Jun 08

Following a spectacularly well-received debut at ICE 2020, Evolution Gaming officially launches Live Power Blackjack.

Evolution Launches Live Power Blackjack Following Spectacular ICE 2020 Debut

There aren’t too many ‘new’ casino games that are received with fanfare these days. New blackjack variants, in particular, generally lack anything unique enough to perk the brows of avid players. But every once in a while, something comes along that actually generates a double-take from the game’s biggest fans; or, in this case, maybe a triple-take or quadruple-take.

I’m talking, of course, about Power Blackjack, the newest addition to the Evolution Gaming live casino menu. As the name cleverly implies, this exceptional variation of 21 gives players more power. “
More power to what?”, you ask… the power to bet, and win, (or lose) more money! Instead of the usual Double Down, players can take it a step or two farther with options to Triple Down or Quadruple Down.

Evolution Launches Live Power Blackjack

It’s been four months since Power Blackjack Live debuted at the ICE 2020 expo in London. Late last week, it was officially launched under the wing of Evolution’s live dealer ‘Infinite Blackjack’ wing. The Infinitive suite of games delivers an unlimited player experience, wherein a single table can accommodate an infinite number of players.

With this game giving all players the power the win up to 4x their wager, it’s sure to become one of the hottest new blackjack games of the year. At least, that’s what Chief Product Officer, Todd Haushalter, and the rest of the executive crew at Evolution Gaming are hoping for.

“The mission was to give players more of what they love about Blackjack without changing the underlying gameplay,” explained Haushalter in a press release regarding last week’s launch.

“We know that players love classic Blackjack, but we are always looking for new ways to keep it fresh,” he said. “Creating a version where players can triple and quadruple down, instead of just double down, felt like a great way to do this.”

The CPO went on to explicate the series of events that led to their production of live dealer Power Blackjack.

A few years ago we created Infinite Blackjack, which is simply a Blackjack platform that allows an unlimited number of players at just one table, instead of the standard seven seats. Building on the success of our proven Infinite format, we have created further new Blackjack game types such as Free Bet Blackjack and now Power Blackjack, with more to come in the future.”

How to Play Live Power Blackjack

The rules of the game follow that of traditional blackjack, except for a few minor alterations. Having such a player-friendly advantage, the game’s creators were required to skew the rules back into the casino’s favor. The end result was a set of rules that look like this:

  • 8 Decks
  • Dealer Stands on All 17s (Hard and Soft)
  • Double/Triple/Quadruple Down on any two-card hand
  • Split once, up to 2 hands
  • Double/Triple/Quadruple after split
  • No drawing to split Aces
  • Dealer peeks
  • 6-Card Charlie pays 1:1
  • Blackjack pays 3:2

By these rules, the house edge gives the casino a 1.2% advantage, equivalent to an RTP of 98.8%. That’s higher than the average online blackjack game, but not a terrible trade-off for players who value the entertainment factor above a strategically rendered return on investment.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 31

Three worst online casino game ideas that bombed.

What Were They Thinking? Worst Online Casino Game Ideas that Bombed

The online gambling industry is unique in many ways, one being that each internet casino presents limitless borders. An operator can pack in as many games as it wants and never run out of space. As such, virtual gaming floors are the perfect forum for testing out new game ideas.

In the last two decades, we’ve seen a lot of new games rise to ultimate glory. Microgaming’s 243 ways to win slots were a smashing success! Lottery-style sit-n-goes, first introduced by French operator Winamax in 2013, revolutionized internet poker. Live dealer casinos, debuted in 2003 by Playtech and perfected by Evolution Gaming in 2006, solved the lack of realism in RNG-based gambling.

Worst Online Casino Game Ideas that Bombed

Not every game created is an instant success. In fact, just like land-based table game inventions, the majority of them die on the virtual gaming floor – some faster than others.

7-Card Stud video poker was a perfect example. It made the games more complicated than they needed to be. Similarly, 7-reel slot machines failed to attract players, who found them to confusing to keep up with. Duplicate Poker turned players off by elimination the luck factor entirely. Yes, poker players love the skill element, but without the marginal influence of the luck of the draw, no one wanted to play anymore.

Those games were historically bad ideas, but none more so than the three games I’m about to tell you about. These titles died so quickly, today’s players may have completely missed their short-lived appearance.

#1 Showtime Hold’em Poker

Showtime Holdem Poker

Showtime Poker was an online poker variant introduced by PokerStars in May 2018. It was conceived under the premise that players believed it was “about time poker players show their folded cards”. At the end of a hand, all mucked cards would be revealed.

