High Roller Casino is a physical pinball table designed by Jon Norris and illustrated by Kevin O'Connor and John Youssi. Released by Stern Pinball in 2001, it stands as Jon Norris' first commercially released pin designed for a company other than Premier Technology, the last table he designed, and the last non-licensed theme table released by any iteration of Stern before they acquired the rights to mass produce Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons in 2014.
The object of the game is to win six casino games: 21 (Blackjack), Craps, Hi-Lo, Poker, Roulette and Slots. The last of these will be the most frequently played of the six games, as playing the slots lights the lock for Slot Machine Multiball, while the bumpers can be reached by shooting an unlit orbit, catching the ball in a magnet at the top of the orbits, which releases the ball on top of the bumpers. The games also award you chips if you win, which increase your bonus and also factor into one of the game's Wizard Modes. If this all seems a bit overwhelming, bear in mind that repeated ramp shots will grant you a Cheat Game, turning your next loss into a big win.
The other main feature of the table is Roll 'N Win, a simple backbox-mounted circular board game that you play by shooting the ramp when Roll 'N Win is lit. The game rolls two dice and you pick one, moving that many spaces, then taking whatever effect is on the space you landed on, which include instant multiball, spotting a casino game, big points, free chips and a mystery award. Each time you complete one circuit of Roll 'N Win, you activate a Super Award, starting with Super Pops, followed by Super Loops, then Super Spinner and finally Super Surprise. Landing on the starting space increases the Super Mode's duration by 50%, so try to do so whenever possible.
High Roller Casino is not often held in high regard by pinheads, but it certainly has its charms. If you can look past the admittedly uninspiring A/V package, the non-brand-name designer and the VERY stop-and-go play, you'll find a great deck for beginning to intermediate players with plenty of goals to aspire for, some fairly amusing quotes and a well-done casino theme that is woefully underused in modern pins.
Tropes found in High Roller Casino include:
- Absolute Cleavage: Prominent on the two women accompanying the gambler on the backglass.
- Awesomeness Meter / Idiosyncratic Combo Levels: In Slot Machine Multiball, the Slot Machine can award anything from a Super Jackpot to a Super-Duper-Mega-Extreme Jackpot depending on how many shots' Triple Jackpots were collected first. The longer the name, the more points that are awarded.
- Betting Minigame: The six casino games.
- Big Fun: The gambler.
- The Casino
- Creator Cameo: In Poker, the Jokers have the face of Stern Pinball president Gary Stern. Might also qualify as a Take That!, given the circumstances of Jon Norris' acrimonious departure from Stern soon afterward.
- Everything Is Big in Texas: The gambler is a bombastic, beefy man with a white stetson hat.Gambler: "This one's for Texas!"
- Fanservice Extra: The Las Vegas showgirl on the backglass, playfield, and backbox art.
- Flawless Victory: Landing right on the starting space in Roll 'N Win extends the duration of the Super Award you receive by 50%.
- Law of 100: Collecting 100 chips starts Break the Bank.
- Losing Horns: An understated four descending notes, heard when you bust in Blackjack.
- Luck-Based Mission/That One Boss: Craps has a tricky target to shoot, an open-ended number of shots to make and can only be advanced during single-ball play.
- No Fair Cheating: Inverted; not only is cheating at the casino games a central mechanic, but there is actually a specific way to cheat at roulette if you continue to hit the pop bumpers after roulette is lit, you can bet on two or even all three colors.Gambler: "I'll take 'em anyway I can get 'em, just like my women!"
- The Place
- Professional Gambler: The Texan on the backglass.
- Rule of Three: Subverted; Break The Bank, Casino Frenzy and Slot Machine Multiball are all four-ball multiballs.
- Score Multiplier: You can get bonus X by hitting a red slot on the Skill Shot, by shooting the spinner at the right orbit or from Roll 'N Win.
- Skill Shot: Depending on which color slot on the roulette wheel the ball goes down, you receive a different prize: points (black), bonus X (red) or chips (green).
- Spelling Bonus: Spell H-I-L-O on the inlanes and outlanes to play Hi-Lo.
- Suddenly SHOUTING!: The Gambler, during Slot Machine Multiball."SUPER DUPER MEGA EXTREME JAACKPOOOOT!!!"
- Unreliable Narrator: The Texan gambler makes a few errors in his narration.
- When you light Roulette, he says "Roulette! Just close your eyes and pick a number!" The game only allows you to "bet" on colors.
- When you Roll 'N' Win three slot spins, he says "Three free pulls! That's free money!" Unfortunately, each failed spin still takes away a chip.
- Viva Las Vegas!: The game logo is modeled after the Real Life Las Vegas city sign.
- Wizard Mode: Much like Stargate, another Norris design, High Roller Casino has three Wizard Modes: "Casino Frenzy" (the primary wizard mode, earned by winning all six casino games), "Break the Bank" (earned by reaching 100 chips) and "Super Surprise" (earned by completing Roll 'N Win four times).
- Woman: "Bye, good lookin'."