has been in operation at the Blue Wolf for many years. Mostly, the North Dakota market is owned by the Pig Wheel™. Note the camera monitor to the operators left allowing him to see the wheel without turning away from his table full of chips.

Jul 9, 2007

Rare Tribal Edition of Tri-Wheel®


Casino version of the Tri-Wheel® as played at Fond du Luth in 1986. The colors were to match the decor in the casino. It had a special chip tray providing capacity for at least ten players and was staffed by two people. Similar Tri-Wheels were located at Fortune Bay on Lake Vermilion and Mystic Lake Casino at Shakopee roughly during the same time. They were too expensive to staff given the player base at that time. I do not know if any of these locations have blown the dust off their equipment and attempted to re-introduce them. If you know something about these early casino editions, please share it with all of us using the comment post feature on this blog. Let's try to build a little history through this blog. Thanks.
Tribal edition of Tri-Wheel® is copyrighted.
© Copyright 1991, Gaming Studio, Inc., Fargo, North Dakota. All Rights Reserved.

Jun 27, 2007

How to Play


Minnesota Tri-Wheel as played under regulations of Minnesota.

Player approaches the table and slides the wheel operator cash. The wheel operator will provide the player with a card having a unique ID number on it. The cash is converted to like value of chips and the cash is then plunged into the lock box.

With the chips, you buy only as many tickets as you wish to wager on the very next spin. The tickets have serial numbers to track their sales by spins. All tickets in player hands must be placed in tables slots associated with betting choices each time there is a spin.

You bet your tickets by first writing your player ID number on the back and then placing them in slots representing what you wish to bet on. You will note that there are three graphic rings on the wheel, each segmented and associated with numbers. The outer blue ring has 40 numbers the middle yellow ring has 20 numbers and the inner ring has 10 numbers. Each time the wheel stops, the paddle (pointer) indicates a winning number in each of those graphic rings. You are precluded by Minnesota law from betting more than $50 worth of tickets on any particular spin. You can, however, bet up to $10 on any individual number or up to $25 on any one letter/line bet or on odd/even. A placard near the table informs the player what is being paid out for each winning bet.

Note on odd/even: if a blue number bearing one of the six stickers wins, the house wins all odd and even bets. If you bet the exact blue number of the associated line bet (indicated by the alpha slots A - D) wins, without regard to stickers you are paid. The stickers only apply to odd and even bets.

Several of the bet selections on the Minnesota Tri-Wheel make the game better player odds than pulltabs or bingo. "Odd" and "Even" bets have an effective payout of 85%. Have fun. You can make your money last quite a long time betting odd/even and the odds are still among the best on the table. All wins are paid off with chips. You cash the chips in at the pull-tab counter.

Jun 25, 2007

Tri-Wheel® circa 1988


Note: Click the little box if photo not showing.


You can tell that this is an early edition of the Tri-Wheel as the numbers are sequential within the three rings. The lack of a glossy face and the very effective custom machined bearing system also suggest that this predated 1988. Over the entire course of production, there were eleven different editions, each successively better than the last. Bias, perhaps, but I feel this is the finest, truest spinning wheel of its size for the money. If I didn't feel this way, I would make yet another change to it....

The very first Tri-Wheel, went into operation mid-1986, did not use a table. That was added to the operation later in 1986. The early tables were rectangular and had 4 ft. by 8 ft. playing surfaces. Around 1989 we shifted to the smaller table with tapered corners as seen to the right. It was a matter of space.

This is the Tri-Wheel setup that was located at the former Moorhead Ramada Inn operated by the Clay-Wilkin Opportunity Council if I am not mistaken.