Playing games of chance for money prizes is a popular pastime in almost every corner of the globe. According to recent projections, the land-based global gambling market will hit a size of $525 billion in the next three years, and the online sector should double in the next six. However, despite year-on-year growth, many working within this industry worry about casino-style gambling not appealing to people under 40-years-old. Those that fall into this age group have little interest in playing anything chance-based. Therefore, casino video games are slowly making their way into this industry.
Fish tables are one of the more recent attempts to incorporate skill-based gambling onto casino floors. Technically, they fall in line with a sub-genre of arcade titles known as redemption games. Meaning, they reward a player proportionally to the score that they achieve via their gameplay. In the past, you could find such machines at fairs. There, they would also incorporate a luck aspect. Namco’s Flamin’ Finger is likely one of the more popular products within this genre.
How to Play and Win
As mentioned, to play a fish game, you will have to grab a seat at a foosball-like table. It will feature a monitor where 3D fish of different sizes will swim in and out of view. These games are your classic arcade-style shooters. You load credits into a machine, and it supplies you with ammo for different weapons. Naturally, shots from the more powerful ones are pricier, but you are more likely to get a hit using them. Each fish has a bet multiplier attached, meaning you get different sized prizes for every successful shot. The larger the fish that you hit, the bigger the reward you obtain. In a sense, you are competing against the other players when playing these games because you all draw wins from the same fish tank/prize pool. That means that someone else can snag all the massive fish and leave you chasing after only small rewards. So you have to approach your gameplay wisely and figure out steps that work for you depending on your bankroll. Developers often spice the gameplay by adding fictional creatures into the mix, such as sea dragons and giant crabs. Hitting any of these should result in decently-sized payouts.
You will not find fish table games at most brand US casinos. They get advertised as skill-based, and not all states have laws that make such gambling legal on casino floors. For example, poker is a skill game, and its regulation wildly differs from games of chance, such as slots and blackjack. They also have too much of an arcade-feel for premium gaming establishments. The Sands in Las Vegas is a rare exception, as it features a six-person, 60-inch-screen table titled Amazon Fishing. You are far more likely to come across fish tables at sweepstakes parlors or local arcades. Though, in many states, there are ongoing debates regarding their legality. That is why it is your best bet to check out fish tables at internet casinos. OUSC has a list of websites where you can play fish table games online. These are more or less identical to a physical machine, except that you will have to play them using your keyboard and mouse or a gamepad.
Fish Catch from iGaming pioneer Realtime Gaming (RTG) is the most popular internet version of a fish table. It features stunning 3D graphics, and there is a Mermaid’s Luck wheel that appears at random, which can get you a prize worth up to x250 your stake per shot.
Types of Games
Though the predominant theme of these games is aquatic creatures, they can incorporate just about anything. Fish Game Kings is the first US company to focus solely on fish tables. In their catalog, you can find products that feature Batman, Godzilla, and even former US President Donald Trump. All of these also feature fish on top of these pop culture phenomena. Other famous Fish Game Kings titles include Ape’s Rampage, Buffalo Thunder, and Black Pearl.
As mentioned, these games are multi-player shooters, but the number of joystick controllers at a table can vary between two to ten. If this number is below five, the screen of the game cabinet will likely be vertical. Thus, you may have the ability to stand and play at such machines, much like you would be when enjoying an arcade classic. In many instances, flat-screen tables have a flip-screen option that turns a ten-person cabinet into a four-player vertical one.
Intelligent Game Software is Asia’s leader when it comes to these arcade-style machines. They claim to be responsible for developing over 1,150 gaming products, and they specialize in fish tables. Some of their releases feature ridiculous themes such as ostrich racing, jungle animal-running, panda vs. alien, meteor showers, etc. However, they also have a few releases that emulate old arcade genres, such as beat-em-up games. All of these utilize more-or-less the same gameplay principles explained for fish tables.
In the online sphere, besides Realtime Gaming, Betsoft has also branched off into this gaming category. Nevertheless, they have decided to go in a different direction by creating titles where you shoot wild beasts and the undead instead of aquatic life. The first entry in their Max Quest series hit online casinos in October of 2018, and so far, it has had two sequels (Dead Man’s Cove and Mission: Amazon). However, online gamblers will get treated to two more in April of 2021, as Max Quest Rise of the Mummy and Max Quest Dragon Stone will arrive on the internet on the 15th of that month.
To Wrap Up
Remember, playing fish tables is gambling, so practicing proper bankroll management should always be a top priority. Only buy the ammo amount that you can afford to lose. Do not get ahead of yourself by overstepping your means. You are unlikely to get rich by playing these tables. So aim to score decent-sized wins to walk away with some pocket change. Since every shot has a price, never fire without aiming, and pay attention to swimming patterns. An algorithm determines fish movement, so you may be able to exploit flaws in it if you can spot repeating behavior.
If you want to win money playing video games, and have a soft spot for arcade machines, then fish tables are right up your alley. They are simple to play and can snag you more than a few extra dollars in your pocket if you can aim wisely. In the best-case scenario, your expertise will only lower the house advantage by around 8%. You will not be able to get so good at these machines that you will always walk away from them as a winner. Think of them like slots where you have somewhat of a say in each result. The usual low-roller strategy involves shooting smaller fish only, gradually collecting points.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff is an online slot maven currently employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. She has been writing professionally about online gambling since 2009 and has contributed thousands of articles to countless top iGaming websites. Though slots are her specialty, Shelly also has in-depth knowledge about baccarat, roulette, and blackjack. In her downtime, she enjoys reading Agatha Christie-type novels and playing with her golden retriever Garry.