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Playtech isn’t just a giant of the online gaming world, it’s a behemoth, calling itself the “world’s largest gambling software and services supplier.”
The company hit the headlines in November 2015 when it was stopped from buying two financial trading companies by regulators. Investors were worried by the news, but casino players shouldn’t have anything to trouble them, and instead should note that this massive company, founded in 1999, had £500 million to throw around.
Playtech offers the whole gamut of games, including casino games, poker, bingo, slots, sports betting, scratch cards, mobile games, and live-dealer games. It's bingo software, under the Virtue Fusion name, is just about the biggest in the business.
The company was founded by Teddy Sagi, an Israeli entrepreneur at the turn of the century, and by 2006 was valued at £550 million on its London flotation.
It’s since bought a number of other gaming sites, including PokerStrategy.com, Aristocrat Lotteries, and YoYo Games, a game developer.
The massive iPoker brand is owned by Playtech.
It employs around 3,500 people in 12 countries.
All very interesting, but what does that mean for players? It’s generally good news. Markets aren’t the perfect resource allocation machines of economic theory, but to get this big, a company has to be doing something right. As it’s publicly listed Playtech has a reputation that it needs to defend, and the best way to do that is by providing good-quality games and good backup services through vetted third-party operators.
Players have and do complain about Playtech casinos, but the consensus seems to be that these are rogues and the exception rather than the rule.
As ever though, it pays to do your homework, and you have a responsibility to ensure that you’re playing at a legitimate site. So, before you sign up at a site, do check some of the online gaming forums or review sites – like this one– and do be sure that the site has up-to-date licensing. For UK players that means a licence from the UK Gambling Commission.
American players are not allowed to play at Playtech Casinos. If you do, you are in unregulated territory and you can wave goodbye to your consumer rights if you find yourself in a dispute.
Playtech produces download games, Flash games, which are played online, live dealer games, mobile games and social games, which are played on social networks.
There’s a choice to be made between a downloaded casino and a 'live' Flash game, but with current technology both are very good options.
Downloaded games have marginally better graphics and can be faster, they’re less likely to crash too. You’ll also find some operators offer you more games to choose from if you download.
They’re faster and prettier because they’re using your computer, so the producers can afford to be a bit more liberal with the disc space they use. That comes at a cost to you, of course, though for most modern machines it’s no stretch.
There are security implications to downloading anything. Stick to reputable sites with a good reputation when you download anything.
Flash games demand none of those commitments, you just log on and play.
Downloading tends to tie you more closely to a site. If you want to shop around, use Flash games, at least in the first instance.
Here’s a list (not comprehensive, new games are being launched all the time, and there are more than 500), of the Playtech Games, with some notes:
- Around the World is a random number game.
- Baccarat. The casino classic played with six decks in Playtech’s version, which also offers four side-bets.
- Bingo. Playtech’s version is called Pop Bingo, using a three-row, nine-column card (a Latin American) with 15 numbers to match from a set of 90 drawn.
- Blackjack comes in many varieties. All shuffle the cards before each deal and deal only one card to split aces.
