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Last Updated: December 16, 2016

Galewind Software Review

Introduction

Disclaimer: Let it be known that I have served as a consultant to Galewind Software, primarily on game rules and slot machine design. All my reviews attempt to stick to the facts only, specifically game rules and odds.

Galewind Software emphasizes simplicity and liberal game rules. Their biggest client is the casino add-on for Pinnacle Sportsbook. The company seems to have a good reputation among players. When one of their licensees, Heroes Casino, tried to stiff a winner out of $39,900, Galewind Software gave them the choice to honor their debt or have their casino shut down. Heroes still refused to pay, so Galewind Software honorably did shut them down, and paid the player out of their own pockets. If any other software company has gone so far in the interests of fair and honest gambling, I'm not aware of it.

Galewind Software's web site has a demo casino you can try with no download or registration required. To play the demo, go to the Galewind software page, and then click on "Launch Demo Casino."


Baccarat

A six deck shoe is used. Liberal rules are offered on the banker and tie bets. The banker bet has a 4% commission, compared to the usual 5%, which lowers the house edge from 1.06% to 0.60%. The tie bet pays 9 to 1, instead of the usual 8 to 1, which lowers the house edge from 14.44% to 4.93%.

For more information about the game, please see my baccarat page.

Blackjack

Following are the rules.

  • Six decks
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Double on any first two cards
  • Doubling after splitting allowed
  • No resplitting
  • Dealer always peeks for blackjack
  • Aces get one card only
  • No surrender
  • Dealer shuffles after every hand

The following is the correct basic strategy for these rules. Some obvious plays are omitted, such as never split fives or tens, and never take insurance.

The house edge under these rules is 0.46%.

Craps

Galewind Software's craps game offers liberal odds across the table, as follows.

Odds bets: 3-4-5X odds are allowed. This results in a combined house edge between the line bet and the odds of 0.37% on the pass and come, and 0.27% on the don't pass and don't come.

Field: 12 pays 3 to 1, for a house edge of 2.78%.

Hard Ways: The liberal Australian rules are followed, where a hard 6 and 8 pay 9.5 to 1, and the hard 4 and 10 pays 7.5 to 1. The house edge is 4.55% on the 6 and 8, and 5.56% on the 4 and 10.

Proposition Bets: The liberal Australian rules are followed, that pay 16 to 1 on the 3 and 11, and 33 to 1 on the 2 and 12. The house edge is 5.56% on all of them.

Buy and Lay bets: The commission is only charged on wins, and based on the lesser of the bet amount and the win. The house edge is 1.67% on the 4 and 10, 2.00% on the 5 and 9, and 2.27% on the 6,8, whether a buy or lay bet.

Keno

Galewind Software offers liberal and consistent odds in keno. The following table shows the win, return, and hit frequency according to the number of picks.

Keno

Catch Pick 1 Pick 2 Pick 3 Pick 4 Pick 5 Pick 6 Pick 7 Pick 8 Pick 9 Pick 10
0
1 3.9 1 1
2 9.9 2 2 1 1 1 1
3 19 6 4 2 1 1 1 1
4 95 20 6 4 2 2 2
5 200 45 15 8 8 4
6 750 100 25 25 10
7 2500 250 100 25
8 5000 1000 250
9 10000 2500
10 10000
Return 97.50% 97.50% 97.20% 97.58% 97.7% 97.52% 97.42% 97.34% 97.71% 97.31%
Hit Freq 25.00% 43.99% 58.35% 25.89% 36.71% 46.99% 56.32% 64.53% 39.92% 47.94%

The table shows the most liberal odds are on the pick 9 at 97.71%.

Caribbean Stud Poker

Galewind Software calls Caribbean Stud Poker just Stud Poker. The paytable is more generous than the standard one found in the land casinos. As far as I know this game offers the best odds for Caribbean Stud Poker anywhere, land or online.

Stud Poker Pay Table

Event Pays
Royal flush 800 to 1
Straight flush 200 to 1
Four of a kind 25 to 1
Full house 10 to 1
Flush 7 to 1
Straight 5 to 1
Three of a kind 3 to 1
Two pair 2 to 1
Pair 1 to 1
All other 1 to 1

The house edge under this pay table is 3.35%. The strategy is the same that under the standard paytable, found here.

The following pay table is for the progressive side bet.

Stud Poker Side Bet

Event Pays
Royal Flush 100% of the Jackpot
Straight Flush 10% of the Jackpot
Four of a Kind 500
Full House 100
Flush 50

The breakeven point for the jackpot meter is $218045.79.

Hold 'Em Poker

Hold 'Em Poker, known as Casino Hold 'Em in some land casinos in Europe and Africa, is a Texas Hold 'Em variation. The most liberal 100/20/3/2 pay table is used, for a house edge of 2.16% with optimal strategy. On the AA bonus side bet also follows the most liberal 100/50/40/30/20/7 pay table, with a house edge of 6.26%.

Oasis Poker

Oasis Poker is the same game as Caribbean Stud Poker, except the player may switch one to five cards before making the raise or fold decision. The rules are explained in depth in my section on Oasis Poker. The house edge is 1.204%.

