Playtech is an old-timer in the interactive gambling industry, boasting a rich catalog of high-end gaming products. When the company started out, it initially concentrated its focus on the development and provision of RNG-based products such as innovative video slots, table games, bingo, and video poker.
Innovation has always been one of the biggest driving factors behind Playtech’s indisputable success. Considering this, it is not surprising the company popularized the live format and presented online players with an enhanced gaming experience that replicates the distinctive ambiance of brick-and-mortar casinos.
The Isle of Man-based supplier was among the first companies to launch a live dealer platform in 2003. Playtech continued to expand the range of its live catalog in the years to follow and presently boasts one of the most diverse selections of live dealer tables.
Players at Playtech-powered casinos have a variety of live blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, and dice games readily available at their fingertips. The company’s roster of licensees comprises many notable brands, including the likes of Betfair, Ladbrokes, Mansion, bet365, and William Hill. Let’s proceed with a rundown of the software veteran’s background and accomplishments.
Playtech’s Background and Industry Achievements
1The Early Years
Playtech is a company of long-standing, whose beginnings can be traced back to 1999. The company was established by Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi in the Estonian city of Tartu. It was not until 2001 that Playtech unveiled its innovative software to the world and welcomed its first online casino licensee on board.
2London Stock Exchange Listing
Three years later, in 2004, the developer launched its dedicated poker software, iPoker, which established itself as one of the biggest poker networks in the industry. Soon after, the company became a force to be reckoned with, so much so that it was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange toward the end of March 2006. Even during these early stages of its development, Playtech’s worth was estimated at the staggering $950 million.
3Global Expansion and US Market Exit
Playtech continued to expand the scope of its operations in the years to follow, reaching players from some of the largest markets on a global scale. The year 2003 was marked by the soft launch of Playtech’s live dealer platform.
Up until 2006, Playtech was a major player on the US gambling market but chose to withdraw its operations following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
This was a turning point in the company’s history so much so that it led to a 40% drop in its stocks. Nevertheless, Playtech managed to overcome the difficulties by expanding its operations across other markets and verticals. The same year, it diversified its bingo offering with the introduction of Bingo Broadway.
4Important Acquisitions and Spanish Market Entry
Playtech continued on its mission to penetrate major gaming markets in the years following its US exit. In 2009, the developer secured an important agreement with Spain’s regulator DGOJ. Тhis deal enabled the now-recognized company to broadcast live-dealer streams directly from the floors of Casino Gran Madrid, the country’s biggest landbased gaming venue.
In 2010, Playtech expanded its bingo portfolio even further with the acquisition of Virtue Fusion Limited. The next year was a landmark in the company’s history as Playtech went on to complete several major acquisitions, including those of the software development company Ash Gaming, Intelligent Gaming Solutions, and mobile sports wagering supplier Mobenga.
5New Agreements with Paddy Power and Gala Coral
This acquisition spree was followed by long-term deals with the notable operators Paddy Power and Gala Coral. Yet another acquisition came in 2012 when the UK-based sports betting platform Geneity Limited officially became a member of the Playtech family of brands.
But the company did not stop there on its march toward global domination. Playtech further consolidated its presence on the Italian and Norwegian markets by acquiring Aristocrat Lotteries.
The company also has an undeniable contribution to cross-channel gaming, introducing its multi-channel platform Playtech ONE in 2014. This was followed by Playtech opening the world’s biggest live dealer facility at the time (2017) in the Estonian capital Riga. In 2018, the company purchased the Swedish video slot supplier Quickspin.
6Playtech’s List of Accolades
Being a company of long-standing, Playtech has received global recognition and has multiple trophies on its rack. The company has collected numerous prestigious awards over the years for a broad range of casino products, from slots to live casino games. Let’s check some of these accolades out.
- Playtech was shortlisted for a Live Casino Supplier of the Year at the 2019 EGR B2B Awards
- A trophy for Supplier Innovation at the 2019 Gaming Intelligence Awards
- A win in the Aim to Main category at the Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards
- A win for Mobile Gaming Software at the 2016 EGR B2B Awards
- An award for Multi-Channel Supplier at the 2016 EGR B2B Awards
- A trophy for Best Digital Industry Supplier at the 2016 Global Gaming Awards
- A win in the category of iGaming Software Supplier at the 2015 International Gaming Awards
- Playtech was a runner-up in the category of Digital Industry Supplier at the 2014 Global Gaming Awards. GTech eventually went home with the trophy.
- Double win at the Romania Casino Life and Business Awards in the categories for Best Live Studio and Best Technology
- Innovation in Casino for the Playtech-powered Sky Live Casino at the EGR Awards
Playtech Live Dealer Studio Locations
Playtech has an international presence but is mostly known for catering to the European and Asian markets where its live casino products are concerned. The supplier operates its live dealer products from dedicated studios located in Estonia, Belgium, the Philippines, Spain, and Romania. Other than that, the company has registered offices and business centers in a variety of countries, including Gibraltar, the UK, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Israel, and Estonia.
Playtech Markets and Regulatory Compliance
It is only natural for a gaming designer of Playtech’s rank to demonstrate a full commitment to the best possible business practices. The company is fully compliant with the security, integrity, and responsible-gambling policies of some of the world’s most severe gambling operators.
Features of Interest in Playtech’s Live Casino Platform
Playtech has created a feature-rich platform but continues to work toward improving its live dealer software. New games and features are constantly added to the live dealer suite. Below are some of the features we found the most useful.
