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Last Updated: January 24, 2015

Kismet Software Review

Introduction

Disclaimer: Let it be known that I have served as a consultant to Kismet. 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.

Kismet Studios provides the software for Harrods Casino (the famous luxury retailer in London), Private Casino, eCasino Filipino (played in Pesos using pre-paid gambling cards in Manila, Philippines) and Red Lounge Casino.

Kismet's strength lies in their liberal gaming rules. For example 4% commission baccarat, European roulette, player banking every other hand in pai gow poker, full pay Three Card Poker with ties win, and 9/6 Jacks or Better. The blackjack rules are configurable from casino to casino. The Red Lounge features a single-deck blackjack game with a house edge of 0.30%. The software is pleasant and easy to use. I have heard of some nice promotions, for example if the players wins five bets in a row he will win a bonus equal to his lowest bet in that sequence. Kismet also says they will custom make games or change the rules upon request for their VIP players. Unfortunately they do not accept U.S. players at this time.

Following is a list of the games available at casinos using Kismet software along with the game rules and some strategy tips.


Baccarat

Kismet offer 4% commission baccarat. I haven't seen this game since Binion's Horseshoe closed down their baccarat room years ago. They also pay 9 to 1 on ties. A single deck is used. Following is the house edge on each bet.

  • Banker (4% commission): 0.55%
  • Player: 1.29%
  • Tie (pays 9 to 1)
  • : 6.38%

For more information visit my baccarat section.

Blackjack

Kismet has lots of blackjack games to choose from, all with competitive rules. The minimum bet is £1, except the single-deck game is £10 per hand (about $17.50 at the time of writing). The best game is the Single-deck, with a low house edge of 0.16%. See below the details on each game.

The blackjack rules are configurable from casino to casino. I am only aware of the rules at Harrods and Red Lounge, which are as follows.

Kismet Blackjack Rules

Rule Harrods Red Lounge
Number of card decks 8 decks 4 decks
Dealer hits or stands on soft 17 Hits on soft 17 Hits on soft 17
Double after a split Not allowed Allowed
Double allowed on Any first two cards Any first two cards
Number of splits allowed Split to 2 hands 4 hands
Re-Split on Aces Not allowed Not allowed
Hit on split Aces Not allowed Not allowed
Dealer draws hole card Yes Yes
Late surrender Not allowed Allowed
Blackjack pays 3 to 2 3 to 2
Betting limits £1 - £250 £1 - £250

The following strategy is appropriate for both sets of rules.

The house edge is 0.82% under Harrods rules and 0.48% under Red Lounge rules.

Asian Blackjack

  • Six decks
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • No peek
  • Early surrender, except against ace.
  • Double any two cards
  • Double after split
  • Split up to three times
  • Any 777 and suited 678 on initial hand pay 3 to 1 against any hand except blackjack
  • Even money option with blackjack against an ace (don't take it)

House edge of 0.22%. A strategy deviation is to hit suited 6,7 against a 2. For more information on 678 and 777 bonuses visit my Blackjack Appendix 11.

Single-Deck Blackjack

The single-deck blackjack rules are configurable from casino to casino. I am only aware of the rules at Harrods and Red Lounge, which are as follows.

Kismet Single-Deck Blackjack Rules

Rule Harrods Red Lounge
Number of Card Decks 1 deck 1 deck
Dealer hits or stands on soft 17 Hits on soft 17 Hits on soft 17
Double after a split Not allowed Allowed
Double allowed on 9 to 11 cards 9 to 11 cards
Number of splits allowed Split to 2 hands 4 hands
Re-Split on Aces Not Allowed Not allowed
Hit on split Aces Not Allowed Not allowed
Dealer draws hole card No Yes
Late surrender Not allowed Not allowed
Blackjack pays 3 to 2 3 to 2
Betting limits £10 - £150 £10 - £250

The house edge is 0.43% under the Harrods rules, and 0.30% under the Red Lounge rules.

Spanish Blackjack

This is the same thing as Spanish 21. The rules are the same as the land casinos with these specifics.

  • Six "Spanish" decks
  • Dealer hits soft 17
  • Redouble allowed

House edge of 0.38%. For more information please visit my Spanish 21 section.

