RTG is an acronym for RealTime Gaming, a company which designs casino game software which they lease to Internet casinos. The company was founded in 1998 in Atlanta, Georgia, but Hastings International acquired their operations in 2006, after the United States passed the UIGEA (Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act) legislation. While other software providers, like Cryptologic and Microgaming, required their casino customers to deny real money games to U.S. based players, RTG left the decision in the hands of the individual companies leasing their software. Not surprisingly, Hastings International in the Netherland Antilles, not the United States.
Free & Real Money Games from RTG
RTG powered casinos offer downloadable games as well as instant play games that can be played in an Internet browser window with no download required. The software is smaller than that of some of its rivals, but it still offers excellent graphics and sound effects. Not only are their blackjack games faster than their competitors’ games, their slot machine games offer a wide variety of unusual features and themes.
RTG also offers Internet video game versions of most standard casino games, including baccarat, craps, roulette, and video poker. They also offer their own versions of some of the newer casino-banked card games now offered at most land-based casinos, like Caribbean stud, casino war, and three card poker. Some of those games have slightly different names in the software, but they’re usually easy to spot.
The number of games available at various RealTime Gaming powered casinos varies from site to site. RTG offers flexible terms to the operations using their software. The operators can choose which games to offer as well as the payout structures for some of the games they choose to offer. For example, some Internet casinos might make full pay Jacks or Better video poker available, while other online casinos might offer 8/5 Jacks or Better as their best game. Casinos can also choose how many decks to use in their blackjack games.
Casino Card Games at Real Time Gaming Casinos
RTG offers over twenty different casino card games. Most of these are played according to the standard rules available at any casino, while others have new wrinkles which make them more interesting to online players.
Baccarat – There’s not a lot of strategy to baccarat, and much of the game’s charm comes from the elaborate rituals of playing it in the casino setting. The main thing to remember about this game is to never take the tie bet, which has a house edge of close to 5%. The banker bet, with its relatively low house edge of about 1.1% is the best bet.
Blackjack – RTG software is well-known for its fast, clear, easy-to-understand blackjack games. The operator of each casino can decide how many decks to use. The more decks the casino uses, the more the game favors the casino. If you can find an RTG casino that offers their blackjack game with two decks instead of four, then you should probably go with the two deck game. You probably won't find any single deck blackjack games at RTG.
Figuring out how many decks are in the game is a trick, though. It’s not listed on most casino game sites. You can probably just ask the customer service department, but you can also use a combination of observation and guesswork. If you see the ace of diamonds come up three times during a single hand, it’s clear that the game isn’t being played with two decks. It has to be four or more, because casinos always use an even number of decks.
Caribbean Poker – This is another name for Caribbean Stud Poker, but the game is played the same way. They offer a better payout for a royal flush than most land-based casinos, so it’s worth trying.
Let ‘Em Ride – This is another name for Let It Ride, which is an interesting progressive card game that allows players to take back some of their bets if they don’t like how the hand is going. The house edge on the progressive side bet is quite high. Unless the jackpot is enormous, don’t even bother with the side bet, and just play the main game.
Pai Gow Poker – This isn’t an uncommon game in land-based casinos, either. The house edge is a little higher than that of baccarat or blackjack, but some people really enjoy this game anyway.
Red Dog – Some people call this game “Red Dog Poker” but the game doesn’t have any similarities to poker. The house edge is slightly over 3%, and the player bets on whether or not a third card is going to be ranked between the ranks of the first two cards dealt. I’ve also seen this called Acey-Deucey or In-Between.
Tri-Card Poker – This is another one where the software tricks up the name of the game a little bit because of trademark issues. It’s the same game as three card poker.
War – This is one of the sillier casino games, but it’s fast, and I know people who enjoy it. The house edge isn’t as high as you might expect from a game with such simple rules. In fact, the house edge with RTG’s standard casino war rules is less than 3%.
RTG Slot Machine Games
The software offers a wide variety of slot machine games, although it’s not as robust a selection as you’ll see at Playtech or Microgaming. Many of their games have five reels, multiple paylines, and a progressive jackpot, but you’ll also find traditional three reel slots with a single payline. Some of their progressive games are clever. I’ve been an admirer of It’s Good to Be Bad for years, and I also enjoy the symbols and sounds on the Mid-Life Crisis slots game. My wife, on the other hand, likes the game called Shopping Spree.
RTG Video Poker Games
RealTime Gaming video poker games are similar to their blackjack games in the respect that they are clear, easy-to-use, and fast. The common video poker games that most people are used to, Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild, are both available. The other common games are also available, including Joker Poker and Bonus Poker. They even offer some of the more unusual games, like Pick’em Poker, which is my favorite video poker game. Pick’em Poker has one of the easiest strategies to learn.
Many video poker players like multi-hand games, and RTG has games with up to 100 hands for those players. Be sure you have the bankroll to stand it before you play, though, because even at a penny a hand, 100 hands adds up quickly.
Video poker is one of the best values at RTG casinos, because most video poker games offer a payout percentage of over 98%. Double-check the pay tables to be sure.