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Last Updated: January 24, 2015

Boss Media Software Review

Introduction

Disclaimer: Let it be known that I have served as a consultant to Boss Media. While this review was originally written before they engaged my services I do update it from time to time. This review attempts to be unbiased and mostly sticks to the game rules, odds, and strategy. While I feel comfortable there is no conflict of interest I think it is appropriate to disclose the relationship.

Boss Media, based in Sweden, is one of the largest and oldest software providers. Their software provides a realistic feel that comes about as close as you can get to a real casino. Both multi-player and private tables are available. An easy to access record is kept of every bet going back 30 days. There is also a transaction record that shows every deposit, bonus, and withdrawal, going back as far as you want. When you open an account a PIN will be sent in the postal mail that is required for withdrawals of over $500.

I don't know how they do it, but Boss Media picks its casino owners very well. All of them all solid organizations. As far as I know the number of Boss Media casinos that have gone bad is zero. If you are looking for a safe place put put your money you can't go wrong with a Boss casino.

Version 3 offers a cash back program. The following is the cash back rate according to the game.

  • Single deck blackjack: 0.0%
  • Craps, Baccarat, Blackjack (6 deck), Roulette, Casino War: 0.1%
  • Pai Gow Poker: 0.2%
  • Sic Bo, Video Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Gold Pirates Slots, Killer Whale Slots, 4 Reels Drive Slots, Jack In the Box Slots, Aladdin's Lamp Slots, Haunted House Slots, Bonus Madness Slots, Temple of Isis Slots: 0.3%
  • Keno, Money Wheel: 0.5%

Following are the games offered in Version 3, the rules, strategy tips, and house edge.

Be careful to pay attention to the time limits when playing at Boss Media casinos. Once the cards are dealt in blackjack the player has so many seconds to make a decision. If no decision is made the dealer will assume the player wishes to stand. Once I had a total of seven on my first two cards, got distracted, and I was forced to stand on seven. The dealer ended up getting an 18 and I lost a $60 bet. The manager at Casino.Net kindly gave me half of it back.

Boss Media Software CasinosExpand

Name Wizards Seal US Friendly Play
Betspin
NO NO Visit Casino >
Casino Fantasia
NO NO -
Casumo Casino
YES NO -
EnergyCasino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Quasar Gaming
YES NO Visit Casino >
VIKS Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >

Baccarat

Six deck are used. The house edge is 1.06% on the banker, 1.24% on the player, and 14.44% on the tie.

Blackjack

Following are the blackjack rules:

  • Six decks
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Player may double on any first two cards
  • Player may double after a split
  • Player may not resplit
  • One card to split aces
  • Dealer always peeks for blacjack (U.S. rule)

Yes, Boss Media finally did away with their European no-peek rule completely with version 3.

Following is the basic strategy for the six deck game.

Key to tables:

H
Hit
S
Stand
D
Double if allowed, otherwise hit
Ds
Double if allowed, otherwise stand
P
sPlit

The house edge is 0.46%.

Single Deck Blackjack

For years some Boss Media casinos offered a single-deck blackjack game with a small player advantage. As fas as I know, the number that have it now is zero. The single-deck blackjack game had the same rules as the six-deck except only one deck is used. This game had a player edge of 0.11%, using the total dependent basic strategy below. To bring the advantage up to 0.15%, see my composition dependent basic strategy.

Here is the basic strategy, should it ever return.

Casino War

Six decks. The game follows the bonus rule where both the ante and raise win in the event of a tie after a tie. Correct strategy is to always go to war on ties. The house edge is 2.68%.

Craps

The Boss Media programmers did a fine job with craps, which is a difficult game to do well. They offer two times odds on all points. The combined house edge on the pass line and the odds is 0.606%. The don't odds are correctly relative to the amount the player can win (a rule few Internet software companies get right). The combined house edge on the don't pass and laying odds is 0.455%.

Buy and lay bets only charge the 5% commission only on winning bets and always based on the amount won. Place to win and proposition bets are offered according to the usual rules. The field bet pays 2:1 on both 2 and 12. Following is the house edge on some of the unique Boss Media bets:

  • Buy on 4,10: 3.33%
  • Buy on 5,9: 3.00%
  • Buy on 6,8: 2.73%
  • Lay on 4,10: 1.67%
  • Lay on 5,9: 2.00%
  • Lay on 6,8: 2.27%

Warning: When laying the odds after a don't pass or don't come bets, which should be in increments of $6, winnings are shortchanged 10 cents. This seems to be true regardless of the bet amount, as long as it is divisible by $6.