Ties Win Blackjack

This game is my own creation! Kismet casinos are the only place it can be played online for real money.

  • Single 52-card deck
  • All ties pays 1 to 2
  • Player may only hit and stand
  • Winning blackjack pays even money
  • Dealer hits on soft 17

House edge of 0.25%. For more information please visit my Ties Win Blackjack section.

Double Exposure

I think this is the best double exposure game I have ever seen, online or offline.

  • Six 52-card decks
  • Both dealer cards dealt face-up
  • Dealer hits soft 17
  • Double on any first two cards
  • Double after split not allowed
  • Tied blackjack wins
  • Split only once
  • Ace + Jack of hearts pays 2 to 1
  • 6-7-8 of same suit pays 2 to 1

House edge of 0.26%. For more information please visit my Double Exposure section.

Fantastic Fun 21

This is the same thing as Super Fun 21.

  • Single 52-card deck 
  • Player blackjack always wins
  • Player blackjack in diamonds pays 2 to 1, all other blackjacks pay even money
  • Dealer stands on soft-17
  • Double after split
  • Re-split up to 4 hands, including aces
  • Hit and double down to split aces
  • Double down on any number of cards
  • Late surrender on any number of cards
  • Surrender half of total bet after doubling
  • Player hand of 20 or less with 6, or more, cards (except after doubling), automatically wins
  • Player hand of 21 with 5, or more, cards (except after doubling), pays 2 to 1 instantly

House edge of 0.75%. For more information please visit my Super Fun 21 section.

Caribbean Poker

The U.S. pay table is followed, except a royal flush pays 250 instead of 100. This lowers the house edge of 5.22% to 5.20%. The progressive side bet is also available, following a 100%/10%/$500/$150/$100 pay table. The break-even point for the side bet is £159,810.53.

Pai Gow Poker

Kismet's Pai Gow Poker features player banking every other hand, which is about as good as it gets anywhere. There is also conveniently a house way button. The overall house edge is 1.46%.

For more information visit my section on Pai Gow Poker.

Ties-win 3-card Poker

Kismet follows the liberal 1/4/6/30/40 pay table on the Pairplus and 1/4/5 Ante Bonus. Ties also go to the player, which is worth 0.13% on the Ante bet. The house edge is 2.32% on the Pairplus and 3.24% on the Ante.

The ties win rule results in an interesting strategy change. The player should raise on Q63 if all three suits are different. For more information visit my section on Three Card Poker.

Bonus Roulette

Bonus Roulette is played on an American double zero wheel. Every time the ball lands in red a letter in the word "Bonus" is illuminated. When the ball lands in black the display resets and clears. In the graphic above there had been three consecutive reds. If the ball lands in red 5 times in a row the player will win a bonus equal to the lowest of the sum of his last five bets. The display will clear after five reds. This is NOT a side bet, it pays automatically.

Normally the house edge in American roulette is 5.26%. However the bonus feature is worth 1.56% if flat betting, for an overall house edge of 3.7%.

Single Zero Roulette

Kismet offers the European version of roulette, featuring a single-zero wheel, and half back on even money bets if the ball lands in zero. The house edge is 1.35% on even money bets and 2.70% on all others.

For more information visit my roulette section.

Slot machines

I asked Kismet for a statement on the theoretical return of their slots. This is something few software companies provide. They were very sporting in disclosing this information. The following are the returns they told me. On progressive games the return on any given spin will depend on the amount in the meter at that time.

  • Poker slots: 96.87%
  • Pharaoh's Slots: 98.04% when betting 5-coins and 93.31% on 1-4 coins
  • Football Slots: 98.04% when betting 5-coins and 93.31% on 1-4 coins
  • Luxuria: 95%
  • King's Ransom: 95%
  • London: 95%
  • Passion Fruit: 95%

Here is Kismet's review of their own slots.

Poker Slots
Kismet software offers a unique Poker Slots that is not found in any other casinos. It is a merger of 3-card poker and a 3-reel slot machine. The game pays on poker combinations including one pair, flush, straight, three of a kind, straight flush, royal flush and a progressive jackpot on three queen of diamonds. Bets range from 20p (about 35 cents) to £3 (about $5.40). The game plays quickly and can be entertaining for slots players who want to get a taste of poker.

