Play’N Go an Embarrassment
OMG. WTF. SMH. LOL.
I’m usually not a fan of Internet-slang abbreviations, primarily because I am one of the last to know what they mean, but all of them are perfectly applicable when it comes to the embarrassment that is Play’N Go Internet Casino software. I will grant that many of the visitors to this Forum are somewhat skeptical of the online casino industry as it is, but I can assure you that Play’N Go, and any online casinos that are powered by Play’N Go software have absolutely no reason to cheat as some of the games offered are the worst of their kind to be found anywhere.
In fact, here is a new one for you, AYFS? That might already be being used, I wouldn’t know, but for those of you who don’t know what I mean three of the four words are, ‘Are,’ ‘You,’ and, ‘Serious.’ I’ll let you figure out the third word in my abbreviation for yourselves.
In a thread that I am surprised hasn’t gained a little more traction, our own Wizard has recently reported on an ONLINE Blackjack game that operates with the monstrosity that is a 6:5 return on a player natural.
That post was in conjunction with his recent review of Play’N Go software over on the Odds site, which can be found here.
This is more than me just griping about online casino software that powers games that I will absolutely never play, it is about anyone who might ever play online taking a stand, quickly, against games that do nothing more than rip a player off.
Unfortunately, 6:5 Blackjack was successful to some extent and is here to stay at many Strip casinos as well as other casinos here and there in the United States. The fact of the matter is that many players either do not know any better than to play those games, despite the litany of resources available to them that universally attest that 6:5 Blackjack is complete garbage, or that they simply don’t care.
It comes as no surprise, really, that 6:5 Blackjack gained popularity on the Strip as it is often found at the tables with the lowest minimums. Furthermore, Blackjack is a long-existent casino game that even non-gamblers have at least a passing familiarity with. Blackjack itself is an easy game to play, but a more difficult one to play correctly. Of course, simply printing out a strategy chart goes a long way into helping out with that.
There is no strategy chart that can make up for what the player loses when a Blackjack game pays 6:5, though. It can be argued that an Optimal 6:5 player (who wouldn’t be playing that game in the first place if they could play BJ optimally at all) is facing even worse odds than a 3:2 player who has a tendency to make quite a few mistakes. The game is just fundamentally that bad.
Much like the players who play, “Sands Roulette,” which I would prefer be called, “Triple-Zero Roulette,” those who play 6:5 Blackjack just want what they consider a, “Cheap seat,” and are unconcerned or unaware of how the pay affects the odds.
Unfortunately, for the players who play those games, gambling is generally not a primary concern with their visit to a casino property. The majority of these players are there primarily to dine, sightsee, drink or go clubbing. In fact, many of these visitors actually have a greater spend on rooms and non-gambling activities (such as, well, parking for one) than they do on gambling. That comes about as a result of the fact that gambling is nothing more than time killer for many Vegas tourists who are mainly there to do other things.
Is that an excuse for going into a game unaware of the odds, expected loss per hour, per bet or not knowing what the house edge of the game they are playing is? It’s not really an excuse as much as it is a justification, they just don’t care.
The difference when it comes to playing online is that the only purpose for one to make a deposit into an online casino is to gamble, therefore, Internet casino software providers should be made to compete by way of offering the best games possible. In my opinion, bucking a house edge (or element-of-risk depending on the game) of anything greater than 0.5% is patently inexcusable. I think that online players should simply be more intelligent than that.
Play’N Go, an online casino software provider, disagrees with my position on that one and has backed up their position by offering perhaps one of the worst Blackjack games, and three (arguably, four) of the worst Video Poker games in the online market. Hiding out among one fairly standard Blackjack game with American rules and a House Edge of 0.46% and a subpar (but arguably not terrible) European Rules game with a House Edge of 0.66% is a single-deck Blackjack wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In a move that is completely unheard of for online Blackjack, Play’N Go has decided to offer a single-deck game with a pay of 6:5 for a winning player natural.
I call it a wolf in sheep’s clothing because the rules of the game would otherwise be pretty good, in fact, they would yield a small player advantage off the top if the standard 3:2 on a winning natural was paid. The 1.4% a player eats in a single deck game is difficult to overcome, however, and the rules offered at this casino do not cause that. The final house edge is 1.26%, which is among the worst you will find at any online casino for an electronic blackjack game.
The only defense that can be made for this game is that, unlike some of the casinos in Vegas that have been reported, the fact that a winning Natural pays 6:5 is very evident on the layout graphic. If there is one thing that can be said in favor of this software provider, it is that at least they are not trying to conceal the fact that their game is absolute garbage.
The Video Poker, on the other hand, is a different matter altogether. This casino offers four Video Poker games, and they are all generally horrible with the potential for one to be positive only because it is a progressive. The first game is a simple game of 6/5 JoB with a return of 95%, which is unheard of for an online Video Poker game. In my opinion, if that is what a casino is going to offer, then it would make more sense for them to just not offer VP at all.
