Rival Gaming and Caribbean Stud Poker

Rival GamingRival Gaming is an online casino software engine that launched in 2006. The company are essentially white label software providers. What this means is they license their games and software platform to gambling companies.

These companies have their own marketing, promotions and customer support. The casino software itself is actually powered by GTS which is a Playtech owned company. Now to avoid confusion here, GTS (website: www.gtsplc.com) acts ONLY as a software provider. They cannot answer questions about nor are they responsible for the gaming activities that take place with using the Rival Engine.

The reason this is worth mentioning is because some Rival Casinos still accept players from the United States. Their launch back in 2006 actually happened at the same time as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act (UIGEA) in the United States, something that caused many of the industry’s top online casinos to leave the market. Rival Gaming, based in Canada, didn’t allow UIGEA to deter them from accepting U.S. players. As mentioned the parent company “Rival Gaming” manages every aspect of the casino group including payment processing, software, security and support, while the casinos themselves just do marketing. Some of the companies who use the software include Golden Cherry, Mayan Fortune and Simon Says.

Caribbean Stud Poker at Rival Casinos

Rival Poker PayoutsRival Casinos don’t actually offer Caribbean Stud Poker, but offer a very similar game with no progressive feature called Five Card Poker. Apart from the bonus bet, the main difference is increased payouts similar to those offered at sites using Galewind software. As you can see on the paytable shown right Rival Casinos pay 800-1 on a Royal Flush, 200-1 on a straight flush and 25-1 on four of a kind which is far better than the payouts offered elsewhere.

As far game play at Rival’s Five Card Poker, everything is exactly the same as normal Caribbean Stud. The optimal strategy is the same too. That strategy is to raise with any hand A-K-J-8-3 or better and fold with any hand worse. By playing this way, the house has an edge of 3.35% on your ante bet. However when considering the average number of times you’ll raise, the overall house advantage is about 1.64%.

To put this into perspective, the house advantage for Caribbean Stud Poker online is generally 5.22% on your initial bet and 2.56% overall. This means playing at Rival Casinos you stand a much better chance of catching a lucky run.

Avoid the Bonus Scam

Rival Five Card PokerAlthough this is not an outright scam it’s important to make clear most Rival Casinos market generous bonus offers such as $888 free that we advise all players to avoid. When you go to their rules page you’ll discover all sorts of harsh terms. Furthermore, it’s a play only bonus and is not cashable as seen by this term: “This is a Play Bonus – bonus credits are for wagering purpose only, and only winnings from the bonus (not the bonus itself ) may be cashed out. At the time of a cashout, the amount of the bonus will be deducted from the balance.” So, you’re actually not getting much here, this bonus is only good if you lose all your cash and then want to make a free attempt at the end to win.

In claiming this bonus you lock yourself into a rollover requirement of 40 times the bonus and deposit amount. So let’s say you deposit $888 and get $444 free. Your rollover is ($888+$444)*40=$53,280. This is insane for a “play bonus”! The chances of winning after wagering that much money are super slim and require a near miracle.

Casino gambling is about taking advantage of variance. You come in make a few bets and if you go on a lucky streak you quit while ahead and book the win. This term however is there to ensure you have next to no chance whatsoever of winning. To provide an example: you deposit $888.00 and make $500 worth of wagers. You then hit a 4-of kind for $500.00 and had won a little extra so now have a balance of $1400. In this scenario most bettors would want to quit! You just did the impossible; you beat a casino for $512 profit!

Unfortunately under the scenario above you’re trapped. This is because also built into their terms is the rule “Players cannot withdraw any winnings until the wagering requirements are fulfilled.” So here you are up $512, but in order to quit you need to wager $52,780 more. The house advantage at Five Card Poker is very low compared to other games, but it is still 1.64%. To see our expected loss on the remaining $52,780 of rollover we calculate $52,780 x 0.0164=$865.92!! We’re forced to keep playing and give back far more than we just won in order get back a portion of our deposit. I’ll be honest I didn’t read the full rules, but there’s some even more disturbing terms built into them.

My advice here is this. If you live in the United States read every word of our 5Dimes casino review before depositing with any online casino.

Now outside the bonus scam, Rival Casinos do offer a great game. If you decide to play here your best bet is to decline the bonus and just gamble straight up. This way here if you do catch a lucky streak your balance is free and clear of rollover requirement and can be cashed out.