Riverboat Gambler (Williams, 1990) VP8

VP8 Williams SS Recreation Riverboat Gambler (Williams 1990) -jpsalas v1.0 released v5.0 JP 2020-01-28

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Solid State Machines


Pinball Wizard
Aug 2, 2005
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Extra keys used in this table: "Q W E R" are used to bet on the Roulette. "i" for info.

Riverboat Gambler was the last 11-C game released by Williams.

Scott Piehler wrote this quick-take for those who
just want to play the silly thing!
(His owns words, and this text is included in the table info)


Basic gameplay summary:
-Enable roulette wheel by either making the skill shot or earning 100
bonus chips.
-Enable roulette jackpot by advancing the backglass win-meter to the
top. Do this by winning the various CASINO games.
-Win at roulette by making the lit shot, and betting correctly using
the buttons on the lockdown bar.
-Complete various tasks to spell CASINO for 2 Million points
-Earn 3 stars for a second chance Extra Ball

A two ball, no-jackpot affair that is started by making the Slot Shot.
Scoring: as in regular play, except each switch also scores a bonus
chip, the BUST CARD is inactive, each WINNING STREAK shot advances the
Win Meter.

(Note-each game you win advances the win meter)

CASINO strategy-If possible, save C for last. Since the award can be
looped, the first shot will complete CASINO. The second shot will
light C to begin spelling CASINO again. *Much* easier.

C-5 Card. Knock down targets and/or shoot the right ramp to spot
playfield cards. Shoot ramp when ROYAL FLUSH arrow is lit to score
500,000 points, 100 or 200 bonus chips, and light C. Royal Flush may
be collected multiple times via looping.

A-Blackjack-Shoot the top right standup target 3 times without hitting
the BUST card standup to score progressive bonus chips and points, and
light A.

S-Slot Machine. Lower the slot ramp by looping Winning Streak shot, or
rolling over lit right inlane. Shoot left ramp when down to receive a
random award (including stars), light S, and begin Multiball.

I-Skill Shot-Make plunger skill shot to score progressive points,
award 100 bonus chips, light I, and play Roulette.

N-Roulette-Correctly bet on Roulette wheel using buttons on lockdown
bar. Award is 100 bonus chips, (800 for a successful bet on GREEN), or
Jackpot, depending on Win Meter. Lose on regular bet-lose 100 bonus
chips. Lose Jackpot bet-lose 1/2 your bonus chips. You must bet
successfully to light N. Win or lose, 4 of the 16 roulette spaces
award a star. A winning GREEN bet advances the Win Meter immediately
to the top.

O-CHIPS-Complete CHIPS standups to receive lit award (can be a star)
and light O.

The only way to really roll up monster scores is to be lucky at
Jackpot Roulette. Barring that, here are some things you can do

ROYAL FLUSH is the most lucrative skill-based game on the playfield.
Since it can be looped, you can roll up millions very quickly. Each
loop also advances the win meter, so it's a great way to set up
Jackpot Roulette.

The only CHIPS standup award really worth going for is Star. Trap ball
on left flipper and time your shot when the award is strobing to
select Star at every opportunity.

Multiball is the best time to collect Blackjack, since the BUST card
is disabled.

Become proficient with the bi-directional lane change, since it's the
easiest way to lower the slot ramp.

Make the skill shot! It's worth 100,000 times the ball in play. It
also instantly starts roulette, and makes the bumpers worth more bonus

This game really rewards flipper passing, and it's fairly easy to do.





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Another fantastic release....I believe I will be playing this a lot when I finally see a proper VP version. I can't thank you enough for all your great work with these tables.

One thing, though......Williams tables usually use flippers that are more "spiky".....you know the shape of them....I achieved that look better when I used flipper settings:

Base radius: 22
End radius: 11
Rubber thickness: 8

You only use thickness 2 which makes the flippers look a bit wrong. This is extremely minor issue and I can correct those in 2 seconds so problem. Actually I'm not 100% sure if newer Wms tables used flippers exactly like this but the older ones certainly did:

Thanks kristian, I never thought about that. I just made the flippers based on the shape in the manual, and I never realised the rubber thikness by looking at the pictures. I'll need to make an update to all my tables when VPM 1.53 comes out, then I'll add this flipper settings too, and I also have learnt to make better looking bumpers, so some tables will get them too.