PokerStars wanted this game to take off like a rocket! They were so enthused about it that they contracted some of their most famous pros to build hype by streaming Showtime Poker tables on their live Twitch feeds.

There were two major problems with this format. Pro players hated it, because it forced them to give away their game play secrets. Amateurs hated it because they don’t give a crap about seeing mucked cards. End result – everyone hated it!

#2 Live Casino Slot Machines

In 2011, the creative minds at Evolution Gaming believed they’d had an epiphany. Live casinos are a perfect playground for table games, but they were unable to accommodate players of the most popular casino games on the planet – slot machines. Enter stage right, live dealer slots.

This bold introduction was meant to revolutionize the live casino industry. Evolution put a lot of thought and detail into its debut, going so far as to replace virtual reels with actual spinning wheels. A dealer would host the game, offering commentary and providing live chat interaction with players.

What went wrong? Well, slots players enjoy traditional slot games for a reason. They like the singularity. They like controlling the pace of the games. Turning slot machines into a social affair was unnecessary, uninvited, and unwelcome.

Of worthy mention, live dealer slot machines are attempting a comeback this year, although I don’t expect the results to be any different.

#3 Virtual Reality (VR) Gambling

VR Casino Gambling

This is one concept most of you will remember. It wasn’t long ago, around 2015-16, that the virtual reality movement made its push. The concept was spot on. Throw on a headset and enter a virtual casino world, where your real-life actions transfer into the virtual realm in the most realistic digital casino games ever imagined exist!

Yes, it was quite a concept, but it did not catch on, and for one very simple reason. The technology necessary, and availability of that technology, has not yet reached mainstream households. That’s not to say that VR gambling doesn’t still have a chance in years to come.

Microgaming was making mobile games back in 2003, but it wasn’t until 2007 that the first smartphones appeared. Who wanted to play slots on a flip phone? No one. Another five years would pass before the mobile gambling revolution actually gained a foothold, and now, it’s the number one way to play over the internet, and enjoy all the new online casino game ideas that developers are constantly spitting out – the good and the bad.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Mar 13

Internet Casino Gambling: Can I win real money at online casinos?

Internet Casino Gambling: Can you win real money at online casinos?

As a long-time iGamer, it seems strange to me that people still ask this question. Online casinos have been around so long, the industry itself is of legal gambling age! They actually started popping up in the mid to late 1990s. But alas, I do realize not everyone has been spinning digital slots reels and flipping virtual cardboard as long as I have, so let’s start from the top…

“Can I win real money at online casinos?”

Yes! There are thousands of internet gambling sites that permit customers to deposit money, make real wagers, and withdrawal their winnings as cash. But it’s not as easy as all that. You can’t go to Google, search “online casino”, click the first link you see and start playing. You can’t even type in “real money online casino” and get the right links these days.

In the next few paragraphs, I’ll explain (in brief) how the system works, how to know if you’re eligible to gamble online, and how to find the right sites to do it safely, securely, and fairly.

Internet Casino Gambling – The Basics

There are two types of internet casinos. The first and most common is a “social casino”. Their games are free to play, but will never award real money. Most of them are mobile phone apps with in-app purchases. You can pay cash for chips, but you can’t trade your chips back for cash. This is not gambling.

Online gambling can only be only done at “real money casinos”. They won’t offer the option to register your account via Google or Facebook. You have to fill out an inclusive registration form, complete with your real name, real address, real date of birth, etc. Once you do this, you’ll need to make a deposit from a financial account or credit/debit card belonging to you.

Once you’re account is funded, you’ll get a nice bonus of some sort to enhance your bankroll. You can then browse the full menu of casino games – slot machines, table games, video poker, etc. you’ll have the option to play the games for real money, or for free in demo/practice mode.

How do I know if it’s legal for me to gambling online?

Every jurisdiction has its own laws that apply to online gambling. They come in three distinct varieties:

  • Expressly Legal: These are explicit laws that specifically address the act of gambling online to be legal. Certain European countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy, etc.) and US states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, etc.) have these laws in place. These laws will define the age requirements for gambling in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Expressly Illegal: Like the section above, these are express laws that specifically name the act of gambling online – or certain forms of gambling online – to be illegal. In these jurisdictions, residents are not permitted to participate in real money online casino games. Australia, for instance, explicitly legalizes online sports betting, but expressly prohibits online poker and casino gambling.
  • Not Expressly Defined / Grey Market: The term “grey market” applies to a jurisdiction in which the laws do not explicitly permit or prohibit an activity. In short, it is not illegal, therefore it is legal. Canada is a perfect example.
    The laws in Canada are so unclear that it is considered legal to gamble online at offshore casinos, as well as the government-run casinos of certain provinces. The only ones that are truly “illegal” are online casinos operating within Canada, but without the regulatory consent of their local government.