Pharaoh's Slots
A classic 3-reel progressive jackpot slot machine which features bets ranging from 50p to £10. The game graphics are nice and a departure from the increasingly common 'cartoon' style machines. The reels spin slower that most online games - giving the game a more relaxed pace. The odds of hitting the jackpot are fairly good (as compared to other slot machines) at 1 in 32,768.

Football Slots
Another classic 3-reel progressive jackpot slot machine. Bets can be placed between 20p and £5. The game graphics are fashioned on a football (read as soccer for American readers!) fans. The game play is fast and the odds for hitting the jackpot are also good at 1 in 32,768.

Luxuria Video Slots, London Video Slots, King's Ransom Video Slots, Passion Fruit Video Slots
Kismet's four video slot machines offer very nice graphics and are quick to play. All feature a hi-lo bonus game, scatter and bonus symbols. Players can choose to play from 15 and 21 line versions. All four video slot machines feature a progressive jackpot.

Video Keno

The player may choose 1 to 15 balls. The maximum bet is £10 per play. The maximum payout is a £50,000 (about $90,000). The following table shows the expected return according to the number of picks. The table shows the best bet is the pick 5 at 95.79%.

Kismet Keno

Pick Return Hit Frequency
1 93.75% 25%
2 74.05% 43.99%
3 94.35% 15.26%
4 93.43% 25.89%
5 95.79% 9.67%
6 93.84% 16.16%
7 95.53% 23.66%
8 94.67% 10.23%
9 95.03% 10.27%
10 94.48% 11.05%
11 93.04% 2.43%
12 93.86% 4.04%
13 92.58% 6.23%
14 91.41% 3.62%
15 94.49% 13.3%

Video Poker

Kismet offers three popular video poker games. The max coinage is £10, or £50 max bet. The following three tables show the return of available games.

Jacks or Better - 99.46%

Hand Payoff Combinations Probability Return
Royal flush 800 493512264 0.00002476 0.01980661
Straight flush 50 2178883296 0.00010931 0.00546545
Four of a kind 25 47093167764 0.00236255 0.05906364
Full house 9 229475482596 0.01151221 0.10360987
Flush 6 219554786160 0.01101451 0.06608707
Straight 4 223837565784 0.01122937 0.04491747
Three of a kind 3 1484003070324 0.07444870 0.22334610
Two pair 2 2576946164148 0.12927890 0.25855780
Pair 1 4277372890968 0.21458503 0.21458503
Nothing 0 10872274993896 0.54543467 0
Total 19933230517200 1 0.99543904

Deuces Wild - 97.58%

Hand Payoff Combinations Probability Return
Natural royal flush 800 452369748 0.000023 0.018155
4 deuces 200 3682746696 0.000185 0.036951
Wild royal flush 20 35533966488 0.001783 0.035653
5 of a kind 12 59467319664 0.002983 0.035800
Straight flush 10 108508672848 0.005444 0.054436
4 of a kind 4 1213638759072 0.060885 0.243541
Full house 4 520548700824 0.026115 0.104458
Flush 3 422759779284 0.021209 0.063626
Straight 2 1158202099956 0.058104 0.116208
3 of a kind 1 5321219941188 0.266952 0.266952
Nothing 0 11089216161432 0.556318 0.000000
Total 19933230517200 1.000000 0.975781

Joker Wild - 95.35%

Hand Payoff Combinations Probability Return
Natural royal flush 810 593088528 0.000024 0.019553
Five of a kind 200 2282839836 0.000093 0.018583
Wild royal flush 100 2459058720 0.000100 0.010009
Straight flush 50 14426739480 0.000587 0.029360
Four of a kind 20 207720419028 0.008455 0.169092
Full house 7 380006843580 0.015467 0.108269
Flush 5 459318060492 0.018695 0.093476
Straight 3 496720653984 0.020217 0.060652
Three of a kind 2 3206720394492 0.130520 0.261039
Two pair 1 2659472684532 0.108246 0.108246
Aces or better 1 1847301324780 0.075189 0.075189
Nothing 0 15291843413748 0.622407 0.000000
Total 0 24568865521200 1.000000 0.953468