If you have played live dealer games at any major online casino within the past few years, the odds are good that you were interacting with an Evolution Gaming product. Online casinos around the world rely on the services of Evolution Gaming to deliver a live gambling experience to their customers complete with trained dealers, real gaming tables and streaming video.
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Evolution Gaming has carved out a niche in the live dealer arena and now serves a wide range of clients with human dealers who deal the cards, spin the roulette wheel and interact with players via streaming video. It is no exaggeration to say that Evolution Gaming has singlehandedly impacted live dealer gambling more than any other casino software provider.
From its two casino studios in Latvia and Malta, Evolution conducts live games 24 hours a day for dozens of big-name casino sites. They provide generic tables that can serve multiple casinos at the same time as well as custom tables that are branded specifically for individual casinos. They also provide multi-lingual services and even allow prominent land-based casinos to extend their games to the internet.
The dealers at Evolution Gaming are very well-trained as well. All dealers and support staff are first sent to Evolution Academy where they are trained on every game, learn how to interact with players online and then are required to meet certain standards before being sent out to interact with real players in real time.
About Evolution Gaming
Evolution Gaming was founded in 2006 and began offering a selection of live dealer games immediately as a business-to-business provider. They scored the first contracts with major operations the following year. Some of the early adapters included Gala Coral, Party Gaming and William Hill.
By 2009, Evolution Gaming’s services had grown in demand so much that they quadrupled the number of gaming tables and opened new special tables for VIP and high-roller players. That year, they signed additional major operators including 888, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and Sky Bet.
Evolution continued to grow quickly over the next several years and achieved new milestones every year between 2010 and 2016. They launched live dealer Casino Holdem in 2012, added their 100th live gaming table in 2013 and won EGR’s “Game of the Year” award in 2014 for Immersive Roulette.
Live Dealer Studios
Today, Evolution runs two primary live dealer studios for its online operators. The largest of the two is their Latvian studio located in Riga. It at this studio that they stream both generic games as well as custom games for individual operators. To offer a sense of scale, the live dealer casino studio in Latvia now hosts more real money table games than any brick-and-mortar casino anywhere in Europe.
Their Malta studio was opened later with a greater focus on offering custom solutions for specific operators. In the Malta studio, Evolution Gaming provides specialty games for operators target specific geographic areas, employ native-speaking dealers for various languages and run tables designed to cater to players from specific countries.
All of Evolution’s live dealer games are also ported to various mobile devices and great care is taken to ensure these games run well on every device whether it be an iOS or Android tablet or smartphone. These games can be made available for casinos sites via mobile-friendly web pages or integrated into full-download online casino apps.
Evolution also ensures the games maintain similar visuals and controls across all formats. For example, if a player begins a session of live dealer blackjack on the desktop and then switches to an iPad later, that player will have no trouble immediately getting back into the game.
Solutions for Brick-and-Mortar Casinos
One way in which Evolution has been especially innovative has been in striking deals with real world casinos to provide them with live dealer games online. In other words, a brick-and-mortar casino can form an agreement with Evolution that allows players to continue playing even when they leave the casino.
Evolution has also released live dealer games that can mix players actually at the casino with an unlimited number of players accessing the casino online from the comfort of home. While the actual game runs in real time with real players, visitors to that casino’s website can also place bets and be paid – just as if they were there as well.
Real Money Games Offered by Evolution
The games list at Evolution consists of eight core games and multiple variations of each.
- Immersive Roulette: Immersive Roulette offers multiple camera angles and slow motion replays all streamed in high definition with 200 frames-per-second video
- Immersive Lite Roulette: Immersive Lite also provides multiple camera angles and HD video, but omits slow motion replays to keep the game running at a nice clip
- European Rouelette: Allows players to play single-zeo roulette for better odds at both standard and VIP-only tables.
- Speed Roulette: As the name indicates, Speed Roulette places a premium on speed for roulette lovers with each round taking place in half the time that a single round takes in other live roulette variations
- French Roulette: This game offers single-zero roulette with the additional “la partage” rule that returns half a player’s bet if the ball lands on zero during any even money bet.
