The most unusual online casino game variations

If you’re new to placing wagers online then it’d be fair to assume that all online casino games are similar to their real-life counterparts… Perhaps you hold the view that all slot games are only played on three, five or six reels with limited win lines, roulette pays out a maximum of 35/1 or that you can only hit, stand, double or split when playing blackjack.

 

The beauty of playing online as opposed to in a physical casino is that there’s significantly more variation in the way that games play, most casinos stick to traditional-style games, as not to overcomplicate things, whilst there’s a world of possibility elsewhere.

 

Casino game developers have unlimited maneuverability to test and try new things online, if one title doesn’t work, another will! For that reason there are a great number of weird and wonderful casino game variations out there that players just can’t seem to get enough of. Here are just a few of the most unusual (and successful) casino game variations available to play right now.

All Bets Blackjack (Evolution Gaming)

Far from your ordinary game of blackjack, Evolution Gaming’s All bets Blackjack gives an unlimited number of players six unique bets alongside the standard betting options.

 

Adhering to European Blackjack format, this game is played with 6 decks of cards and each player has the option to hit, split or double on every single hand that’s played… However the six additional bets are where the real money is made!

 

The six side bets are as follows:

 

  • Player Pair and Dealer Pair, which pays out when the player or dealer gets a perfect, coloured or mixed pair respectively.
  • Top 3, which sees players bet on whether their first two cards will form a poker hand.
  • Lucky Lucky, which sees players bet on whether the dealer’s first two cards will form a specific combination.
  • Buster, which sees players bet on whether the dealer will go bust.
  • 21+ 3 which sees players bet on whether both their own and the dealer’s cards will form a poker hand.

 

The longest odds available on All Bets Blackjack are 2000/1. Players can win 2000 times  their initial stake if they were to bet on Buster and the dealer bust on 8 cards whilst the player had blackjack themselves… A big ask, but well worth it if it were to come in.

 

Ultimately, with over 25 different betting outcomes as opposed to the two or three available on a traditional table, it’s not hard to see why this blackjack variant is so popular with punters.

God of Storms Community Live Slot (Playtech)

The last decade has seen huge innovation in both the live casino and online slot world, so why merge the two together? Playtech took their first shot at taking slots live in 2019 with Buffalo Blitz Live, ultimately the game show style presentation and automatic spins proved to be somewhat of a flop with players, who instead opted for other live casino titles.

 

However, that’s not deterred the veteran live casino developer from coming back for a second attempt in 2020 with their release of God of Storms Community Live Slot this Summer. This time they’ve opted for a much different approach, emulating the look and feel of a popular Twitch stream, something many punters of a certain age will be familiar with nowadays.

 

Rather than using an elaborate game-show style set and glamorous hostess the game is led by a much more relaxed streamer situated in the corner of the screen who casually chats with the players as the game plays along in the background.

 

It’s absolutely no surprise that Playtech have attempted to create something that emulates a Twitch stream… The popular streaming platform has seen users watch an incredible 558 billion minutes of content in 2020 alone.

 

The unique presentation of the game, coupled with the fact that Age of the Gods: God of Storms is one of the most beloved online slot games ever created makes this title a must play.

 

If you have an interest in live casino games, online slots with exciting bonus rounds and a strong community element to your gameplay then God of Storms Community Live Slot will tick all the right boxes.

Megaways Slots (Big Time Gaming)

Anyone that’s played online casino games more than once will be aware of Megaways slots. These adrenaline pumping slots are totally unique as they have up to 117,649 win lines built into them, meaning that the opportunity to win a lucrative sum of money is absolutely massive.

 

These games, originally created by Australian slot developers Big Time Gaming, are known around the world for their winning potential. Many major developers such as Blueprint Gaming, Red Tiger Gaming and iSoftBet (just to name a few) have sought a license for the mechanic so they can create new games and remaster popular titles that utilise Megaways!

