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Last Updated: January 26, 2015

Rival Review

Introduction

Rival opened for business in 2006. I didn't hear about them until 2014, but as one of the few software companies friendly to American players, I expect to see more of them in the future.

The quality of the software is about average. The slots, especially the i-slots, are nicely done, but some games, like video poker, could use more realism, especially when it comes to the sound effects.

The software comes in both Flash and download. Despite many efforts, I was unable to get very far with the download casino. If I managed to download it properly, then I couldn't log in or my account got blocked for some reason, despite the casino being U.S. friendly. So, this review is based on the Flash casino only, and my advice would be to stick to that to avoid any aggravation.

Rival CasinosExpand

Name Wizards Seal US Friendly Play
21Dukes
NO NO Visit Casino >
21Grand Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
333 Palace
NO NO -
7Reels Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
7Spins Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Always Vegas
NO NO Visit Casino >
Black Diamond Casino
YES NO Visit Casino >
Bodog
YES NO Visit Casino >
Boombet Casino
NO NO -
Bovada
YES NO Visit Casino >
Box 24 Casino
YES NO Visit Casino >
Break Away Casino
NO NO -
Café Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Cash o' Lot Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Casino Fiz
NO NO Visit Casino >
Casino Lust
NO NO -
Casino Moons
NO NO Visit Casino >
Casino Royal Club
NO NO -
Casino Stars
NO NO -
Club Vegas USA
NO NO -
Cocoa Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Connect 2 Casino
NO NO -
Crazy Luck Casino
NO YES -
CrazyWinners
NO NO Visit Casino >
Cresus Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
DaVinci's Gold Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Dendera Casino
NO YES -
Desert Nights Rival Casino
YES NO Visit Casino >
Diamond VIP Casino
NO YES -
Diceland Casino
NO YES -
DomGame Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Eclipse Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
EuroFortune
NO NO -
Gibson Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Golden Lion Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
GrandLuxeVip
NO YES -
Ignition Casino
YES YES Visit Casino >
Irish Luck Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Joe Fortune Casino
YES NO Visit Casino >
Kings Chance
NO YES Visit Casino >
LaRomere Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Lion Slots Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
LocoJungle Casino
NO YES -
Lucky Balls
NO NO -
Malibu Club Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Mayan Fortune Casino
NO NO -
Mona Casino
NO NO -
NogaBet Casino
NO NO -
Pantasia Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Paradise 8 Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Play2Win Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Quasar Gaming
YES NO Visit Casino >
Ricardo's Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Rich Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Riviera Play Casino
NO NO -
Rockbet
NO NO Visit Casino >
Royal Planet Casino
NO YES -
Royale Jackpot
NO NO -
Sahara Sands
NO YES Visit Casino >
Simon Says Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Slot Powers
NO YES Visit Casino >
Slots Capital Casino
YES NO Visit Casino >
Slots Jackpot
NO NO -
Slots of Fortune
NO YES -
Slots Village
NO NO Visit Casino >
Slots.lv
YES NO Visit Casino >
SlotsMillion
YES NO Visit Casino >
Spartan Slots
YES NO Visit Casino >
Sunset Slots Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Superbetpalace Casino
NO YES -
Superior Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Supernova Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Supreme Play
NO NO Visit Casino >
Thebes Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Thisisvegas Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
TigerGaming Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Tradition Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >
Tropezia Palace
YES NO Visit Casino >
Tropica Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Vanguard Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Vegas Amped
NO NO -
Vegas Crest Casino
YES YES Visit Casino >
Vegas Days
NO NO Visit Casino >
Vegas Regal Casino
NO NO -
Vegas2Web Casino
NO YES Visit Casino >
Videoslots.com
YES NO Visit Casino >
Winbig21 Casino
NO YES -
Winward Casino
NO NO Visit Casino >

Baccarat


Baccarat
 

The standard baccarat rules are followed with eight decks of cards. The house edges on the three bets are:

  • Banker: 1.06%.
  • Player: 1.24%.
  • Tie: 14.36%.

For more information, please visit my page on baccarat.

Blackjack


Blackjack

Multi-hand Blackjack

One of my biggest annoyances with Internet gambling is casinos that don't disclose the number of decks they use, especially in blackjack. This is the case with casinos using Rival software. I've asked at three different Rival casinos, but none of them could tell me the number of decks used. I don't think any of them even understood what I was asking.

