Extreme Live Gaming Review
Extreme Live Gaming may be one of the smaller operators in the liver dealer space, but they’ve already found their way into a number of reputable casino sites around the world. This ascendance happened soon after the company was founded in 2013: they may have been relatively unknown at the time, but being acquired by European gaming titan Novomatic in 2014 suddenly launched them into the mainstream.
Extreme Live doesn’t have the widest range of games available yet, but they have all the basics covered. What’s more important is that these games are delivered professionally, with friendly dealers and a crisp, colorful presentation that makes their games fun to play. This is still one of the smaller operators in the live casino market, but if they can continue to build on what they’ve created so far, they should be able to grow into a major developer in the European market.
All the Basics Covered
You won’t find any particularly unusual games in the Extreme lineup, though that’s probably to be expected considering they are a smaller, relatively new provider. Right now, only the three “core” games that you’ll see from most companies are offered on their platform: blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.
The blackjack tables feature seven seats with the ability for more players to bet behind. The video feeds used go for an “up close” feel, in which the entire screen is taken up by a single table and dealer, without any other tables or parts of the studio busying up the atmosphere in the background (though you may see the occasional dealer walk by, and you can hear other games going on). The décor uses a red and black pattern, visible on everything from the red felt of the blackjack table to the outfits worn by dealers and the walls behind them.
The graphical overlays are slick and unobtrusive, making it easy to understand where you need to click in order to place your bets. When it is your turn to act, a small box will appear over the center of the screen, disappearing as soon as you make your choices. On the left, you’ll see a chat box that allows for interaction with the dealer or other players; the right side of the screen includes a “shot clock” for your actions, information on the betting limits at your table, and the odds of the game.
The roulette games are interesting, as they offer a number of different skins that provide different looks to the tables you play on. However, the basic games themselves are all the same, offering classic single-zero, European roulette action. The bottom of your screen will be covered by a large layout that makes betting on any inside or outside bet a snap. There’s also a racetrack version of the layout next to the standard table that you can use if you prefer. The wheel itself is rather small, which makes it a little tricky to follow the action as closely as we’d like, but it should still be good enough for most.
One place where the games differ is in the inclusion of a side bet. While the “classic” table only offers roulette, others – like Sizzlin’ Hot or Ra Roulette – include a single reel, slots style side bet that can pay out as much as 80-1. Meanwhile, all of these tables feature a bevy of statistical information you can use to inform your bets, along with the familiar chat options that are on all Extreme Gaming feeds.
There’s also a special Golden Ball Roulette game that rewards the highest betting player with a special treat every 20 spins. At the end of 20 rounds, the average bets of each player will be calculated, and the highest spender will be given a 10 second period in which they can trigger the golden ball spin. There’s a guaranteed payout in this round, which makes it a lucrative opportunity for high rollers to get a little bonus action.
Finally, baccarat tables are offered in two varieties: standard and Super 6. The Super 6 games are a form of no commission baccarat in which most banker wins pay out at true even money, but players only win half of a bet if the dealer wins with a score of exactly six. Along with the ever present chat functionality, the screen also includes a large scorecard that tracks recent results, as well as some other statistics on recent hands and information on what bets other players are making on the current round. Other features include a “squeeze” function that allows players to tell the dealer which hand they would like to see slowly revealed, and a variety of side bets to choose from.
Based in London
Today, all of the Extreme Live Gaming tables are based out of a studio in London, where the company holds a license with the UK Gambling Commission. Not surprisingly, this – along with the association with Novomatic – has given the developer a European focus that is unlikely to change in the near future.
One area in which the company lags behind many of the bigger competitors in live gaming is language support. That’s to be expected from a relatively new developer: right now, they only offer English-speaking dealers in all markets. However, several languages are available for all in-game information in the interface, which should at least make the games playable for most people (even if it will cut down on the joy that comes from chatting with the dealers).
As with most platforms, the betting limits here will vary by game and by operator. That means that you may see very different minimums and maximums depending on where you play. Bets as low as $1 are common on roulette, with $5 being the standard low on blackjack; depending on the casino, the maximums may be in the hundreds or thousands of dollars.
A Good Start and a Promising Future
If you look at what Extreme Live Gaming has produced as a stepping stone towards bigger things, then you’ll have to give them high marks for what they’ve put together so far. The video feeds are crisp, clean, and visually attractive, and the games work the way they should. There’s even a bit of innovation with some of the side bets offered in their roulette games. We also enjoyed the fact that the dealers were so friendly and outgoing, a far cry from some of the more robotic behavior you’ll see coming out of other studios.
Of course, not everything is perfect just yet. The game selection is only average, with the “big three” being represented but nothing else appearing beyond that. The lack of alternate language dealers is also a limiting factor, as that might turn away some non-English speakers who want to interact with the hosts. To be fair, both of these are to be expected with a relatively new platform, but they still have to be mentioned, as some players looking for more extensive options might need to look elsewhere.
But for those who simply want to play excellent versions of the most common games, then Extreme Live Gaming has put together a great package that still has plenty of room to grow. There’s not much here yet that would separate their games from those offered by some of the big companies, but we can at least say that these offerings are on the level of the best competition out there right now. And given that Extreme is just getting started, we definitely think it’s worth keeping an eye on this platform going forward.