- Native Speaking Roulette: Designed for operators targeting specific countries, these tables employ native speakers of the language and even customize the table environment to give the distinctive feeling of playing roulette in that specific country
- Double-Ball Roulette: With each spin of the wheel, the dealer sends out two balls to land on two different numbers. All the same bets are made available as well as a wide range of additional bets with payouts as high as 1300-to-1
- Dual Play Roulette: This is the variant we discussed above in which players actually at a land-based casino in real life intermingle with players accessing the casino online
- Mini Live Roulette: This one is a standard live roulette game but scaled down in window size so it can be integrated into sports betting pages, bingo games and online poker tables
- Slingshot Auto Roulette: This is the action junkie’s version of roulette. It still uses a real roulette table, but there is no dealer. The table is designed to run automatically and can achieve as many as 80 spins per hour
- Live Blackjack: The standard live blackjack experience with one dealer and 7 seats for players
- Blackjack Party: Blackjack Party is a low stakes blackjack game with fun music, one dealer and one co-presenter there to interact with the players and offer a more engaging chat experience
- Bet Behind: Bet behind tables run like standard blackjack tables except they allow an unlimited number of players to follow the game and place their own bets in tandem with the players who have a seat
- Additional Side Bets: All blackjack tables can be configured with optional side bets such as perfect pairs (betting on the first two cards being mixed, the same colour or a perfect pair) and 21+3 (payouts for poker-style hands comprised of the first two cards dealt plus the dealer’s up-card)
- Pre-Decision Tables: Pre-decision tables allow all players to make their decision to hit, stand, double down or split at the same time as the first player in order to reduce waiting time for the entire table
- Live Baccarat: Evolution’s live baccarat tables do a good job delivering the live experience with more than just a dealer shuffling the cards around and taking bets on player, banker and tie. These tables offer additional features such as the ability to track various statistics via your choice of roads, the option to view other players’ moves and optional Pairs side bets
- Multi-Camera Baccarat: This one plays in the same general manner as standard live baccarat but with a more cinematic flair involving changing camera views
- Live Baccarat Squeeze: The squeeze variation is especially nice for serious baccarat players as it includes more than a dozen cameras and including close-up shots of the squeeze (which is when the dealer gradually reveals the cards)
- Baccarat Control Squeeze: This baccarat variation shows just how far Evolution has come in terms of innovation. Cards dealt at Control Squeeze tables are placed face-down on glass panels with upward-facing cameras underneath. The values of the cards remain obscured until you use your mouse or the touch screen to slowly peel the card back in true squeeze fashion
- Speed Baccarat: Rounds in Speed Baccarat happen twice as fast with the dealer dealing cards face-up and results being announced quickly with minimal showmanship
- Additional Side Bets: Casino sites have the option to enable many additional side bets that players can choose from at the table. These side bets all revolve around which cards will be dealt and offer payouts as high as 200-to-1
- Live Casino Holdem: This is the only variation at the moment and it features one dealer serving as many players as want to play at a time. As with all the games produced by Evolution Gaming, this one features real dealers shuffling and dealing real cards
Three Card Poker
- Live Three Card Poker: A live dealer plays the game according to standard three card poker rules
- Optional Side Bets: Casino operators can configure their three card poker tables to offer up to two optional side bets. One of these is the Pair Plus bet which allows customers to achieve additional payouts as high as 100-to-1 for being dealt a pair or better. The other is the Six Card bonus bet which offers additional payouts as high as 1,000-to-1 if the payer achieves strong five-cad poker hands made using any combination of the player’s three cards and the dealer’s three cards
- Live Caribbean Stud: This game plays according to standard Caribbean Stud rules with a human dealer and real cards
- Optional Side Bet: Casinos that activate the optional side bet allow players to place a side bet that pays out as much as 1,000-to-1 for achieving strong five-card poker hands made using the player’s five cards and the dealer’s up-card
Ultimate Texas Holdem
- Live Ultimate Texas Holdem: Evolution is currently the only provider that offers live dealer Ultimate Texas Holdem. This game plays similarly to traditional Texas Holdem except it is played against the dealer with the best hand winning everything in the pot
- Optional Side Bet: Players have the option to place a side bet that pays regardless of what happens in the main hand. If the player achieves three-of-a-kind or better using the player’s two hole cards and three of the community cards, the player receives an additional payout
- Lucky Wheel: The Lucky Wheel Dream Catcher game is another Evolution exclusive that features a large spinning wheel and a real dealer. Players choose numbers to bet on, the dealer spins the wheel and then the player wins a payout if the wheel stops on that number. Payouts range from even money to 40-to-1 with additional multipliers of 2x and 7x that can result in even bigger payouts.
Wes Burns co-founded OnlineCasinoSites.com with a mission to help gamblers understand and navigate the regulated online casino market in all countries around the world. Wes is a respected gambling journalist, working in the industry since 2008.