What should you do if you have a winning card game people will love? If you’re Joel Nord, get some business partners, Ken Noack, Rick Pierucci, Ted Maniates, Donald Porter Jr. and Ray Miller, and sell it to casinos.
Nord invented his card game, Wild 52, in high school. At the time he called it simply 52, and he worked over the past 40 years playing the game and working the rules. According to Bakersfield.com, his story is similar to Mrs. Fields. Her friends pushed for her to market her cookies, and Nord’s friend have pushed for him to sell his game.
His partner Noack, a retired deputy coroner, knew people at the Flamingo. The Flamingo liked the game (you can play 40 hands per hour, which is clipping right along) and gave “Wild 52” a 45- to 180-day field test to see if gamblers would take to it. They did. And so did Shuffle Master Inc, among the largest distributors of table games in the world, with more than 700 employees.
Although the odds favor the house by 3 percent, players can win up to a 1,000 to 1 on a single bet. On the second day at the Flamingo, a man placed a $15 bet and won $3,750.
“I thought we were done,” said Nord, who was concerned about the large payout. “I was wrong because the casino wants the excitement because it draws gamblers to the table.”
“Wild 52” goes like this: The dealer deals himself and the other players five cards. There are two community cards, which can be used in anybody’s hand.
The object of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand using the best five out of seven cards.
“The joker is completely wild, which makes it one of the first games to do that,” Nord said. “The joker can be any card you want.”
Screenshot from Wild 52