There are two versions of blackjack: standard blackjack, with one hand at a time, and multi-hand blackjack, which allows up to three hands. Here are what rules I know:

Blackjack



  • Decks: ?
  • Dealer hits soft 17
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • Player may double any two cards.
  • Double after split allowed
  • Surrender not allowed
  • Player may re-split to up to four hands, except aces.

Assuming eight decks, as a worst case scenario, the house edge would be 0.66%.

Multi-Hand Blackjack



  • Decks: ?
  • Dealer hits soft 17
  • Dealer peeks for blackjack.
  • Player may double 9 to 11 only.
  • Double after split not allowed
  • Surrender not allowed
  • Player may re-split to up to four hands, except aces.

Assuming eight decks, as a worst case scenario, the house edge would be 0.90%.

If you somehow find the actual number of decks, you can find the house edge using my blackjack house edge calculator.

The following table shows the Blackjack games available in alphabetical order.

Rival Blackjack Alphabetic OrderExpand

Game BJ Pays Soft 17 Double After Split Double Splits Number Re split aces Surr-ender Return Total Decks
Blackjack 1.5 Hit Yes Any 2 4 No No 99.34% 8
Multi-Hand Blackjack 1.5 Hit No 9 to 11 4 No No 99.10% 8


Here is the same list in returns range, choose your game wisely.

Rival Blackjack Return OrderExpand

Game BJ Pays Soft 17 Double After Split Double Splits Number Re split aces Surr-ender Return Total Decks
Blackjack 1.5 Hit Yes Any 2 4 No No 99.34% 8
Multi-Hand Blackjack 1.5 Hit No 9 to 11 4 No No 99.10% 8


Casino War


Casino Battle
 

Rival calls this game Casino Battle, but the name change is fooling nobody. The standard rules are followed with six decks of cards. No bonus for a tie after a tie.

The only strategy you need to know is to go to war on ties. With six decks, the house edge is 2.88%.

For more information, please see my page on Casino War.

Craps


Craps
 

Pass, Come



The player may bet 3-4-5X odds after a point is rolled. This means 3x on a point of 4 or 10, 4x on a 5 or 9, and 5x on a 6 or 8. If the player always makes the maximum odds bet, then the combined house edge between the pass and odds bet averages to 0.37%.

Don't Pass, Don't Come



As on the pass line, the player may bet 3-4-5X odds after a point is rolled, based on the amount bet. In land casinos, the odds are always relative to the potential win, but I have yet to see an Internet casino properly understand this rule. The way Rival does it, the combined house edge between the don't pass and laying the odds is 0.36%.

Field



The liberal rules are followed that pay 3 to 1 on a 12, for a house edge of 2.78%.

Place, Buy



The standard place bets odds are offered. The following table shows the house edge according to the place bet made.

Place Bets

Point Pays House Edge
4, 10 9 to 5 6.67%
5, 9 7 to 5 4.00%
6, 8 7 to 6 1.52%


The player must pre-pay the commission on buy bets all the time. The following table shows what each buy bet pays on a "to one" basis and the house edge.

Buy Bets

Point Pays House Edge
4, 10 39 to 21 4.76%
5, 9 29 to 21 4.76%
6, 8 23 to 21 4.76%


It should be noted that the house edge is less on place bets, except on the 4 and 10.

Don't Place, Lay



Players in the UK and Australia will already be familiar with don't place bets. For the rest of the world, they are basically the opposite of place bets, where you win on a seven and lose on the chosen point. The following table shows the odds and house edge according to the don't place bet made.

Don't Place Bets

Point Pays House Edge
4, 10 5 to 11 3.03%
5, 9 5 to 8 2.50%
6, 8 4 to 5 1.82%


The player must pre-pay the commission on lay bets all the time. The commission is based on the potential win. The following table shows what each buy bet pays on a "to one" basis and the house edge.

Lay Bets

Point Pays House Edge
4, 10 19 to 41 2.44%
5, 9 19 to 31 3.23%
6, 8 19 to 25 4.00%


It should be noted that the house edge is less on don't place bets, except on the 4 and 10.

Proposition Bets



The standard American odds are followed, as shown in the following table.