The other games are no better. The next game we will address is Deuces Wild with its 1-2-2-4-4-8-10-25-200-800 paytable and resultant House Edge of 5.03%. That game is comically bad and the strategy is really no less difficult than any other Deuces Wild game. There is also a Joker Poker (2P) game with a return of 95.01%.
The only game that could ever be played at an advantage is a game called, ‘Jackpot Poker,’ which is based on JoB and has a paytable consisting of: 1-2-3-4-5-5-12-50-Progressive.
That game manages to pay less than any I have ever heard of on both the Full House as well as the Quads. The return of the game is 90.77% when the Jackpot is at the base of 4,000 coins and requires a jackpot of 18,940 coins (and an extremely aggressive Royal strategy) to be break-even.
The fact of the matter is that these games offered by this software provider transcend a phrase like, “Comically bad.” They are not just bad, they are an insult to the intelligence of anyone who has ever played Video Poker in history.
The fact of the matter is that the cost of delivering an online casino to the player is so low that there is absolutely no excuse to ever offer a Video Poker game with a House Edge anywhere near 5%, it’s just absurd. In fact, there is only one physical casino (Assuming Class III) at which I have seen worse average Video Poker games in my entire life and that is Mountaineer Casino in Chester, West Virginia. In fact, Mountaineer is actually worse because no game in that entire casino pays better than 95% with Optimal Strategy. The Deuces Game on this site pays one one-hundredth of a percent better than that.
Once again, the purpose of this article is not for me to merely gripe about what an online casino provider is trying to do, but rather, it is a call for boycott. It is a call for everyone who cares about gambling at all to come together and inform the provider that these games are completely unacceptable, most especially the Video Poker. I don’t like the 6:5 Blackjack, by any means, but that is somewhat offset by the fact that the software also offers arguably reasonable BJ games.
What I would encourage anyone to do is to take this contact info.
And create a throwaway E-Mail (but, just one so as not to be flooding them) and make your opinion known about the complete and utter crap that they are offering.
My hope is that online players are not going to be fooled by this garbage, and they shouldn’t be. If someone is playing online, unlike a visitor to the Las Vegas Strip, they are absolutely there for the primary purpose of gambling. For that reason, online players should absolutely not accept games that are this bad and any software provider or casino running the software with games this bad deserves to be publicly called out and lambasted. E-Mails should be sent to them asking how they could possibly insult the intelligence of gamblers by producing such abysmally returning games.
I am not even suggesting a mere boycott by not playing there and simply allowing a company such as this to quietly go out of business. My suggestion is that, as players, we make our feelings so well known that no future company will ever attempt to pass off games this bad again.
When it comes to Video Poker and Blackjack, there are standards that need to be kept up. These are games that invoke strategies of varying complexity in order to ensure the full return. Strategies that the majority of players are either unable or unwilling to play to perfection, and by way of those failings, the casino enjoys a greater hold than they would were the games played optimally. The Video Poker offerings through this software provider, even played perfectly, are worse than many of the slot machines that are offered.
Quite simply, this is inexcusable and something must be done about it.
Because, if this software company continues to exist and operate profitably, then it might give the other online casino software providers (and casinos themselves) the idea that the players will be accepting of worse returns than they currently enjoy. Granted, casinos that currently offer 99%+ Video Poker games will likely not instantly degrade their paytables to 95%, but they might knock off 1-2% points across the board if there is even so much as a vague hint that players will be willing to accept that.
Currently, the only casino that operates on this software platform that accepts U.S. players is the VegasCasino.io Bitcoin Casino. In their defense, a cursory examination of their video poker offerings reveals a 10/5 BPDx game that returns 99.7%, so apparently, either not all or none of their video poker games are powered by way of the Play’N Go software. It should also be mentioned that VegasCasino.io has not earned the Wizard of Odds seal of approval.
While the games offered by way of Play’N Go are not going to affect U.S. based players, they could still affect players the world over and the provider should still be made aware of how embarrassing the games that they offer, particularly with respect to Video Poker and Blackjack, are. There is no reason that anyone anywhere should potentially be exposed to such poor returns at any online casino anywhere in the world.
The only thing that we can hope is that all of the online casinos powered by this software are using video poker powered by a different software provider, as VegasCasino.io appears to be doing.
These sorts of developments always start small and then grow when casinos realize they can be profitable because the players prove it. First it was 6:5 Blackjack in land casinos and now Triple-Zero Roulette is starting to appear to be a viable game. Eventually, offerings such as this will start to pervade the online market, especially in markets in which players may have limited choices. If you quintuple the house edge of something, or multiply it ten-fold (such as with these Video Poker games) then as long as you retain more than one in five or one in ten gamblers, and the average bankroll remains the same, you still make more money as a casino or software provider.
We cannot allow this to happen. Please join me in notifying this software provider what a pile of garbage its game offerings are.