Pai Gow Poker

The standard rules are followed and the dealer is always the banker. There is a button to sort the player's cards and the dealer house way is indicated in the help files, something I have never seen done before.

As shown in my pai gow poker section, when the dealer is the banker the house edge is 2.73%.

Three Card Poker

Galewind calls this game Three Card Stud but it is the same as Three Card Poker. Galewind Software offers some liberal pay tables as follows.

Three Card Stud Pay Tables

Hand Ante Bonus Pairplus
Mini royal 10 50
Straight flush 5 40
Three of a kind 4 30
Straight 1 6
Flush 0 4
Pair 0 1

The house edge on the Ante bet is 3.28%, and on the Pairplus bet is 2.14%.

For more information about Three Card Poker, please see my Three Card Poker page.

Pontoon

This is not to be confused with Australian Pontoon, which is very similar to American Spanish 21. Galewind Software's Pontoon is also a blackjack variation, with many rule changes, for example a winning 5-card hand pays 2 to 1. Please visit my page on Pontoon for the basic rules and strategy.

The particular rules to Galewind Software's version are:

  • 8 decks.
  • Dealer "twists" on soft 17.
  • Dealer peeks for a pontoon.
  • Player may re-slit to up to 3 hands.
  • A ten and aces after splitting counts as a pontoon.
  • Dealer shuffles after every hand.

Under basic strategy the house edge is 0.38%.

The following table shows the basic strategy for Pontoon, which is the same as under Real Time Gaming rules.

American Roulette

The American roulette follows ordinary U.S. rules are followed for a house edge of 5.26%.

European Roulette

A single-zero wheel with the "En Prison" rule in effect.

Under the En Prison rule, if the player makes any even money bet, and the ball lands in zero, the player has the choice of losing only half his bet, or imprisoning the bet. If the player chooses to imprison the bet, then if the next spin results in a win, then the bet is returned. If the next spin results in a loss, the bet is a loss. If the next spin is another zero, then half the imprisoned bet is returned. Mathematically, it doesn't make any different which option the player chooses.

The house edge is 1.35% on even money bets, and 2.70% on all other bets.

Slots

Galewind Software makes public their audited game returns, including a line item for slot machines. Based on the 12 months preceding this review, the slots average about a 97% return. Compared to land-based slot machines, that is quite liberal.

Video Poker

Galewind Software features the following games. The return percentage follows each game, assuming optimal strategy.

Galewind Software Video Poker Summary

Game Return
Jacks or better 99.54%
Double Bonus 99.11%
Deuces Wild 98.91%
Joker Poker 98.94%
Bonus Poker 99.36%
Double Joker Poker 98.60%

The following tables show the probability and the contribution to the total return of each hand and each game.

Jacks or Better — Galewind Software

Hand Pays Combinations 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

Double Bonus — Galewind Software

Hand Pays Combinations 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

Deuces Wild — Galewind Software

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
Natural royal flush 800 459064368 0.000023 0.018424
4 deuces 200 3727565940 0.000187 0.037401
Wild royal flush 25 38119473696 0.001912 0.047809
5 of a kind 15 62203767960 0.003121 0.046809
Straight flush 9 98317296840 0.004932 0.044391
4 of a kind 4 1222017689652 0.061306 0.245222
Full house 4 522042221472 0.026190 0.104758
Flush 3 407440287408 0.020440 0.061321
Straight 2 1145680543080 0.057476 0.114952
3 of a kind 1 5342962086012 0.268043 0.268043
Nothing 0 11090260520772 0.556370 0.000000
Total 19933230517200 1.000000 0.989130

Joker Poker — Galewind Software

Hand Pays 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

Double Joker Poker — 98.60%

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
Royal Flush 800 242,672,544 0.000020 0.016096
Wild Royal Flush 100 3,629,448,360 0.000301 0.030092
Five Of A Kind 50 4,876,956,840 0.000404 0.020218
Straight Flush 25 17,248,727,856 0.001430 0.035753
Four Of A Kind 10 213,169,432,656 0.017674 0.176742
Full House 8 213,249,243,672 0.017681 0.141446
Flush 6 314,143,672,980 0.026046 0.156276
Straight 4 463,563,943,212 0.038435 0.153739
Three Of A Kind 1 1,999,758,192,696 0.165803 0.165803
Two Pair 1 1,083,223,805,940 0.089812 0.089812
Nothing 0 7,747,973,340,924 0.642395 0.000000
Total 0 12,061,079,437,680 1.000000 0.985976

Bonus Poker — 99.36%

Hand Pays Combinations Probability Return
Royal flush 800 428344188 0.000021 0.017191
Straight flush 100 2621029596 0.000131 0.013149
4 aces 200 3956770560 0.000199 0.039700
4 2-4 40 10422449736 0.000523 0.020915
4 5-K 25 31443736068 0.001577 0.039436
Full house 12 222879493836 0.011181 0.134176
Flush 8 335934882816 0.016853 0.134824
Straight 5 290185004040 0.014558 0.072789
3 of a kind 3 1414763666028 0.070975 0.212925
Two pair 1 2453061903660 0.123064 0.123064
Jacks or better 1 3696677666676 0.185453 0.185453
Nothing 0 11470855569996 0.575464 0.000000
Total 0 19933230517200 1.000000 0.993623