If you’re still not sure, check with your local authorities for clarification.

How to Find Real Money Online Casinos

This has been one of the most frustrating problems for novice players. As I mentioned above, you can’t just search for a relevant key phrase on Google and expect to find one. While there are around 4,000 gambling sites online, there are literally millions of affiliate websites competing for your traffic. Thus, these affiliate sites will appear in the search engines long before an actual casino operator does.

The best advice I can offer is to be very specific in what you’re searching for, because most affiliate sites cater to anyone and everyone. Look for operators that apply to your situation. They should accept players from your country, process deposits and withdrawals in your preferred payment methods, offer the games you like most, etc. If they don’t fit your needs, they’re no good to you.

Use those affiliate links to make a short list of possible candidates, but you don’t have to take their word at face value. After all, affiliates are looking to make money, and to be honest, most of them don’t care about the players nearly so much as they do the profit. You can protect yourself by performing a bit of due diligence on the sites you shortlist.

Here’s a bit of reading material that should help you out with this.

If you find the above challenge too daunting, you can always skip all that and do your online gambling at Royal Vegas. Don’t trust me just because I said it. Trust me because Royal Vegas is 20 years old, employs the industry’s oldest and most respected software brand, Microgaming, is licensed in the immensely respected European jurisdiction of Malta, and offers upwards of 1,000 games, including live dealer casino games. Internet casino gambling doesn’t get any safer than that.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Feb 20

Evolution Live Roulette Canada: The fast and the felicitous!

Evolution Live Roulette Canada: The Fast and the Felicitous

When it comes to any form of live dealer online gambling, Evolution Gaming has one thing none of its rival studios can claim – the absolute best live casino experience, bar none. A stickler for grammar might argue that this statement is merely an opinion, but there are 10 straight years worth of Best Live Casino Supplier awards in Evolution’s trophy case to prove otherwise. To me, that’s more than enough evidence to prove it a fact.

That being said, Canadians looking to experience the best live roulette games the boundless realm of cyberspace has to offer, would do well to look within Evolution-powered online casinos. There, you will find more than enough options to satiate your desire.

Live Roulette Canada – Evolution’s Way

One thing that sets Evolution apart from the rest of the industry is the company’s employment of the most sophisticated, state of the art hardware and software. It’s a commitment they’ve upheld since Evolution first launched in 2006. Similarly, what sets their live croupier roulette tables apart from their rivals, is the immense variety of classic and innovative games players can choose from.

All games offer player / croupier interaction and universal desktop / mobile OS compatibility.

Evolution Gaming provides its live casino licensees with the following types of live dealer roulette tables, ranging from the most basic, to the most diverse:

Live European Roulette

This is the most popular version of roulette played round the world; a basic single-zero game with a standard house edge of 2.7% on all potential wagers. Evolution presents these games in standard and VIP table formats. The interface is both user-friendly and intuitive, featuring a Favorite Bets menu that can hold up to 15 of an individual player’s most commonly placed wagers.

Live American Roulette

American roulette is the double-zero version popularized throughout North American casinos. Anyone who knows the difference is likely to avoid this game. That double-zero effectively doubles the house edge to 5.26%. But alas, not everyone knows the difference, and therefore it remains a classic favorite among more players than you might think. To encourage more players to choose this lower-odds- version, many online casinos will offer lower table stakes at American Roulette.

Live French Roulette

French Roulette is the game the most educated roulette enthusiasts turn to for maximum RTP. It features the same layout and pay table as European Roulette, but features the La Partage rule, in which all even-money bets are returned at 50% if the winning number is 0. This reduced the house edge from 2.7% to 1.35% on all even-money bets.

Live Speed Roulette

One of the most popular editions in the live roulette line-up, Speed Roulette is a quicker version of the classic European-rules game. It’s so fast that there is an average of just 25 seconds per round. That means the wheel comes to a halt quicker, and there far less time is allotted to get your bets on the table This one is obviously best suited for serious players only.