Proposition Bets

Point Pays House Edge
Hard hops 30 13.89%
Easy hops 15 11.11%
Any craps 7 11.11%
Any seven 4 16.67%


It should be noted that the odds on the table incorrectly say "for" when they mean "to."

Hard Ways



The standard American odds are followed on the hard ways, as shown in the following table.

Hard Way Bets

Point Pays House Edge
4 and 10 7 11.11%
6 and 8 9 9.09%


Keno


Keno

Vegas Jackpot Keno

There are two keno games to choose from, regular and Vegas Jackpot.

Keno



Following is the pay table for the standard keno game.

Keno Pay TableExpand

Catch Pick 1 Pick 2 Pick 3 Pick 4 Pick 5 Pick 6 Pick 7 Pick 8 Pick 9 Pick 10 Pick 11 Pick 12 Pick 13 Pick 14 Pick 15
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1 3 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 9 2 2 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 0 0
3 16 6 3 2 1 1 1 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0.5
4 12 15 3 6 3 2 2 1 1 0.5 0.5 0.5
5 50 30 12 6 4 3 2 2 3 2 1
6 75 36 19 8 5 6 4 4 3 2
7 100 90 20 10 15 24 5 5 5
8 720 80 30 25 72 20 12 15
9 1200 600 180 250 80 50 50
10 1800 1000 500 240 150 150
11 3000 2000 500 500 300
12 4000 3000 1000 600
13 6000 2000 1200
14 7500 2500
15 10000


Following is the pay table for the Vegas Jackpot keno game.

Vegas Jackpot Keno Pay TableExpand

Catch Pick 1 Pick 2 Pick 3 Pick 4 Pick 5 Pick 6 Pick 7 Pick 8 Pick 9 Pick 10
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11
1 3.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 15 2.5 1 0.5 0.5 0.5 0 0 0
3 40 6 2 1 1 0.5 0.5 0
4 150 25 5 2.5 2.5 2 1
5 500 80 20 15 4 2
6 2,000 250 75 30 4
7 4,000 1,000 300 40
8 8,000 2000 500
9 10,000 5,000
10 20,000


Following is the expected return for both games by number of picks.

Keno Return Table

Picks Keno Vegas
Jackpot
1 75.00% 87.50%
2 92.09% 90.19%
3 93.04% 90.19%
4 93.79% 93.16%
5 93.87% 92.79%
6 93.79% 93.23%
7 94.15% 92.22%
8 92.90% 95.84%
9 93.43% 90.32%
10 94.54% 96.48%
11 93.10%
12 94.22%
13 94.90%
14 94.27%
15 94.39%


As you can see, the greatest return is the pick-10 on the Vegas Jackpot game at 96.48%.

Let it Ride


Ride 'em Poker
 

Rival calls this game Ride 'Em Poker, but I prefer the original name Let it Ride. The standard rules are followed with the Swaziland pay table that goes as follows:

Ride 'Em Poker Pay Table

Hand Pays
Royal flush 250
Straight flush 50
Four of a kind 25
Full house 12
Flush 10
Straight 8
Three of a kind 3
Two pair 2
Tens or better 1


From my Let it Ride appendix 3, you can see the house edge is 2.96%, which is better than the 3.51% under the American pay table.

Pai Gow Poker


Pai Gow Poker
 

Pai Gow Poker is dealt by the standard rules. Conveniently, there is a house way button. The player isn't able to spoil his hand because the game won't let the player choose a low hand that is better than the high hand. As usual with online pai gow poker, the dealer is always the banker. Assuming the player plays the house way, the house edge is 2.72%. Under optimal strategy it is 2.51%.

For more information, please see my page on pai gow poker.

Red Dog


Red Dog
 

The usual rules are followed with one deck of cards. The house edge is 3.55%.

For more information, please see my Red Dog page.

Roulette


Double-Zero Roulette

Single-Zero Roulette

Both single-zero and double-zero roulette are available. In both cases, even money bets lose when the ball lands in either zero. The house edge is 2.70% in the single-zero game and 5.26% in double-zero.

Scratch Cards


Cast for Cash
 

There are several scratch card games available. The rules don't declare the return, so you're on your own there.