Here’s the full list:
- 21 Duel Blackjack
- Blackjack Pro
- Blackjack Surrender
- Blackjack Switch
- Half Double Blackjack
- Lucky Blackjack
- Perfect Blackjack
- Progressive Blackjack
- UK Blackjack
- Blackjack Pro
- Bonus Bowling: bet on a robot bowler
- Casino Hold 'Em is a poker-based game
- Casino Reels allows players to bet on the outcomes of a slot machine's spins
- Casino War is a six-deck card game
- Craps, the classic dice game
- Derby Day Horse Racing is a horseracing simulator with a reported 95% return to player
- Dice Twister is a sic bo variant with betting on three dice
- Final Score is a football simulation to bet on various outcomes in a mocked up match
- Genie's Hi Lo is a simple card turning game, with bets on higher or lower numbers or card colours
- Heads or Tails is a coin toss game
- Jackpot Darts is a darts simulation with betting on the outcome and a progressive jackpot
- Keno is a casino classic, with two versions from Playtech: Keno Xperiment and Fortune Keno
- Knockout lets you bet on landing punches on a computer fighter
- Let Them Ride is a simple poker variant
- Mahjong can be played as Solo Mahjong and Solo Mahjong Pro. It is a complex Chinese tile game
- Mega Ball is an arcade-style lottery game
- Pachinko is called Dolphin Paradise which is a computerised version of the Japanese ball dropping game
- Penalty Shootout allows players to gamble on beating a goalkeeper with a football penalty kick
- Caribbean Poker is a popular poker variant
- Pai Gow Poker mixes Asian tile game gameplay and poker hands
- Poker Three is a version of three-card poker
- Tequila Poker offers bets on the outcome of a poker hand
- Red Dog a single-deck version of the popular card game
- Rock Paper Scissors bet on the playground game of decision
- Roller Coaster Dice is a hi-lo gamble based on totals from dice throws
- Sic Bo is a classic Chinese game
- Wheel of Light is based on an old fashioned arcade game with bets on where a moving light will come to rest
- Wild Viking is a cross between roulette and poker, with bets on the value of five drawn hands
Playtech roulette games
- 3D Roulette
- American Roulette
- Club Roulette
- European Roulette
- French Roulette
- Multi-wheel Roulette
- Premium American Roulette
- Premium European Roulette
- Premium French Roulette
- Premium Roulette Pro
- Roulette Pro
- Video Roulette
Video Poker games
- 2 Way Royal
- Aces and Faces (1-4 hands)
- Aces and Faces (25 hands)
- All American
- Deuces Wild (1-4 hands)
- Jacks or Better (1 hand)
- Jacks or Better (10 hands)
- Jacks or Better (50 hands)
- Jokers Poker (1-50 hands)
- Tens or Better
- Zero Jacks or Better
Playtech is a very big player in the slot machine market and has a very big following for some of its games. Whether in download or Flash version, its games typically show great attention to detail in design, graphics and sound as well as good gameplay.
You’ll find Playtech slots not just in casinos but also as side games in other gaming sites like bingo sites and sports betting sites. Playtech supplies slots to some of the biggest names in those fields, as well as powering their main business.
There is a huge range of Playtech slots, including many games that are popular in their own right and loads of TV and movie tie-ins like The Incredible Hulk and Ironman.
In November 2015, the company launched a game based on TopGun, the classic fighter pilot movie. It’s a good example of what to expect from Playtech games. The company called it an omnichannel game, which basically means you can play it on any device you can think of. It incorporated clips form the classic, 1986 Tom Cruise film, into a 243 ways-to-win game with multiple bonus rounds offering free spins and lots of wild symbols.
Where can I Play Playtech Games?
Here’s a list of Playtech casinos available to British players. It’s not possible to be completely comprehensive in this fast-moving world, but you’ll some of the biggest names in UK gaming on this list.
- 21nova Casino
- 50 Stars Casino
- Bet365 Casino
- Betfred Casino
- Betsafe Casino
- Bgo Casino
- Boyle Casino
- Carnival Casino
- Casino Bellini
- Casino King
- Casino Las Vegas
- Casino Plex
- Casino Tropez
- City Club Casino
- City Tower Casino
- Club Dice Casino
- Club777 Casino
- ComeOn Casino
- Coral Casino
- Crown Europe
- Dafabet / Dafa888
- EuroGrand Casino
- Europa Casino
- Gala Casino
- Grosvenor Casinos
- Imperial Casino
- Joyland Casino
- King Solomons Casino
- Ladbrokes Casino
- Magic Box Casino
- Mansion Casino
- Mr Smith Casino
- Noble Casino
- Paddy Power Casino
- Prestige Casino
- Royal Dice
- Sky Casino
- Sky Kings Casino
- Slots Heaven
- Titan Casino
- Totesport Casino
- Unibet Casino
- Vegas Red Casino
- Vernons Casino
- William Hill Casino
- Windows Casino
- Winner Casino
That’s a lot of casinos powered by this genuine international giant.