Immersive Roulette

Evolution’s award-winning Immersive Roulette tables are live croupier games of European rules with a lot more cameras in place. As the wheel spins, the view continuously shifts from one camera angle to another, zooming in, zooming out, following the ball around the wheel and creating a more cinematic experience. It’s quite thrilling, to be honest!

Auto Roulette

I’m not a huge fan of this one. Auto Roulette is a live game, but it doesn’t feature a live croupier. Instead, the tables are equipped with precision “slingshot” mechanisms that put the ball into play. It speeds up the games, but at the same time, takes away from the interactive, communal experience. To encourage more people to play it (since it’s cheaper to run), you can expect to find the lowest live roulette stakes of $0.50 at these tables.

Dual Play Roulette

This is one of the most popular forms of live roulette. Canada players can take a virtual trip to the genuine roulette tables one of many luxury casino resorts on the other side of the globe. Evolution hosts Dual Play Roulette tables from various locations, including Grand Casino Bucharest, the Dragonara Casino in Malta, Grosvenor’s Victoria Casino in London, and others.

Lightning Roulette

Last, but most definitely not least, is the crème de la crème of the live croupier roulette market – Lightning Roulette. It’s not called lightning for its speed, but rather the fact that lightning can and will strike various numbers on the digital roulette wheel as the game is played. Lightning strikes attach random multipliers to all numbers they hit. Any player who has bet on one of these lucky numbers will receive a payout boosted by the corresponding multiplier.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Feb 14

How It’s Played: A detailed review of Evolution Gaming’s new and lightning-quick Live Dealer Speed Blackjack games.

How It’s Played: Evolution Gaming’s New Live Dealer Speed Blackjack

Evolution Gaming is universally recognized as the most innovative pioneer of the live casino gaming industry. It is more decorated than any other live studio supplier, by-far, and has published a host of the industry’s most beloved live dealer games; falling into the categories of both class-style table games (Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, etc), as well as some more unique, game show-style varieties (Dream Catcher, Lightning Dice, Monopoly Live, etc.)

A few weeks ago, the company announced the launch of a brand new game they call Speed Blackjack Live. It is, for all intents and purposes, the fastest live dealer blackjack game on the world wide web to date. In order to ensure the quickest game speed, this new title breaks the most traditional rules of etiquette. It’s not the seating arrangement, but rather speed that determines who’s hand is played first.

How It’s Played: Live Dealer Speed Blackjack

For the most part, this is your standard variety blackjack game. The usual rules of classic blackjack are employed, including the following:

  • Up to 7 players
  • 8 decks of cards
  • Dealer stands on all 17s
  • Double on any first two cards
  • Split up to two hands
  • No double after split
  • No drawing to split aces
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack
  • Blackjack pays 3:2

What sets this game apart from all the others are these more unique rules, designed specifically to promote faster game play.

Faster Timer: Once all hands have received their first two cards, a single timer starts with 7 seconds fewer than Evolution’s standard tables.

First Come, First Serve: additional cards are dealt to players on a first-to-act basis. For example, the first player to press the Hit, Double or Split button will be dealt cards accordingly. The next fastest to act will get the next card, and so on, until all player hands have been completed (Stand or Bust).

Auto-Hit: Any player who fails to act before the timer runs out with a hand total of 11 or less, will automatically take a Hit.

Auto-Stand: Any player who fails to act before the timer runs out with a hand total of 12 or more, will automatically stand on the current total.

Overall Game Speed: Evolution attests – and typical game play confirms – the overall speed of Live Speed Blackjack is approximately 30% faster than a standard, 7-seat live dealer game.

Experience Review and Recommendations

As a long-time blackjack player and stead-fast strategist, I found this game quite interesting, but not necessarily my cup of tea.

The speed of the game is only a plus if you’re a good strategy player looking to increase your rate of hands-per-hour; or, if you play for entertainment purposes only and like the heart-pounding challenge of trying to beat your fellow players to the punch.

Personally, I like a slower paced game with a higher RTP. The house edge here, according to its creators, is 0.71% (RTP 99.29%). There are far better paying games, both online and on land. As for the entertainment factor, I find that making rushed decisions can easily result in strategic mistakes. So again, unless you’re an extremely experienced strategist, or a recreational, gut-instinct type of player who loves an adrenaline rush, Evolution’s new Live Dealer Speed Blackjack may not be the game for you.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 29

Three easy ways to watch live blackjack online (and two good reasons why you might want to).