As you all can see (maybe not ?! :)) I have omited some graphics, and also changed some. I didn't mean to make it 100% identical to the original one, but I think the table looks good like it is. But if you find something missing or too different than the original then just said it and I'll see what i can do with it.

That is a ramp, made of many ramps. The realistic coloring is because it is getting it's texture from another pic. That could be a pic of the ramps ideally, but here it is almost as good, a blured pic of the playfield.

No kickers needed. The hole at the end is real and the ball will orbit maybe or just fall down like real.

Could use refinment, of course, I just whipped this up.


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That is a nice ramp! And nice colouring! You are wellcome to post your version. At first I didn't use kickers, just the hole, but sometimes the ball just fell down at warp speed, so with kickers the movement was more predictable so I ended using the kickers.

Just played Riverboat Gambler, and really had a blast. Didn't score very well, but then I seldom do. Still, all in all a very nice game. Thanks Juan.
I was going to use that method on my version of TAXI.
I don't have a RG, that's your version. When I have both ramps done they are yours, if you want them.
Thanks for release,jpsalas.
It desperately needed this kind
of big cleanup. :thumleft:
Yes, please, Shockman. I had a lot of trial/error to get the ramps done. And your ramps looks perfect to me knowing about the limitations in VP. I tried different wide sizes, from 0,001 to 1, and the size of 1 gave a thin line. I did try to make transparent walls using ramps, but the ball got confused and jumped or stopped completely, that's why I opted for a simple wall for the sides.

I'm glad you like the way I made the table. Thanks for all your comments. I'll update my tables when VPM 1.53 comes out because of the LED's display, at the same time I'll update the bumpers and the transparent ramps.

Did you put walls on the ones on the edge? That's the ticket.

Left wall 60 (visible 0) none none none none none none Right wall 60 (visable 0)

Look at POTO. I have not had a ramp fail in the latest releases.

Basically you want to use widths of two or more for the edges, one or so for the bends, and fractions just for some light and color reflection.
Yes, in the last version of them I used the walls on the edges. I tried too with normal walls, but I found that it was not needed on some places.
tax1121 found a bug: switch 24 was on the floor instead of on the lower right ramp, it is the second time that I rename something and then the switch "falls down", the same thing happened to the Police Force table.

kristian also pointed that the flippers have a different shape on the Williams pinballs of that time.

So I made these two changes and I've uploaded the table to my site and here. I wanted to try the new ramps that Shockman did before I made an update, but a bug is a bug :)

Sorry Jp. I don't have them done. I showed the left one as is. I have not even started on the right and tonight when I open it I will still be looking at the left one. I'll let you know tomorrow what I have. I do it as quick as I can. If you zoom in on the image you will see that two of the ramps that are used for streaks of light reflection were missed. Also the lines are going to be made as thin as can be an still be seen and perhaps many more of them.

When I get these to you, and if you find that they are the current state of the art in functional transparent ramps, then we'll look into a nice set for TAXI. For taxi, I want the graphics mapped to be of a real TAXI set. I think they could be made to look about 3 times more realistic than what I have shown, maybe 5.65 times.

RiverBoat Gambler is a joy to play. very nicely done.
Ok. The more I do, the more I find I could do. Anyway the left ramp works just right.

The right one is a bit different, and if that works out right then it will be back to the left side.

I was hoping to give these to you tonight, I do have other stuff to do, but you simply do not want them yet. Don't worry, this is first after the bowler, and I need many breaks from that. There is better than 50/50 chance of you having this tomorrow night. I'll have to download your update and move them over to that first.

I can't play the slots. Just can't make the shot, I guess. Help me. Any other tips about this game too.


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I don't know. 80/20 against. I have to work today, I'll see if I can finish them up tonight. If not , tomorrow by late morning for sure.

They both function well.

They are angle independant. I could make the Slots sign the same if you can't. That would make it 100%.

I played the slots. I thought it was a drop ramp, but it's just a diverter.

How do you get to settings? I can just find tests.

Am I the only one not getting an animated plunger. It looks stock, but just sits there.

Thanks again for Riverboat Gambler, Jp.


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Just take the time you need. Don't hurry. Nice ramps, I like them.
The Plunger should work. It is a standard plunger from VP. Nothing special with it.
I think that after the tests starts the settings. Just keep pressing 8. But I have only played the table with the standard settings.
Those ramps look excellent Shocky.

And I agree...this is a fun table to play. Really enjoyable...but perhaps a little bit on easy side.
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