Realtime Gaming has a simple enough tagline: “The most profitable online casino solution on the Internet”. One of the reasons they’re able to make that claim is because they charge online casinos less money to lease their software than any other provider. They’re also one of the few software providers who accept (even welcome) U.S. players. A third reason for their profitability claims is that their casinos are able to adjust the payout percentages for their slots and video poker games on the backend. (No, this doesn’t mean the games are rigged. It does mean that the payback percentages from one casino to another are liable to vary.)
The official name of the company is Hastings Inernational B.V. They maintain their corporate offices in Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean. The company has been in continuous operation since 1998, making them one of the oldest companies in the business. Since the first online casino launched in 1994, this means that Realtime Gaming was practically on the ground floor of the industry.
Over 112 sites use RTG (the commonly-used acronym for Realtime Gaming) to power their casino games. These include popular sports books who provide casino games to their players as well as standalone casinos. Some of the most popular gambling sites on the Web are powered by Realtime Gaming. These include Bodog, Bovada, Planet 7, Intertops, and Raging Bull Casino.
Like most online casino software providers, the casinos can choose which games to offer through their partnership with RTG. Many casinos just opt to offer all their games, but it’s possible to find online casinos which opt out of certain games. For example, some casinos prefer not to offer progressive jackpot games because of the financial risk involved.v
This section provides an overview and reviews of the various games that Realtime Gaming provides. Keep in mind that any particular casino might not offer a particular game.
Baccarat is available with better than normal rules. In a standard baccarat game, a tie bet pays off at 8 to 1, but RTG baccarat pays off at 9 to 1. This decreases the house edge slightly. As far as how the game plays, it’s fast and modern-looking.v
Bingo is available too, in two varieties, but these aren’t multiplayer games. It’s you versus the computer. Most bingo players prefer the chat aspect of playing in a room with other players, but the bingo games are attractive at RTG casinos. (They’re usually listed in the “other games” category at participating casinos.)
Blackjack is also available in multiple varieties. RTG claims to have the smoothest and fastest blackjack on the Internet, which means you’ll see more hands per hour playing their 21 games than at other casinos. This doesn’t really benefit the player, though, as blackjack is still a negative expectation game. The more hands per hour you play in a negative expectation game, the higher your hourly loss will be.
The house edge is well below 1% on RTG’s blackjack games, but it’s hard to be sure how many decks are in use at a particular casino. Like the slots paybacks, the number of decks is configurable. The standard blackjack game is the game with the lowest possible house edge, so you can safely ignore their other 21 games.
Caribbean Hold’em is RTG’s version of Casino Hold’em, which I’ve written about elsewhere on this site. They do offer one of the better pay tables for the game, and the house edge is 2.16%.v
Caribbean Stud is offered with a better than usual payoff for a royal flush. The hand comes up so rarely that the house edge is barely affected.
Casino War is also available, but it’s a silly game. (I’ve written about it before.) It’s a faster game than blackjack, has no skill element, and the house edge is 2.42%.
Craps is available at RTG casinos, but this is a game that benefits from being played in a live casino with other players. The odds bet is configurable at RTG casinos, too—you’ll usually see them available for 2X or 3X, which isn’t anything to write home about. It’s still one of the best games in the casino, probability-wise, as long as you avoid the longshot bets.
Keno is another game which, like bingo, is listed in the “specialty games” category at most participating casinos. It’s a high edge game—over 15%--and I don’t recommend playing it at any online casino. It might be okay to play in a live casino when you’re killing time, because the bets per hour is low enough. But when you’re playing online, the bets per hour add up fast.
Let ‘em Ride is just RTG’s version of Let It Ride, which I’ve written about elsewhere on this site. The rules are standard—the only aspect of this version that’s different is the name.
Pai Gow Poker is one of my favorite games to play, because I enjoy the skill aspect of it—minimal that it might be. The house edge is 2.86%, so it’s not the best game in the casino. The low variance and frequent ties mean you won’t lose as much money per hour as you might expect, though.
Red Dog is a lot of fun, but the house edge is relatively high at 3.08%.
Roulette is available in the following varieties:
The only roulette game you should bother with is French Roulette, and you should only place even money bets. The house edge on those is only 1.35%. The house edge on all other games and bets are far inferior to that.
Scratch Cards are offered in multiple varieties. It’s impossible to know what the house edge is on these games. I’d avoid them.
Sic Bo is a dice game that’s rarely seen at U.S. casinos these days. Some people love it, though. The house edge varies based on which bet you place. Mathematically speaking, it’s not a good game for the player at all. Stick with craps instead.
Slot machines are where RTG shines. You have a staggering array of unusual games to choose from. Some of them are traditional 3-reel slots with a single payline, but many of them are more modern, with 5 reels and multiple paylines. The payback percentages are on a part with most of the rest of the online casino industry, but they can vary from casino to casino because of their configurable nature.
Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker is another house-banked poker variation available. The house edge is 2.04%.
Tri Card Poker is just RTG’s name for their version of Three-Card Poker, which I’ve also written about elsewhere on this site.
Vegas three card rummy is also offered. It’s played like Three-Card Poker, but scoring is based on rummy rules instead of poker rules. This is an unusual game that you won’t find in land-based casinos at all. The house edge is between 3% and 4%.
Video poker has a lot of varieties, and RTG offers most of them. Watch the pay tables, though, because the casinos can set the payout amounts on the backend. All of the most common varieties are available, including Bonus Poker, Deuces Wild, and Jacks or Better. Their best video poker game is Aces & Eights, which, with the right pay table, has a payback percentage of 99.78%.
Author: Steve Mitchell