Three Ways To Watch Live Blackjack Online & Why You’d Want To

There is a very famous saying that goes, “Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach.” I don’t know if there’s any truth to that statement, but I do know that, since the dawn of Youtube, there’s a new phrase worth coining. “Those who can, stream; those who can’t, watch and learn.

If you’ve ever watched the live broadcast of a Twitch streamer playing a game – any game, whether it be casinos games like slot machines or blackjack, or PC and console video games like League of Legends, or Call of Duty – you know exactly what that phrase means. It is the new wave of modern gaming, wherein the best and bravest gamers exhibit their skills in live stream for all the web-world to see.

If blackjack happens to be your game of choice, sit back and take a moment to absorb the following information, as I’ll be tutoring a brief lesson in…

3 Ways to Watch Live Blackjack Online

There are exactly three ways to accomplish this. If you’re wondering why you would even want to, hold your horses. We’ll cover that in the next section.

#1 Youtube / Twitch Casino Channels

Twitch casino channels are extremely popular right now. They are hosted by regular online casino gamers who have large bankrolls and nothing better to do with their time or money than place big bets and stream the action live. Most people who like to watch blackjack do so on Twitch or Youtube, so this is where I’d suggest starting, unless you want to get in on that action yourself.

#2 Live Dealer Casinos

Live dealer casinos present a unique opportunity. They are essentially the online version of land-based casino games. They take place in a live studio, with professional dealers chucking physical cards. Players are able to watch it all happen and take part in the games, via any modestly equipped desktop computer, smartphone or tablet. Thus, live dealer casinos allow the viewer to watch and play the games at the same time.

#3 Live Tournament Feed

There isn’t a very substantial market for this anymore, but they do still exist. When a major blackjack tournament is taking place, you can usually find a live feed of it available – again, either on Youtube, Twitch, or some other live streaming website. If it is being hosted by a major live/online casino operator, you may be able to access the feed directly from the gambling site.

What’s So Great About Watching Blackjack Online?

I can think of two very distinct reasons why you might want to watch live blackjack online. The first and most obvious reason is for entertainment purposes. Think about it. If you love the game, but have a modest bankroll, wouldn’t it be fun to watch a high roller with thousands in their pocket place massive bets on a single hand? Sure, it’s not as exciting as if you were the one in the hot seat, but who doesn’t enjoy living vicariously through others now and again?

The second reason is to learn. Blackjack is the most strategically challenging game in the casino. Basic strategy decides how to handle each decision-making situation, but the best players have skills that go far beyond this. They are able to keep counts of all the cards; not just high and low counts, but deck sequencing, ace tracking, and other special techniques that – when the stars align – can give them a genuine advantage over the house.

There are plenty of books to read on the subject of blackjack strategy, but if you’ve ever used a video to help you do a task that was previously out of your scope of knowledge – something like fixing an electronic device or changing your own car parts – you know that video tutorials have changed the way we look at life. The impossible becomes possible, if only we can understand it, both verbally and visually.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Jan 21

iGaming Gold: Remarkable Casino Software Providers of 2020

iGaming Gold: Remarkable Casino Software Providers of 2020

For more than twenty-five years now, internet gambling has been growing, shifting, evolving into one of the world’s largest eCommerce industries. In that time, we’ve seen a massive explosion of casino games, the software companies that build them, and – of course – the number of players that log on to enjoy them.

Hundreds of digital games creators have entered this market in that time. Most of them didn’t survive, but more than enough have. Some thrive on quantity; others on quality. Then there are those who make a name for themselves by producing unique content – something outside the box – something that makes players stop and think, “Whoa… that’s different!”

Remarkable Casino Software Providers of 2020

Today’s write up is dedicated to the online casino software developers that have changed the way we gamble online; not just ten or twenty years ago, but those that continue to do so in 2020. I’m talking about the ones that make iGaming the mega-sized entertainment industry that it is today. So without further ado, here are the top five digital game changers operating in the global online casino business.

#1 Microgaming

Microgaming Online Casino Games

I know what you’re thinking. Microgaming is old. Microgaming represents what the iGaming industry used to be. You’re not wrong, but there’s so much more to it than that. Yes, Microgaming laid the foundation for online casinos, with roots dating all the way back to 1994. This company had a hand in the development of the world’s very first genuine online casino in 1996. But Microgaming is no has-been. To this day, the Isle of Man-based company is producing – or at least commissioning the production of – world class gaming content.

