Evolution Live Gaming sets itself apart from the crowd by its sharp and exclusive focus on video streaming games for casinos using live dealers. Founded in 2006, and based in Riga, Latvia, Evolution now licences live casino games to some of the biggest names in the online betting business, especially in European markets. Evolution customers and partners include Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, 888, William Hill, 888 – among many others. The company recently opened its 8th live casino studio in British Columbia, Canada, its first foray outside of Europe. The company has consistently won awards for being the best live casino provider.
Quality Over Quantity
The product portfolio which Evolution makes available to casinos consists of four core game groups:
Within each game category, Evolution offers basic variations on its core offering. In addition to these classic casino table games, a bespoke Money Wheel – “Dream Catcher” – which effectively creates a whole new live game category.
Roulette may be Evolution’s strongest suit, exemplifying the studio’s legacy of excellence in grasping what punters really crave to see and do in their live games. An example of the company’s keen insight into the player’s mind is providing instant access to a detailed history of roulette results in real time. This is based on the belief, held religiously by some players, that each roulette wheel has unique physical characteristics which produce a bias favouring certain numbers. By analysing past results, the theory goes, the player can better predict future patterns and results. Whether of not this is scientifically proven is less relevant than the fact this is what many players want. Evolution is also renowned for its visuals: players love close ups and feeling like they are part of the action. The company’s live casino studios use multiple High Definition cameras to craft a three-dimensional immersive experience, like replaying in slow motion the crucial moment when the bouncing ball reaches its fateful destination. These kinds of innovative features justifiably give players the sense that playing live at home is more intense and fulfilling than being physically present in a land-based casino. Variations on the classic roulette game include two ball, dual play (where live and standard players can play together), and Slingshot Auto Roulette, which accelerates the action and modifies a standard roulette wheel to allow it to run without interruption around the clock.
Baccarat is a difficult game to translate effectively to live casino mode but Evolution’s advanced studios, with their multi-camera setups and slow-motion replays, make you at one with the subtleties of the game. A “squeeze” technique slowly reveals the hands of the bettors who have wagered the most. Another innovation is “dual play” baccarat where land-based players can compete together with online punters in seamless, unified experiences. Blackjack Evolution blackjack tables have seven physical seats, but that layout does not restrict how many players can be part of the betting action. Like in land-based casinos, players can “bet behind” the punters who are seated and wager on their hands. Evolution offers a host of intriguing side bets, including these popular ones:
- In Perfect Pairs, you wager that the first couple of cards dealt will form a pair.
- In 21+3, you bet that your first two cards plus the dealer’s up card results in a high-value poker hand.
Evolution’s raucous Blackjack Party offers a casual playing environment featuring stunning hostesses, which is just as much about the social experience as it is about the betting action.
- Caribbean Stud Poker, an Evolution exclusive, added a progressive jackpot in 2017.
- Casino Hold’em is a poker game in which players compete against the dealer, enabling scalable participation without waiting for seats.
- In 2018, the company launched Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker, offering a “First Five” progressive jackpot starting at a cool 50,000 Euro.
- Three Card Poker is a licensed Evolution special with a six-card bonus that can pay up to 1000 to 1.
Dream Catcher, an Evolution original, is a colourful vertical Money Wheel. In 2017, at the G2E in Las Vegas, the game was awarded the coveted Digital Product of the Year. Not just live digital product. Any digital product! That’s a stunning achievement, and the latest industry recognition speaks volumes for the company’s willingness to expand the definition of live gaming and break new ground in product development. What makes the familiar luck wheel game so popular and exciting in its live incarnation? Apart from the eye-catching visual dimension, and the simplicity of betting on just six colors with clearly labeled odds, there are multipliers of 2x and 7x which, when activated, can produce super-sized payouts. The result is a collective pokie-like experience, where the “spin” takes place on a gigantic live wheel rather than a virtual slot machine.
Success is often about finding what one does well and maintaining a sharp focus on doing that better than anyone else. Evolution clearly has done that, and the payoff is evident to everyone in the industry. Another hallmark of Evolution, and a secret to its success, is listening to and responding to players. This is reflected in its efforts to make live games accessible to both high limit and low limit players, democratising access to what initially was a most high-roller luxury. Two things you can count on with Evolution: the focus on live, and a readiness to keep evolving and breaking down barriers to real-time live-streaming games.