- Dealer tips are available across all Playtech live tables. The button for this function is located in the upper right corner of the gaming interface. You simply need to adjust the desired tip amount you want to reward your dealer with by using the +/- buttons.
- The built-in chat is your means of communication with the friendly dealers and other players. The chat facility is located immediately under the Dealer Tip button. You can click the + button to expand the chat and read other players’ comments.
- The game settings are available via the main menu in the upper left corner of the main interface. This feature allows you to reveal or hide the list of winners that runs across the screen following each round or hand. Other functionalities are also available via the game settings but they differ between games. For example, in live casino poker, you can turn the blind raise off and on via the game settings.
- The video and audio settings are adjustable. You can access them from the game settings or the main settings. Use the slider to configure the quality of the video stream from low to high. Another option is to mute the game and casino sounds if you consider them distracting.
- The autoplay feature is supported at Playtech’s live roulette tables. You need to place a wager before you can make use of it. It allows you to play 10 through 99 spins without having to post chips on the layout after each round. Players have the option to set up loss and single-win limits on their autoplay rounds.
- Charts and statistics are supported across all live games by Playtech. The available data is game-specific, though. Roulette fans can take advantage of detailed information about hot and cold numbers. These are displayed either as percentages or are presented graphically on a wheel. Baccarat fans will benefit from scorecards like the Big Road, the Small Road, the Bead, the Big Eye, and the Cockroach Road.
- The game results give you a glimpse at your betting history for the respective day. The feature shows you your starting and ending balance, how much you have wagered, and how much you have won.
- The My Bets function gives you the chance to save your favorite wagers or combinations of bets and place them with a few clicks of the mouse button.
- The Bet Creator is one of the bespoke features you will not find in any other live platform but Playtech’s. Being one of the newly added functions, it allows roulette players to create custom wagers and post them at all times without any time limitations.
- The Lucky Dip is another unique feature of Playtech’s platform. It is supported at most of the live roulette tables but needs to be enabled by the Playtech-powered casino operator before players can use it. The feature gives you the chance to bet straight up on several random numbers.
Live Roulette Games
Playtech’s live platform caters to all roulette fans by offering them a choice from a decent set of single-zero and double-zero tables. The three main varieties of the classic game, French, American, and European, are all available.
The French tables support the La Partage rule, in which case you lose only half of your outside wagers to zero. The games feature the standard paytable where the maximum payout is 35 to 1 for winning straight-up bets. Players can also diversify their experience with complex call bets like the Neighbors, Zero Game, Tiers, Orphelins, and Voisins.
Live Blackjack Games
The blackjack varieties supplied by Playtech play under uniform rules, with most of the tables supporting up to seven player seats. With that in mind, it is also possible to find tables without limitations on the number of players that can join the live action simultaneously. Quantum Blackjack and Live All Bets Blackjack are great examples of such tables.
Playtech’s live blackjack dealers always draw to 16 and stand on 17. Blackjacks offer the standard payouts of 3 to 2 whereas Insurance pays at odds of 2 to 1. Doubling down is allowed on all starting totals including after a split.
Live Baccarat Games
Playtech also offers a variety of live baccarat tables, all of which are dealt out from a shoe containing eight full decks of cards. The decks are usually shuffled manually by a specially designated staff member. The standard baccarat rules are in place, which makes it easier for novice players to change tables.
At the start of a betting round, you can post one of the three main wagers: Player, Banker or Tie. The hand whose total comes the closest to 9 wins the round. The games use the standard baccarat paytable.
Live House-Banked Poker and Sic Bo
Apart from blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, Playtech has also launched several exciting variations of house-banked poker where you play against the live casino’s representative, the dealer, rather than against other players. SuperCasinoSites briefs you on these games below.
- Also known as Three Card Poker, 3 Card Brag uses one full deck of cards and a bit different ranking of the hands’ strength. Your goal is to beat the dealer with a better three-card hand, with the highest-ranking hand being Three of a Kind (40 to 1 payout). The dealer needs a Queen or higher to qualify.
- Casino Hold’em borrows the hand rankings of traditional Texas Hold’em and has a similar structure, with the main difference being you play against the house. Five community cards are dealt on the board.Your goal is to beat the dealer with a better five-card hand by using your two cards and the cards on the board. The deck is replaced with a new, pre-shuffled one after each round. The live dealer qualifies with a pair of 4s or better.
- Heads Up Hold’em has quite a similar structure to standard Casino Hold’em but there are two main differences. The dealer needs any pair or higher to qualify. There is also the Bad Beat Bonus, which gives you a chance to earn a payout even if your hand loses to the dealer’s.
- In Casino Stud Poker, players can qualify for winning a large progressive prize by posting an optional jackpot side wager of $1. The prize is awarded in full if you get a Royal Flush after posting the fixed jackpot bet. There is also the 5+1 Bonus side bet. It wins whenever your five cards and the dealer’s first exposed card form at least Three of a Kind.
- Sic Bo Deluxe is an exciting game whose origins can be traced back to China. You are betting on the roll of three dice for the chance to win enhanced payouts with multipliers of up to 1,000x your wager. The live action takes place in an elegant red and gold setting inspired by the Chinese New Year. There are tons of betting opportunities here including Big/Small bets, Number, Pair, Double, Triple, and Any Triple bets.