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Galewind Software Reviewed
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."
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.
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%.
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%.
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.
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.
|Catch||Pick 1||Pick 2||Pick 3||Pick 4||Pick 5||Pick 6||Pick 7||Pick 8||Pick 9||Pick 10|
The table shows the most liberal odds are on the pick 9 at 97.71%.
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%.
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.
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
|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
|Royal Flush||100% of the Jackpot|
|Straight Flush||10% of the Jackpot|
|Four of a Kind||500|
The breakeven point for the jackpot meter is $218045.79.
The American roulette follows ordinary U.S. rules are followed for a house edge of 5.26%.
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.
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.
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
|Three of a kind||4||30|
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.
Galewind Software features the following games. The return percentage follows each game, assuming optimal strategy.
Galewind Software Video Poker Summary
|Jacks or better||99.54%|
|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
|4 of a kind||25||47093167764||0.002363||0.059064|
|3 of a kind||3||1484003070324||0.074449||0.223346|
|Jacks or better||1||4277372890968||0.214585||0.214585|
Double Bonus — Galewind Software
|3 of a kind||3||1452555860172||0.072871||0.218613|
|Jacks or better||1||3921754413384||0.196745||0.196745|
Deuces Wild — Galewind Software
|Natural royal flush||800||459064368||0.000023||0.018424|
|Wild royal flush||25||38119473696||0.001912||0.047809|
|5 of a kind||15||62203767960||0.003121||0.046809|
|4 of a kind||4||1222017689652||0.061306||0.245222|
|3 of a kind||1||5342962086012||0.268043||0.268043|
Joker Poker — Galewind Software
|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|
|4 of a Kind||18||0.008538||0.153676|
|3 of a Kind||2||0.133659||0.267317|
|Kings or Better||1||0.141544||0.141544|
Double Joker Poker — 98.60%
|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|
|Four Of A Kind||10||213,169,432,656||0.017674||0.176742|
|Three Of A Kind||1||1,999,758,192,696||0.165803||0.165803|
Bonus Poker — 99.36%
|3 of a kind||3||1414763666028||0.070975||0.212925|
|Jacks or better||1||3696677666676||0.185453||0.185453|