NetEnt Live Casinos & Games Reviewed
About The Company
“Better Gaming Begins Right Here”, claims the team managing one of the leading software development providers. Founded as far back as 1996, Net Entertainment grew to become a large, profitable company with shares listed on Stockholm Nasdaq.
They employ more than 1,000 individuals and serve over 170 reputable online casino operators with an ever-increasing range of 200 casino games.
Having claimed a spot among top industry brands thanks to a diverse assortment of top-quality slots, in 2013 the company has decided to extend their offering by entering the live gaming segment.
NetEnt streams live dealer games from a studio in Malta and uses the latest technology to provide an authentic land-based gambling experience. The company is licensed in multiple jurisdictions, among which the UK, Malta, Gibraltar and Alderney.
Games Offered By Netent
The aforementioned advanced technology includes HD video streaming with minimised lagging, thus eliminating one of the players’ pet hates, well capable of ruining any illusion of playing in a physical establishment. Video quality will vary depending on your connection speed and can be adjusted accordingly.
Should they wish to, players can also switch the stream off completely. Audio settings include volume control and sound muting, with three sliders controlling the background music, casino sounds, and the dealer’s voice. The information button opens game rules, game history and paytable.
Unlike many of their competitors, namely Evolution Gaming, NetEnt has opted to use easy-to-manipulate Green Screen technology rather than install their tables in physical rooms, and as a result achieved a modern look and feel. Rizk Casino is one of the brands that has this in their portfolio. Mini Lobby offers a nice overview of available games along with information such as minimum and maximum table limits.
Players can access the lobby from within a game and potentially join another table without having to leave the current one. All NetEnt’s live games offer an opportunity to chat with the dealer as well as other players, which obviously contributes to the authenticity of the gambling experience.
NetEnt Live Roulette
NetEnt’s Live Roulette range includes European and French variant with and without La Partage rule, themed European Roulette, and Automatic Roulette which uses a physical wheel but plays without a live dealer. Themed tables are primarily used for promotional purposes as a unique way to treat fans to cash rewards, free spins and other freebies. VIP and Pro Roulette tables have been provided for the benefit of high-rollers and feature table limits going as high as €75,000 and €100,000. Although this is entirely dependent on the casino site you choose.
The latest addition to the range is Rocket Roulette, NetEnt’s speedy variant which cuts spin-to-spin time down to 42 seconds. Though somewhat faster than the developer’s standard game, Rocket Roulette still lags behind similar options offered by Evolution Gaming (25 seconds) or Playtech (34 seconds).
Design-wise, it features space travel theme complete with a dealer wearing a unique uniform and a background made to look like the inside of a space ship. One very unique element is the opportunity to play for free, which is something completely uncommon where live gaming is concerned. Players of Rocket Roulette will be offered fun balance and a limited number of rounds to enjoy the game for free before switching to real money play.
Depending on the casino one plays at, European or French layout can be chosen prior to joining the game. While there is a physical wheel the dealer will spin, the only visible betting board is the one generated by the computer. Spin-to-spin time is 48 seconds, with 15 seconds offered for placing bets.
Participants can save their favourite wagers and even choose to see chips placed by other players at the same table. Bets can be placed manually or with a help of a Racetrack, and one can do so even after the wheel has been sent spinning. Statistics for the last 15 rounds is displayed in the top right corner, along with an overview of Hot and Cold numbers. The view will automatically change to a close-up of the wheel once the ball has been released, making it easy to observe its movements as well as its final resting place.
NetEnt Live Blackjack
Standard 7-seat Live Black plays with 6 decks and according to European rules, meaning the dealer takes only one card. Depending on the table, cards will be dealt either manually or with the help of a Shufflemaster. The dealer stands on all 17’s and Blackjack pays 3:2. Players can double on any hand, split pairs, double after splitting, and are offered Insurance against the dealer’s Ace.
The Insurance will cost them half of their original bet and pay 2:1. Should they happen to hit a Blackjack while the dealer shows an Ace, they’ll be offered (but can refuse) to collect even money. Thanks to table limits ranging between €5 and €2,000, the game is accessible to those with smaller budgets as well as high-rollers. Minimum and maximum stakes are at all times visible in the top left corner of the screen, with table statistics and history of the dealer’s last 10 hands displayed on the right.
In case all seats at the standard Blackjack table are occupied, one can take advantage of Live Common Draw Blackjack capable of admitting an unlimited number of participants simultaneously. The game will accept bets as low as €1. Only one hand will be dealt, though each player is free to make their own decision as to hitting, standing, splitting and doubling. A nice little extra, shown as part of the statistics, is a an overview of actions taken by all players around the table. Should you happen to be in doubt as to what decision to make, seeing those taken by others might provide a helpful pointer.
Best NetEnt Live Casinos
Live games being offered in English is a norm, but NetEnt also makes theirs available in more than 20 other languages, including Italian, German, Dutch and Norwegian. Players will easily identify where to find a dealer speaking their own language by names such as Norsk, Deutsches and Turkce Live Roulette. English-speaking dealers are coming from different parts of the world, mostly Europe, though UK gamblers have the option of launching Live British Roulette and chat to a native (British) English speaker.
Since NetEnt uses HTML 5 to develop their live dealer games, players are able to access Live Roulette and Live Blackjack on a range of mobile devices, including iPhone 5S or higher, iPad and iPod Touch, as well as most Android smartphones and tablets.
Play Live Roulette in landscape mode and you’ll basically see the same layout as in the desktop version. Turn your mobile device the other way around and the betting table becomes vertically scrollable, thus ensuring maximum visibility for placing bets. What you will not see on any of the smaller screens is the racetrack betting area and some of the settings options. During the gameplay, mobile users can toggle between the felt stream and the video stream.
Mobile Live Blackjack, also available in both portrait and landscape mode, comes complete with new features such as pre-decision and side bets. A digital view of the hand you’re betting on comes in handy since card markings are a tad smaller than ideal. The menu icon, positioned in the top left corner, offers access to game rules, history and the paytable. All of the above has been incorporated so that it doesn’t obstruct the view of the game, except for Live Chat window which will take over the entire screen once you decide to join in the conversation.
NetEnt uses polite and professional dealers who will communicate with ease without being too chatty. You’ll see them smartly dressed in red or black outfits, or alternatively suited to a particular theme. You’ll never see them looking bored or yawning (yes, it does happen with some of the other developers!). They’ll welcome each new player by name and wish everybody good luck before each and every spin. Regardless of their nationality, all NetEnt dealers speak good English and are easy to understand. You might be interested to know that the developer has set a goal related to gender diversity and plans to reach 50/50 male to female ratio by 2020.
Competitive Advantages and Points of Difference
NetEnt’s late entry into the live gaming arena makes their offering inferior to pioneers such as Evolution Gaming and Playtech, at least in terms of quantity and diversity. They currently provide only Live Roulette and Live Blackjack games, and sadly no Baccarat and not a single Poker variant. The desktop version of the latter comes without any side bets, but on the other hand, it does offer Even Money as a kind of Insurance rarely featured in live games.
Live Roulette games feature only basic variants and you’ll not find the likes of Evolution’s Double Ball or Extreme’s Reel Roulette with interesting side bet mechanism. Rocket Roulette was the first indication of willingness to provide something truly different, and hopefully there’s more to come.
At the same time, knowing the company’s reputation and the work they’ve done in other online gaming segments, you can bet your bottom dollar their production quality will never be anything but perfect. Slick video streaming, low latency, simplicity and clarity are common to each of their live products, so if you’re looking to play a no-nonsense Live Roulette or Live Blackjack game, chances are NetEnt’s offering will fit you to a t.