Keno

Version 3 has the same stingy pay table as version 2. The following table shows the expected return according to the number of marks.

Boss Media Keno

Pick Return
2 68.04%
3 69.38%
4 67.39%
5 67.57%
6 70.64%
7 69.56%
8 67.47%
9 64.53%
10 69.61%

Killer Whale

Mathematically speaking this is the same game as 'Five Deck Frenzy' or what Starnet calls 'King of the Deck.' In this game there are 5 spinning reels, each with 52 stops, one for each card. The player may hold any given card on the first spin and then respin the discards. On the second spin the player can not get the same card back on the same reel. In other words it is the same thing as video poker with one deck for each card position. .

I do not know the return for this game.

Money Wheel

This is the same thing as Big Six, with the Vegas rules that pay 40-1 on the joker and logo. The following table shows the house edge on each bet.

Boss Media Money Wheel

Bet Pays Number
on Wheel
House
Edge
$1 1-1 24 11.11%
$2 2-1 15 16.67%
$5 5-1 7 22.22%
$10 10-1 4 18.52%
$20 20-1 2 22.22%
Joker 40-1 1 24.07%
Logo 40-1 1 24.07%

Not all version 3 casinos offer this game. As far as I know the only ones that offer the Money Wheel are Pharaoh's, Player's Club and Jamaica Bay.

Caribbean Poker

This is the same game as Caribbean Stud Poker, with the conventional pay table. The house edge under the standard rules is 5.22%. There is also a side bet with the following pay table.

Boss Media Caribbean Poker Side Bet

Hand Pays
Royal flush 100% of meter
Straight flush 10% of meter
Four of a kind $500
Full house $100
Flush $50

The house edge of the side bet is 63.76% less 2.92% for each $10,000 in the meter. When I checked on March 30, 2003, at Pharaoh's Casino the meter was at $110,795 for a house edge of 31.36%. For the side bet to have no house edge the meter would need to reach $218,047.

I get asked a lot about the possibility to collude with other players in multi-player mode by exchanging information about the cards held. According to Stanley Ko, in order to gain an advantage you need at least six total players. Boss Media as only five seats, so you colluders will be wasting your time at this game.

Pai Gow Poker

Boss Media is the only brand to feature player banking in a mutli-player game. The turn to be banker zig-zags between the players and the dealer, the dealer banking every other hand. If a player declines to bank or there is nobody in a seat the banker will revert to the dealer. There are five player positions at the table. So the player will have a chance to bank once every 10 hands. While not banking the house edge is 2.85%, and as banker in a one on one game the house edge is 0.08%. The more the other players the less the house edge as banker. In a one on one game the average house edge is 2.57%.

A nice feature is a house way button to arrange your hand, although once clicked the action is irreversible. The player does not have a chance to see the house way first before deciding to take it. A2345 is the second highest straight. The house way used is the strategy found in Optimal Strategy for Pai Gow Poker by Stanford Wong.

Roulette

A single zero wheel is used for a house edge of 2.70% on all bets.

Sic Bo

Player's Club casino exclusively offers Sic Bo. The payoffs are better than some and worse than others. See my Sic Bo online section for a comparison to other software brands. Of special note is the 6-1 payoff on a 2-number combination, resulting in a house edge of 2.78%, much better than the usual 5-1 payoff with a 16.67% house edge.

The following table shows the payoff and house edge for all bets.

Boss Media Sic Bo

Bet Pays Prob. Win House Edge
Small, Big 1-1 48.61% 2.78%
4, 17 60-1 1.39% 15.28%
5, 16 30-1 2.78% 13.89%
6, 15 17-1 4.63% 16.67%
7, 14 12-1 6.94% 9.72%
8, 13 8-1 9.72% 12.50%
9, 12 6-1 11.57% 18.98%
10, 11 6-1 12.50% 12.50%
Triple 180-1 0.46% 16.20%
Any triple 30-1 2.78% 13.89%
Double 10-1 7.41% 18.52%
Two die combination 6-1 13.89% 2.78%
Any number (1/2/3)-1 42.13% 7.87%

The lowest house edge bets are on big, small, and any two number combination, all at 2.78%.

Not all version 3 casinos offer this game. As far as I know the only ones that offer the Money Wheel are Pharaoh's, Player's Club and Jamaica Bay.

Slots

A nice variety is available. Boss Media features some wide area progressive games, meaning all the Boss Media casinos feed into the same progressive jackpot. This allows large jackpots to get built up faster.