Most of all, I have to commend them for their foray into exclusivity contracts. Microgaming has commissioned a throng of small companies (ones that could never thrive on their own) to develop games just for their Quickfire platform. Not only has it increased the production rate of Microgaming’s vast portfolio, it’s bringing fresh ideas and features to the iGaming community. And let’s not forget Microgaming’s ever-rewarding Mega Moolah online slot; the only online progressive to seed at $1,000,000.

#2 Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming Best Live Casino for Mobile

Evolution Gaming has brought about a true evolution in iGaming. After launching their first “live casino” product in 2006, this company has managed to produce live dealer games in beast-mode. They have the best software, the best hardware, the best game variety, and by far the most impressive trophy case of any casino software brand in the world. Evolution has been named the eGR Live Casino Supplier of the Year for 10 years running, and I have no doubt they’ll claim yet another this year.

#3 NetEnt

Gonzos Quest by NetEnt

For the last twenty years, NetEnt (formerly Net Entertainment) has delivered the full iGaming package, and then some. That extra effort has gone towards the fabrication of some of the most immersive 3D slot machines ever to hit the virtual shelves. They wowed us with Gonzo’s Quest in 2011, and teased us with Gonzo’s Quest VR, slated for release in 2020. They are responsible for the Starburst slot, which has, for seven years, popped in and out of the ‘most popular slot machine game’ position. At time of writing, it’s back at #1. Long story short their focus on 3D graphics and immersive game play is unparalleled.

#4 Habanero Systems

Habanero Systems Slot Machines

It was only a few years ago that Habanero Systems erupted onto the market. They were looking for a niche, and they found it in a unique concept – storytelling. Every slot machine they create comes with a complete backstory. Players who don’t skip the intro are drawn into the plot of each game, giving them more reason to play than winning or losing money. They combine this skill with HTML5 programming, impressive 3D visuals, and proven features.

#5 Playtech

Playtech has been making games almost as long as any of their competitors. Most of their games are on par with the industry standard, but there is one thing that sets them apart from all other casino software providers. Playtech has built some of the world’s most interesting license-branded slot machines. Sure, Microgaming has the Jurassic Park and Playboy Slots series, and NetEnt has Vikings and Guns N’ Roses, but I believe Playtech has the more impressive portfolio overall (and those other companies are already on this list, anyway).

DC Comics Slots from Playtech

Playtech brought us The Matrix, Rocky, Kong, Gladiator, Top Gun, American Dad, and a multitude of super-hero branded games, inlcuding a complete series of Superman titles, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern, just to name a few.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jan 07

Top live dealers casino websites for Canadians in 2020.

Passion for Payouts: Top Live Dealers Casino Sites for Canadians 2020

We’re kicking off the New Year with a fresh list of top-tier live casino operations welcoming Canadian players. Live dealer games are preferred for their realistic experience, closely mimicking that of a land-based casino – as close as you can possibly get on a computer or mobile device. There are real live dealers, operating real table games, with multiple real players joining in the action.

Here in Canada, we are limited in the number of online casinos we can play at. Some provinces are privy to locally-regulated gambling websites, but only two of them have live casino games. There are many more highly reputable and strictly regulated international offerings, but only so many have a good live dealer presentation.

Top Live Dealers Casino Sites for Canadians

Normally, a “top” list of anything has 3, 5, 10, or maybe 20 of the best whatever you’re listing. I’m going out of the box with this list and giving you the “Top 4”. Yes, four of Canada’s best live casinos in 2020. Why four? Because I couldn’t possibly cut this list down to three, and there really isn’t a fifth worthy of inclusion.

I’m also not giving the operators a number ranking. I don’t feel that any one is better than another. They all have differentiating qualities that earned them a spot on this list. For instance, the first two, PlayNow and PlayOLG, are both home-grown operations. Then again, they’re ring-fenced to their local provinces, limiting who can access them. The second two, LeoVegas and Royal Vegas, are open to all Canadians, but present very different live gaming options. With that being said, let’s get right to it…

PlayNow Live Casino – BC and Manitoba Only

PlayNow is a great iGaming operation built, maintained and regulated by the provincial government of British Columbia. Through a player sharing contract with the BCLC, Manitoba residents are also able to partake in PlayNow’s internet gambling activities. For residents of these jurisdictions, the degree of security and player protections can’t be beat.

The PlayNow Live Casino is powered by the industry’s #1 Live Casino brand, Evolution Gaming, and includes live blackjack, infinite blackjack, baccarat, eSqueeze baccarat, roulette, auto roulette and ultimate Texas holdem. That’s not a bad assortment, but it doesn’t include any of Evolution’s immensely popular game show-style productions.