 

For the uninitiated, Megaways games use Random Reel Modifier technology which changes the number rows on each reel for each and every spin. So every single time the play button is pressed each of six reels in play could display anywhere between two and seven symbols.

 

Some of the best modern slots of all-time are Megaways titles. These include classics such as Bonanza Megaways and Rainbow Riches Megaways. Newer titles such as Rick and Morty Megaways and most recently Gonzo’s Quest Megaways have also captured the hearts of thousands of players around the world.

 

It’s well worth noting that just because these slots have a significant number of win lines, this doesn’t mean they’re lacking in other areas, you’ll be pleased to hear that these games (and many others in the Megaways series) are filled to the brim with exciting mechanics and bonus features that make them worth spinning.

Lightning Roulette (Evolution Gaming)

Launched in 2018, Lightning Roulette is one of the greatest innovations in live casino history. The geniuses at Evolution Gaming has taken a simple concept and added one element to the gameplay that has completely revolutionised online roulette as we know it today.

 

Rather than pay out odds of 35/1 every time an individual number comes in on the roulette wheel, this game pays odds of 30/1 instead… Whilst you might grumble at lower payouts, there’s more than good reason for this.

 

Before each round the game’s host will pull a lever which causes random numbers to appear on a screen behind them, these numbers correlate to those on the roulette table… Once numbers have been randomly selected a randomly generated multiplier is then added to each number.

 

Randomly generated multipliers can reach as high as x500, so if it does show up during play (which it does fairly often) you have a very inviting 1 in 36 chance of raking in x500 your stake.

 

If big wins don’t entice you to try this unique variant of roulette then the charismatic hosts and active community within the live chat should be enough to tempt you to give this game a go.

Side Bet City (Evolution Gaming)

Poker has always been a game with a high learning curve, it can be pretty unforgiving for first time players, even when playing solo. Evolution Gaming’s Side Bet City is a truly unique and easy-to-follow live casino game that can ease even the most clueless of rookies into the game.

 

Playing Side Bet City couldn’t be more straight forward if it tried. Each game sees the dealer pull seven cards from a deck of 52 cards (which are shuffled regularly), all players must do is correctly predict whether those seven cards will make up a 3-card poker hand, a 5-card poker hand, a 7-card poker hand or nothing at all.

 

If the dealer does manage to randomly pull seven cards that make a hand and you’ve correctly bet on the outcome, you’ll win money based on the strength of the hand that’s been pulled.

You shouldn’t expect to see a great return from your initial investment if an average hand such as a pair comes in… However, if you manage to hit a Full House, Straight Flush or Royal Flush you’re in the money.

 

The most lucrative hand that could be pulled in Side Bet City would be a 5-card Royal Flush which pays out an eye-watering 1000 times your initial stake.

 

Admittedly, it’s not quite poker as you know it… But it’s a fun and easy-going way to introduce yourself to the fundamentals. If you like bright neon eighties aesthetics, poker and live casino games then you’ll want to add this to the list of unusual casino game variations you should try.

What is slow rolling in poker?

Unlike ‘slow playing’, which is a deceptive, but perfectly acceptable, tactic in poker, ‘slow rolling’ violates the principles of poker etiquette and is universally despised by players. The slow roll comes at the end of a hand, a.k.a. the ‘showdown’, when it is customary for the player who believes he has won to reveal his hole cards immediately. However, a player who believes he has won – indeed, he may hold the best possible hand, a.k.a. ‘the nuts’ – may make a song and dance about calling the final large, or all-in, bet of the hand and, to make matters worse, subsequently delay the process of revealing his hole cards. This unsportsmanlike behaviour may be intended to showboat winning the hand, or to chastise or taunt an opponent, for whatever reason, but serves only to make the player who does the slow rolling hugely unpopular with everyone else at the table.