Video Poker

At most casinos only Jacks or Better is offered with a 5/7/20 pay table. With optimal strategy the expected return is 95.48%. The following table shows the probability and return of each hand.

Jacks or Better

Hand Payoff Number Probability Return
Royal flush 1000 553693344 0.000028 0.027777
Straight flush 50 2181883836 0.000109 0.005473
4 of a kind 20 46927098840 0.002354 0.047084
Full house

7

228888423720 0.011483 0.080379
Flush 5 220234644540 0.011049 0.055243
Straight 4 226131938628 0.011344 0.045378
3 of a kind 3 1477703531280 0.074133 0.222398
Two pair 2 2569008096000 0.128881 0.257761
Jacks or better 1 4252431465432 0.213334 0.213334
Nothing 0 10909169741580 0.547286 0.000000
Total 19933230517200 1.000000 0.954828

Pharaoh's Casino has a nicer selection as follows and I'm told all Boss Media casinos will move to the following games by the end of 2004.

Jacks or Better

Hand Payoff Number Probability Return
Royal flush 800 493512264 0.000025 0.019807
Straight flush 50 2178883296 0.000109 0.005465
4 of a kind 25 47093167764 0.002363 0.059064
Full house 9 229475482596 0.011512 0.103610
Flush 6 219554786160 0.011015 0.066087
Straight 4 223837565784 0.011229 0.044917
3 of a kind 3 1484003070324 0.074449 0.223346
Two pair 2 2576946164148 0.129279 0.258558
Jacks or better 1 4277372890968 0.214585 0.214585
Nothing 0 10872274993896 0.545435 0.000000
Total 19933230517200 1.000000 0.995439

Tens or Better

Hand Payoff Probability Return
Royal flush 800 0.000026 0.020546
Straight flush 50 0.000103 0.005141
Four of a Kind 25 0.002358 0.058958
Full house 6 0.011497 0.068984
Flush 5 0.010654 0.053270
Straight 4 0.012357 0.049429
Three of a Kind 3 0.074265 0.222795
Two Pair 2 0.129007 0.258013
Tens or Better 1 0.254251 0.254251
Nothing 0 0.505482 0.000000
Total 1.000000 0.991388

Joker Wild

Hand Payoff Probability Return
Natural Royal Flush 800 0.000025 0.019682
5 of a kind 200 0.000093 0.018644
Wild Royal Flush 100 0.000104 0.010418
Straight Flush 50 0.000581 0.029028
4 of a Kind 18 0.008538 0.153676
Full House 7 0.015656 0.109589
Flush 5 0.015663 0.078315
Straight 3 0.016805 0.050414
3 of a kind 2 0.133659 0.267317
2 Pair 1 0.110745 0.110745
Kings or better 1 0.141544 0.141544
Nothing 0 0.556589 0.000000
Total Return 1.000000 0.989372

Deuces Wild

Hand Payoff Number Probability Return
Natural royal flush 800 451963644 0.000023 0.018139
4 deuces 200 3745487652 0.000188 0.037580
Wild royal flush 20 35864159688 0.001799 0.035984
5 of a kind 15 62385447048 0.003130 0.046946
Straight flush 9 99367373148 0.004985 0.044865
4 of a kind 4 1225731582828 0.061492 0.245967
Full house 4 522145872600 0.026195 0.104779
Flush 3 408462003072 0.020492 0.061475
Straight 2 1152851681184 0.057836 0.115671
3 of a kind 1 5348224877136 0.268307 0.268307
Nothing 0 11074000069200 0.555555 0.000000
Total 19933230517200 1.000000 0.979714

Double Bonus Poker

Hand Payoff Number Probability Return
Royal flush 800 414973476 0.000021 0.016655
Straight flush 50 2255533176 0.000113 0.005658
4 aces 160 4364665980 0.000219 0.035034
4 2-4 80 10446064476 0.000524 0.041924
4 5-K 50 31969127784 0.001604 0.080191
Full house 9 211872080016 0.010629 0.095662
Flush 7 303428337828 0.015222 0.106556
Straight 5 299409572148 0.015021 0.075103
3 of a kind 3 1452555860172 0.072871 0.218613
Two pair 1 2370561008868 0.118925 0.118925
Jacks or better 1 3921754413384 0.196745 0.196745
Nothing 0 11324198879892 0.568107 0.000000
Total 19933230517200 1.000000 0.991065

Note: Pharaoh's Casino incorrectly calls the above game Bonus Poker.


  • Boss Media appendix 1 has five basic strategy charts for the single-deck game according to the number of cards in the player's hand.