Pragmatic Play is perhaps better known as a slot developer than as a creator of live dealer games. The company is still new at producing live dealer casino content, as it has been racking up video slots and other RNG games for years before they eventually decided to get into the live gambling market. The company will continue to deliver premium slots while expanding on the live casino package, and they’ve made a smart move to purchase Extreme Live Gaming in early 2018. Previously owned by the Novomatic Group, Extreme Live Gaming streamed games from a London studio, but the new owner discontinued the production and decided to start fresh, basing the new studio setting Bucharest, Romania.
The Maltese-based software provider relies on a licensed production plan to host 40+ gaming tables supplying a range of live dealer games encompassing roulette, blackjack and baccarat. Pragmatic Play operates across a range of markets and countries thanks to over a dozen licenses which are certified and up to date. European players can place bets with a piece of mind since the provider has licenses from Malta, UKGC, Gibraltar, Sweden and Italy, to name a few. Other regions are covered by a valid license from the Curacao regulator.
Pragmatic Play live casino games went live in the first half of 2019 at selected casinos, and in the period leading to the games’ release spokespeople for the company assured reviewers that their live casino solution would easily rival Evolution Gaming’s portfolio. Since the development team consists of former Ezugi, Evolution and Playtech developers, we couldn’t help but get our hopes up. Now that the games are finally launched, we can dig in and see what’s on offer first-hand.
More About Pragmatic Live Casino Games
Extreme Live Gaming lobby featured blackjack, roulette and baccarat in multiple variants, and at first it seemed that Pragmatic Play will only take over the wheel and continue offering the same product with future additions. However, the company decided to shut down the ex-Extreme Live London studio and showcase a state-of-the-art, newly constructed studio in Romania and launch their all-new live casino products. The games premiered at the ICE Totally Gaming 2019, and the first casino partnership deals came soon after.
So far, Pragmatic Play has launched Live Blackjack, Live Roulette and Live Baccarat. The games do feel like they are brought to life from scratch by experienced teams of developers. Some additional titles were announced in the past months, but are yet to be developed and released.
Pragmatic Play’s Live Blackjack supports 7 seats at the table, but comes with the Playing Behind (known as Bet Behind with other providers) feature which expands on the number of players involved in a single round. In blackjack, players compete against the bank, or the house, instead of competing against each other. Live Blackjack uses 8 decks of cards and plays out in accordance with Vegas rules. The interface includes Game Help which is extremely useful for novices and first-time players. Chat with the dealers is supported, and you can switch from classic view to full screen in a single click. Game RTP is 99.28% and available side bets include 21+3 and Pairs.
Pragmatic Play’s Live Roulette is played with a single zero, according to popular European rules. Both a regular table layout and a racetrack betting grid are featured and the game benefits from multiple camera angles. The zoom feature comes in handy especially when the wheel starts slowing down and the ball is about to land in one of the sockets. Players can wager on inside and outside bets and achieve a return of 97.30% in the long run. The game includes special bets Final en Plein, Finales a Cheval and Full Complete. Bettors can save their favorite bets, study game statistics and keep track of the last winning numbers.
Live Baccarat by Pragmatic Play is played with 6 decks of cards. The house edge is kept at 1.06% on the banker bet. The rules include a 5% commission. Just like all other live casino games powered by the Maltese provider, Live Baccarat can be played on computers as well as smartphones or tablets running Android or iOS operating systems. Baccarat is known to be the game of choice for James Bond, so if it’s good enough for the best secret agent you may want to try a few rounds of this stylish Pragmatic Play version.
Live Speed Roulette, Live Auto Roulette, and Live Baccarat Super Six are planned and announced by the company executives, but these particular titles haven’t been developed by the time of writing. They should be available by the end of the year.
Pragmatic Play has signed major commercial agreements in the past several months and they’ve been quite busy with distributing their new live casino vertical. Judging by what they’ve presented so far, venturing into live gaming was certainly not a mistake for the brand. The games look clean and work well across all devices. They are streamed in ultra 4k HD from a brand-new studio in Bucharest and feature well-versed local dealers who speak good English. Welcome to the live casino world, Pragmatic Play!