Diverse Gaming Options
Perhaps the most important aspect of a live dealer suite is the number of different games that are offered. Evolution Gaming has long been among the best firms when it comes to this area, offering at least six different types of action for their clients to spread to players. Before going into more details, let’s take a look at what they have to offer:
- Casino Hold’em
- Three Card Poker
- Caribbean Stud Poker
Roulette has long been a live gaming favorite, and Evolution offers a variety of different types of solutions for gambling sites. Of course, there are standard versions that include a number of useful and fun features: a history of numbers that have won displayed on screen, chat for players and dealers, and multiple camera experiences in their Immersive Roulette format, which allows players to see every inch of the action in high definition video, complete with slow motion replays of the ball coming to a stop.
But the options here go far beyond standard tables. There is a double ball roulette option in which two balls are released on every spin, allowing for even bigger payouts. Dual Play Roulette is an interesting variant that can allow online players and live players to participate together in the same games simultaneously. Meanwhile, the Slingshot Auto Roulette game allows for faster action, as while it still uses a real wheel to generate results, the equipment is automated so that it can run 24 hours a day.
The live blackjack tables feature seven seats per table, but that doesn’t actually limit the number of people who can play. Just as at many live resorts, additional players are allowed to “bet behind” the people who have seats, wagering on the outcome of the player’s hand along with them. The tables also feature side bets (typically Perfect Pairs and 21+3), while a Blackjack Party option allows for a much more casual atmosphere thanks to the low stakes that are spread and presenters that focus on making sure that the entire table is having a good time.
Baccarat is often a game that suffers a bit in live dealer formats, as it is hard to recreate the atmosphere that makes this game so special in a real brick-and-mortar venue. However, a multi-camera version of the game is spread by Evolution, which has the effect of adding extra suspense to each hand and making the game feel much more like the real thing. One version even offers a “squeeze,” with the hand where bettors have put most of the money on is slowly revealed in order to provide maximum drama.
Beyond the “big three”, the other games also feature authentic action presented by professional, well-trained dealers. Casino Hold’em is a table game version of the popular Texas Hold’em, only with players competing against the dealer rather than other players at the table. Three Card Poker is the officially licensed version of the game, and includes a six-card bonus bet that offers up to 1,000-1 payouts. Finally, Caribbean Stud Poker – an exclusive for Evolution, and once again the fully licensed version of the game – comes with the 5+1 Bonus Bet, though it does not include the popular progressive jackpot side bet (which, admittedly, would be difficult to implement in a live dealer setting).
Since the beginning, Evolution Gaming has primarily focused on the European market. Their first and largest studio is located in Riga, Latvia; the state-of-the-art venue has been expanded upon several times over the past decade, and there are now more than 100 tables there, making it the largest site for this type of live casino operation in all of Europe.
Evolution also uses a number of other studios: in fact, they broadcast games from at least six different locations. Other studios include operations in Malta and Aalst, while some of their tables are located in brick-and-mortar casinos on the continent, such as the Casino de Spa in Belgium and the Dragonara Casino Malta. There are also dedicated VIP studios with different decors, designed to appeal to high rollers who want a more exclusive experience.
Given their locations, it should come as little surprise that most of Evolution’s biggest partners are European, a group that includes many licensed properties in heavily-regulated jurisdictions. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t a few exceptions out there: for instance, the company supplies tables to William Hill’s Macau online casino, which obviously has a very heavy Asian bent. But the clear focus here is Europe.
Some of their most popular games are localized even further. Native Speaking Roulette, for instance, is a game that has been ported to several versions: London Roulette speaks to English-language players, while German, Italian, and Swedish versions are offered as alternatives in appropriate markets. In addition, the company has made it clear that they are willing to find top quality dealers that speak other languages for clients who want to break into other markets; in some cases, such as in Denmark, they have created entire live dealer systems in native languages.
Variety of Stakes for Variety of Players
One of the things we really like about the Evolution games is that they offer operators the chance to let their customers compete at wildly different stakes. Take, for instance, a typical Blackjack Party table. While the specific numbers can vary depending on the operator, this game usually allows players to bet somewhere between €5 and €1,000 per hand – a range that covers just about anyone who might make it to the main table. For those who can’t get there, they can take advantage of the “bet behind” feature to get in on the action for about 10% of the price (in this case, as little as €0.50).
If players want to bet more, and operators are willing to take those bets, the VIP tables offered are likely to have all but the biggest gamblers in the world covered. Some of these tables offer betting limits of €20,000, €40,000 or more, sums that are not commonly seen in the Internet gaming world.
The Premier Live Dealer Solution
There is little doubt that Evolution Gaming offers one of the best overall live gaming experiences you’ll find at an online casino site. The variety of games is unmatched, especially when you consider the number of variations and region-specific tables that they have rolled out in different markets. And with the ability to provide games at a wide variety of different stakes levels, this is a company that provides for players of all types, from those who want to place the occasional casual bet to those who are high-stakes gamblers used to playing in private suits in Las Vegas and Macau.
This is clearly a professional operation, and that professionalism shows up in every aspect of their business. Evolution has shown a willingness to create games that meet their clients’ needs, and consistently deliver with products that look sharp, have some of the best camerawork in the sector, and are fun for players thanks to the experienced and engaging hosts. The number of options and side bets at tables is also a huge plus for players who enjoy laying a little action on the side. We also love the ability to bet behind others at blackjack tables; since these are the seats that are most in demand, this feature allows many more people to participate than might otherwise be able to.
There are plenty of quality live dealer software providers out there, and this isn’t the only good option that a particular site might use to deliver streaming games to its customers. However, we have to say that Evolution is definitely one of our top picks in the industry, and their games are a major positive for any operator that chooses to offer them to their players.