EspaceJeux Live Casino – Quebec Only

Similarly, Espacejeux is the online gambling operation of Loto-Quebec – home grown and locally regulated by that provincial government. As such, security and safety are unquestionable, but only residents of Quebec can sign up an account and place wagers. That’s good for Quebecois, as is the implementation of Evolution Gaming’s world class live dealer software. On the negative side, the only live games are standard blackjack and roulette, baccarat, and Control Squeeze baccarat.

LeoVegas Live Casino – All Canadians Accepted

LeoVegas is an internationally operated casino brand, regulated in multiple jurisdictions. LeoVegas is licensed in its home country of Sweden, and also holds gaming licenses from Denmark and Malta. It is powered by more software brands than I’d care to count; somewhere in the neighborhood of 50. Several of those software studios offer live casino games. As such, this website presents, by far, the largest live gaming menu of any competitor.

There are – and bear in mind, some of these numbers will appear as duplicates due to multi-categorization – 48 live roulette games, 31 live blackjack games, 18 types of “card games”, 16 private Chambre Séparée (high roller) tables, 16 “VIP” tables, 11 live baccarat tables, 7 live “game show” style options, and 5 live poker variants; 23 of which are ‘Fast Play’ titles.

Royal Vegas Live Casino – All Canadians Accepted

There are some who would argue that “less is more”. By this, I mean having so many options – as many as LeoVegas presents – can make it harder to actually pick one. It’s not just a theory, but a scientific fact. Studies have shown that being offered chocolate, vanilla or strawberry ice cream makes it easy to pick one, whereas 30+ flavors can actually cause stress, anxiety, and an accelerated heart rate. Why such difficulty? People tend to fear that they won’t (or didn’t) choose the best option, and it leaves a bad taste in their mouth – pardon the pun.

If you prescribe to this ideal, then I present to you Royal Vegas Canada. Licensed in Malta, this operator only employs one live casino supplier, but it’s the world’s best – also proven by statistical data – Evolution Gaming.

Evolution has won the eGR Live Casino Supplier of the Year Award for the last 10 years straight. It’s almost as if they’ve figured out the perfect formula for live dealers casino games, and they’ve kept it as confidential as Mr. Krab’s secret formula for the “Krabby Patty”.

Royal Vegas accepts players from all over Canada. It’s also one of the few international sites that is approved to process payments via Interact eTransfer. Live casino games include blackjack, roulette, double ball roulette, baccarat, casino holdem, 3 card poker, Caribbean stud poker, private tables, game show tables, and their signature “Party” tables.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec 26

Playtech launches new Live Slots, an online gambling industry first that features Buffalo Blitz via Playtech Live.

Playtech launches New Live Slots, an Online Gambling Industry First

For more than 15 years, the “live casino” business has been limited to table games, wheel games, and other interactive, multi-player style gambling amusements. The whole concept of live online gambling centers around games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. Other card games are inherently adaptable, and live casino suppliers often come up with new ways to take advantage of live-streaming technology.

The one thing we never really expected to come in live format – for rather obvious reasons, I might add – is a slot machine. Slots are singular games. There is no human interaction involved when playing land-based casino slots; thus it wouldn’t make sense to portray slots as interactive, multi-player games, where there entertainment value is amplified by a live host.

Apparently, everyone who thought that was wrong…

Playtech Introduces Live Slots

Not for the first time in this company’s long and illustrious history, Playtech has done the unexpected. This month, the company launched the gambling industry’s very first live streaming online slots game. It has a game show ambiance with a clear goal of giving slots play a community feel, just like any other dealer-hosted, multi-seating casino game.

The Live Casino Slots concept is Playtech’s first attempt at delivering an entertainment-based live gaming option. It is essentially the same type of game show experience Evolution brought us with the launch of its Dream Catcher, Monopoly Live and Deal or No Deal Live. Whether Playtech’s idea to inject slot machine play into the live market will catch on like Evolution’s did remains to be seen. As I said before, the slots experience has always been a more private affair, enjoyed individually by single players.

How Live Casino Slots Work

The first and currently only slots game to go live on Playtech is Buffalo Blitz, a 6×4 reel game with 4,096 all-ways win lines. Bets starts at $0.40 per spin, scaling up to $200. Its features include wilds, multipliers and free spins.