Slots


Aussie Rules

The Back Nine

Beach Bums

Dog Pound Dollars

Heroes' Realm

Japan o Rama

Money Magic

1,000,000 Reels BC

Psychedelic Sixties

Rock On

Spy Game

5 Reel Circus

All Aboard

Arabian Tales

Ares -- The Battle for Troy

As the Reels Turn

A Switch in Time

Aztec's Treasure

Day at the Derby

Loco 7s

There are lots of slot machines available. These screenshots are just a small sampling. They are categorized as follows:

  • i-slots
  • 3-reel slots
  • 5-reel slots
  • Progressive

The i-slots are something special. They are kind of like Pac Man, where there is a little animation from time to time. In the case of the i-games, they reveal a story line, loosely based on a soap opera. The "As the Reels Turn" series is about a casino. I didn't have the patience to get very far, but the introduction was very well done. The player advances through the game by getting so many "Advance to the Next Scene" icons in one play.

Rival is nice enough to declare the return in the help files, which range quite a bit. The following list, in return order, is for just some of the games I checked. These are taken from the Rival website, so they may or may not be the same at any actual Rival powered casino.

Slot Returns

Hand Pays
Rock On 98.00%
Dog Pound Dollars 95.37%
Spy Game 95.09%
Psychedelic Sixties 95.00%
Heros Realm 94.03%
Japan-o-Rama 93.71%
Aussie Rules 93.42%
Sevens and Bars 93.18%
Money Magic 91.15%
One million reels BC 90.59%

My advice is to check the help files of as many games as you have the patience for and then play the one with the greatest return.

Sudoku


Sudoku
 

I think every software brand should have at least one game they invented themselves, besides slots. In the case of Rival, they have Sudoku.

To be honest, it is kind of like a slot machine. The game picks nine numbers from 1 to 9, arranges them in a 3 by 3 matrix, and pays the player mostly based on any three of a kind or greater.

I created a page on Sudoku with all the details. The bottom line is the house edge is 15.05% (ouch!).

Video Poker


Jacks or Better

Deuces Wild

Deuces & Joker

Double Joker

Tens or Better

Joker Poker (kings or better)

Aces & Faces

I find video poker to be the weakest product in the Rival portfolio of games. A lot of the games, like Tens or Better, are long since dead in the land casinos. The returns are all over the place, from 98.10% to 99.54%. None of the games offer a multi-play option, and the sound effects are just not right.

The following table shows the Video Poker games available in alphabetical order.

Rival Video Poker Alphabetic Order

Game Power Poker Multi-Play Pay Table Return
Aces & Faces No No 800-50-80-40-25-8-5-4-3-2-1 99.26%
Deuces Wild No No 800-250-45-15-9-4-3-2-2-1 99.37%
Deuces and Joker Wild No No 2000-800-25-12-9-6-3-3-3-2-1 99.07%
Double Joker Poker No No 800-100-50-25-8-5-4-3-2-1 98.10%
Jacks or Better No No 800-50-25-9-6-4-3-2-1 99.54%
Joker Poker (kings or better) No No 1000-200-100-50-17-7-5-3-2-1-1 98.60%
Tens or Better No No 800-50-25-6-5-4-3-2-1 99.14%

Here is the same list in returns range, choose your game wisely.

Rival Video Poker Return Order

Game Power Poker Multi-Play Pay Table Return
Jacks or Better No No 800-50-25-9-6-4-3-2-1 99.54%
Deuces Wild No No 800-250-45-15-9-4-3-2-2-1 99.37%
Aces & Faces No No 800-50-80-40-25-8-5-4-3-2-1 99.26%
Tens or Better No No 800-50-25-6-5-4-3-2-1 99.14%
Deuces and Joker Wild No No 2000-800-25-12-9-6-3-3-3-2-1 99.07%
Joker Poker (kings or better) No No 1000-200-100-50-17-7-5-3-2-1-1 98.60%
Double Joker Poker No No 800-100-50-25-8-5-4-3-2-1 98.10%

Conclusion

Rival Gaming serves as the most prominent US friendly gaming software alternative to those who want to try something other than RTG. Players looking to play at Rival powered casinos need to use caution though, as there are many subpar and rogue casinos offering these games, and players will have little recourse to get their winnings if a casino denies the withdrawal.

With that being said, there are several unique and interesting Rival games out there, with some games offering large progressive jackpots to players. Rival serves as a decent alternative to players who face restricted betting options, but it is by no means the best online gambling software out there.


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