Of course, situations occur where players, even professional players, ‘accidentally’ slow roll, having failed to realise that they have actually won the hand. Apart from these few, isolated incidents, though, slow rolling is usually done with malice aforethought and should be treated as an insidious tactic that is, above anything else, just plain bad manners. Unfortunately, there is nothing in the rules of poker than explicitly forbids slow rolling but, if you want to maintain the respect of your opponents and avoid negative emotions around the table, just avoid it.

Should you split a pair of ‘tens’ in blackjack?

In blackjack, tens are obviously valued at 10 points, but so are court cards or, in other words, kings, queen and jacks. Depending on the rules of the game in question, a pair of ‘tens’ could mean, literally, a pair of tens, a pair of kings, queen or jacks or, in some cases, a ten and a court card or two dissimilar court cards.

In any event, where splitting is allowed, the player can stand, with a hand valued at 20 points, or split his cards into two hands, each with a starting value of 10 points. Some players split a pair of ‘tens’ regardless of the upcard the dealer shows, while others so only if the upcard is one of the weakest possible, such as a five or a six.

However, splitting not only not only doubles your outlay, but also significantly reduces your chances of winning. In a standard game of blackjack, in which cards are dealt from a six-deck shoe and the dealer stands on ‘soft’ 17, the probability of winning if you stand on 20 is 83%. By contrast, in the same game, if you split a pair of ‘tens’ – and thereby run the risk of winding up with two hands both worth less than 20 – the probability of winning each split had us just 63%. In simple terms, unless you are an accomplished card counter and the ‘true’ count is at least +4, the mathematically correct decision is always to stand on a pair of ‘tens’.

Trends expected to play out in the online slot industry

We’re already in the middle of 2020 and folks who specialize in the casino business can’t help but think about what the next decade has in store for the industry. 

Advancements in technology have played a part in the evolution of the industry thus far, and this is set to continue. Regardless, there’s still a lot to look forward to, although the year has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The sector has experienced major growth in recent times due to the continuous innovations being put up by some of the key software developers in the industry such as NetEnt, Playtech, Microgaming, and Yggdrasil. However, folks can look forward to what the year still has in store by taking a look below.

  • More emphasis will be placed on mobile gaming 

Software developers in the industry will work towards bringing a good number of titles to mobile gaming platforms as their popularity continue to rise. 

Statistics have shown that this development will be the case in years to come and will see close to 50% of all online gaming being done via smartphones and tablets. This is undoubtedly an impressive figure, however, experts have projected that it will rise to 80% by the end of the year.

  • Improvements will be made to interactive bonus rounds 

The last five years have seen the slot industry sector undergo a dramatic overhaul although innovations are set to continue. Software developers won’t be keen to watch the products they offer stagnated but will put in more effort to make bigger and better slots with improved interactive bonus rounds as 2020 runs its full course.

The modification of interactive bonus rounds will ensure that players have more control over their experiences at an online casino and will be able to do this based on their preferences. This will subsequently increase gamification. Meanwhile, sites like casimba.com have been working towards amazing bonuses for their players, do well to take advantage of their offers by visiting them to enjoy the amazing features they have on offer.

  • The industry will be diversified

The slot game sector will be affected by the fact that several countries have ventured into the arena. This ranges from the United States to nations in Europe, and they’ve all deployed new legislation that will allow their residents to engage in online gambling for the first time. 

This is one factor that developers will emphasize, going forward. Therefore, it’s likely that the available content will be tailored to the taste of a more diverse audience

  • Virtual Reality is getting set to become the new darling

This will be a major advancement and has resulted in a lot of excitement in the online slot industry. It is currently being explored and rumors early this year suggested that the top developers in the industry were already allocating resources towards giving it a try.

They plan to introduce it to the market very soon with the likes of Microgaming and NetEnt having a reputation for venturing into such projects already on hand. 

NetEnt have gone a step further by introducing a functioning VR casino that is complete with slots and this is a pointer that more investments will be made in this area.

2020 will see a lot of exciting developments in the online slot industry. Although the year has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, the industry is expected to thrive and evolve as years go by.

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