Manual Spin Button on Buffalo Blitz Live Online Slots from Playtech

For the most part, the game never stops running. Players are required to take advantage of the ever-present auto-play function. To join in, players must press the Auto-Play button, then toggle their gaming preferences. Choices include number of spins (10-99), bet per spin, loss limit, single win limit, and the option to stop after the free games feature is struck.

One unique feature of these games is the big ‘Manual Spin’ button in front of the host. The game normally runs on auto-spin, as I said above, but the players can request that the presenter disable auto-play and use this manual spin button instead.

The Negative Spin on Live Online Slots

Unfortunately, I see a few problems with this idea already. First and foremost, it’s very difficult to keep a crowd entertained while staring at a slots screen – not for any length of time, anyway. How many things can you say about a slot machine? In my experience, most of it is, “Oh, is the feature going to strike? There’s one scatter – there’s two – here it comes……! Oh, no, not this time.”

This is the type of chatter we hear in our heads as we play slots on a singular level. It’s kind of strange watching a host say it out loud, over and over, in as many ways as the English language is capable of organizing a paraphrase.

Buffalo Blitz is notorious for that, too (as are so many slot machines). It’s got a high variance and a 95.96% RTP, so teasing free spins is the most common form of excitement in the live slots game.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Dec 19

Unique Casino Canada: The most interesting CA online gambling sites and what they have to offer.

Unique Casino Canada: The Most Interesting CA Online Gambling Sites

It’s amazing just how many real-money online gaming website there are these days; nearing the 5,000 mark, and that’s just the ones I know of. There are surely more on the underground web, as well. That being said, they’re obviously not all good options. If you live here in Canada, your selection is narrowed to around one thousand, and even then, there are only a few dozen you should consider reputably worthy of your wagering dollars.

That’s all well and good, but there’s still a common problem. After a while, the monotony sets in. Almost all of the online casinos in today’s market are practically mirror images of one another. So what if there are hundreds of slot machines to choose from. They’re still the same hundreds found at the next casino, and the next one. Teh tables are the same, promos are the same. There’s rarely anything unique to set these websites apart.

Unique Casino Canada: What Sets Casinos Apart?

Not every casino is a cookie-cutter of the rest. There are a few operators out there that go out of their way to provide something more for their members. Sometimes it’s a greater variety of ways to wager. Other times, it may be a unique promotional campaign. Whatever it may be, so long as it’s enough to take the monotony out of the equation, it’s worth looking into. Something like…

Live Dealer Casino Tables

Live dealer games can be far more entertaining than computer-generated, RNG-based gaming tables. Playing blackjack with a real dealer, among real players, all of which can communicate via real-time textual chat and/or audio feed, changes everything. It’s as close to playing in a land-based casino as you’ll get on a desktop or mobile device, and so long as the dealer’s have charisma, it makes for a much more unique and interesting experience.

Casino Games & Then Some

Online casinos provide a very thorough line-up of gambling options, but there are many more ways to place a wager over the world wide web. If you’re looking to expand your gambling horizons, try joining an operator that offers the full gambit. Major operators like Ladbrokes and William Hill provide an online poker room, online bingo hall, sports betting, horse and auto race betting, arcades, skill games, the list goes on. If you only like casino games, but want more of them, try LeoVegas. That operator has thousands of games, powered by more than 45 different digital software brands.

Wider Range of Promotions

The promotional aspect can be just as monotonous as the gaming side. Most online casinos offer the same old welcome bonus packages. Make a deposit, we’ll match it – blah, blah, blah. They might have a little birthday bonus, plus special reload bonuses once a week or month. But there’s nothing really special about them, compared to most other sites out there.

Every once in a while, you come across something more original. Royal Vegas Casino, for instance, would take a group of their VIPs out on a cruise across the Caribbean, treating them to a week or more of all-expenses-paid fine dining, live entertainment, casino gaming, and more.

Over at PlayOLG, the home-grown, government regulated online casino of Ontario, the welcome bonus package looks like everyone elses, but the terms are so much better. Wagering requirements are only 10x the size of the bonus – not the deposit + bonus; just the bonus. That drops the WR on a 100$ deposit + $100 bonus to just $1,000, as opposed to the usual $8,000 for a typical ‘40x WR on deposit + bonus’ promotion.

It’s things like these that set a few gambling sites apart from the rest. So if you’re looking for a unique casino, Canada does have a few to choose from. Don’t settle for the same old stuff. Take your time, find something special, and make the most of it.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,