Rival Powered is one of the newer casino software companies in the business. Depending on which source you’re looking at, the company was founded in either 2005 or 2006. It is one of only a handful of software companies which welcome U.S. players, and their software is more advanced and better looking than most of their competitors. Only Betsoft has any real claim to offering better looking games than Rival, and some of Rival’s games are on a par with Betsoft’s.
Almost 100 sites use Rival’s software to power their games. Many of these casino sites use multiple software providers in order to broaden the selection of games available to their customers. Examples of casinos which offer Rival Gaming products to their customers include Bovada and Ignition Casino. Their games are available in both Flash versions and in a downloadable version. Here’s a list of games available along with a few observations about each of them:
Baccarat is standard here, with a house edge of 1.06% if you bet on the banker. You should avoid the other bets, as they both have a higher edge.
Blackjack is available at Rival casinos, too, but they don’t offer a lot of different games. They also don’t disclose how many decks they’re using, but it’s safe to assume that they use eight decks. (That’s pretty standard.) The house edge with their rules is 0.66%, which is low compared to most of their other games, but high compared to the blackjack games available from their competitors.
Casino Battle is the same thing as Casino War, only with a slightly different name. The house edge is 2.88%, and you should always go to war in the event of a tie. I don’t recommend this game, as the house edge is high and the game plays really fast. It’s a money pit. Play blackjack instead.
Craps at Rival casinos is a good game. They offer 3X 4X 5X odds, which is better than most online casinos. The house edge for the pass bet combined with the odds bet is 0.37%, making this one of the best online casino bets in the business.
Red Dog is also offered. The house edge is 3.55% with their version of this game.
Ride ‘em Poker is their version of Let-It-Ride. They offer a better-than-average pay table with a house edge of 2.96%.
Roulette is available in both the American style (with two zeros) and the European style (with one zero). You should, of course, always stick with the European style game, since the house edge is 2.70% instead of 5.26%. They do not call this “American” or “European” roulette. Instead, Rival uses the expressions “double-zero” and “single-zero” to describe these games.
Scratch cards are offered, too, in several different varieties. The trouble with these games is that it’s impossible to know what the payback percentage has been set to, so it’s probably quite high. Also, the game plays really fast—faster than slot machines, even. You’re better off playing slots.
Slot machines are one area where Rival casinos excel. They have the usual assortment of 3-reel and 5-reel slots, and they also have progressive jackpot games. But their I-Slots are excellent, almost on a par with the games from Betsoft. (They’re not quite as state-of-the-art, but they’re close.) One of the best aspects of playing at a Rival casino is that the payback percentages are available in the help files for the slot machine games. This is almost unheard of with casino software, especially with casino software that allows players from the United States. One of their games (“Rock On”) boasts a 98% expected return, which is possibly one of the best returns on a slot machine game in history.
Sudoku is really just a slot machine game with a Sudoku theme, but if you’re into Sudoku, you might like it. The house edge on this game is high, though—over 15%.
Video poker is available from Rival in seven different varieties, all of which are single-play games. The best game in their stable is their full pay version of Jacks or Better, which has a payback percentage of 99.54% when played with perfect strategy.
All in all, Rival Powered is one of the more interesting software packages available. The best bet at any of their casinos is the craps bet, which is unusual. At most casinos, it’s blackjack.
Author: Steve Mitchell