Competing Blackjack Software

Rival blackjack games are online adaptations of the classic table game created by Rival Gaming. Rival Gaming is a game design company based in Canada that is well-known for producing a complete array of table and slot machine games, as well as “back-end” casino gaming software and white label licenses.

Windows and Mac users have access to Rival Gaming’s software in both download and immediate play formats. The company also hosts a large number of mobile-compatible games, allowing users of iPhones, Android phones, tablets, and other Web-enabled devices to connect to Rival casinos and play for real money or play money. Since Rival powers casinos worldwide, the company has released its repertoire in a dozen different languages.

This article begins with an introduction to Rival Gaming and their blackjack games. The remainder of the page examines the various blackjack variations they offer, including information on each game’s house edge and strategy remarks.

Rival Blackjack: Summary

In April of 2006, Rival launched their software on four casinos. Those four sites are a muddled bunch – Cocoa and DaVinci’s Gold were both legitimate operators with excellent reputations. Las Vegas and Paradise8 cannot be compared. Rival’s greatest claim to fame has always been their iSlots games, which are interactive slot machine-style games with a concentration on generating replay value. These activities continue to be popular today.

There is little to differentiate Rival’s blackjack designs from those of Realtime Gaming, Microgaming, and other prominent designers. All of these large-scale designers create games with a similar aesthetic, right down to the board’s colors and general configuration. It is impossible to say whether Rival’s performance is better or worse than that of any other game developer, because their white label licensing model means that performance varies from site to site.

This is uncommon. We were able to locate this information about the games produced by Rival’s competitors. Without that information, it’s difficult to come up with any firm house edge figures, so comparing Rival’s blackjack variants to those developed by other designers is an enormous hassle. This is likely the worst aspect of Rival’s blackjack designs; what exactly are they trying to conceal?

Both of Rival’s blackjack games have a $1 minimum wager per hand and a $200 maximum bet. This number can vary from casino to casino; we discovered one high-roller version of Multi-hand Blackjack at an American-facing casino that permits wagers of up to $1,500 per hand.

Games Accessible

The following is a list of the blackjack variants offered by Rival software:

Blackjack with Multiple Hands
The game with the reduced house margin is blackjack, which is essentially a variation on the standard Las Vegas rules game. Despite the difficulty of estimating the house margin for this or any other Rival game, our best estimate is that this game gives the casino an edge of just over 0.6%.
Even worse is the multi-hand blackjack game, which we estimate has a 0.9% house edge.

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