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Bodog Asia Review

In the early days of the online gambling industry, there were few names bigger than Bodog. While the operator may no longer hold such a dominating position, their name still holds a lot of clout, and there is no denying that they have a strong footprint in many parts of the world.

One area in which they have significantly increased their operations over the past few years is the Asian market. Through their Bodog88 brand (and other, similar sites), Bodog Asia has become a major player in China, the Philippines, Vietnam and other markets. While they offer a large variety of different types of gambling through their portals, at least part of their success can be attributed to their excellent live dealer offerings, which have been heavily localized to appeal to Asian gamblers.

Unique Gaming Options

One of the key things to realize about the Bodog Asia live dealer gaming platform is that it is specifically designed with Asian clients in mind. That means that you’ll see a game selection that is very different than what you’d find in, for instance, a US-facing casino. That doesn’t mean the games will be entirely unfamiliar, of course, but the balance is completely different, and there may be a couple games you won’t be familiar with if you’re use to a more European or American style of gaming.

Let’s start with the more universally understood games. First, there’s a version of blackjack known as Zone21. This is similar to the common draw-style games offered by some other providers, though there are a couple of things that make this one unique. The key takeaway is that a virtually unlimited number of people can take part at a single table, as all players will be sharing the same hand.

How does this work? After all interested participants make their bets, each hand begins with the player’s hand being dealt face up, and the dealer’s hand featuring an up card and a hold card. If the player has blackjack, than all players win at 3-2 odds as normal. Otherwise, all players are asked for a decision. Players have a specified amount of time to make their choice, after which the next player card will be dealt.

This process continues until one of three things happens: the player hand is a hard 21 (meaning it cannot possibly improve and any card would bust it), the player has a total of six cards, or the player busts. At that point, the dealer will move on to their hand, resolving it as normal.

At that point, the hand is over. Each player who participated will have their hand resolved independently, based on the decisions they’ve made. That could mean that different players have dramatically varying hands at the end. If this all seems confusing, don’t worry: the graphical interface will show you what your hand (or hands, in the case of a split) are at all times, even if the real table layout appears nonsensical in a traditional blackjack sense.

Another game with worldwide popularity is roulette, and Bodog Asia unsurprisingly features a version of this classic game of chance. As is the custom in most parts of the world, the game is played with a single-zero European roulette layout, which covers the bottom half of your screen while you play. Along with the standard table layout, which provides ample space for betting, there is also a large racetrack view for anyone who wants to make the “French bets” or simply likes using that style layout better. The video fee shows both the croupier and the wheel, as well as a close-up of the wheel that gives you a clear look at the winning number on each spin. In addition, statistics are provided to show you recent results, hot and cold numbers, and how the wheel has been trending as of late.

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Most people know that baccarat is the king of casino games in Asia, and Bodog features this game prominently in their live dealer section. In fact, you can not only play baccarat at many different stakes levels, you can also choose from several different variations of the game.

Of course, there’s the standard “punto banco” style of game, in which you may bet on either the player or banker to win. Again, the layout is fairly simple: along with the dealer and the table, one corner of the video feed is covered by a close up of the play area, so it is easy to see the player and banker hands. A large betting area makes it easy to choose how you want to play, while there are plenty of statistics available: you can see how much money is on each bet during the hand, and the bottom of the screen features a long record of recent hand results.

There is also an alternate version of the game offered under the name Super 6 Baccarat. This is essentially another name for Commission-Free Baccarat, in which most banker wins pay even money instead of having the casino take a 5% commission out of payouts. That is balanced out by the fact that if the banker wins with a score of exactly six, players only win at 1-2 odds (in other words, a $2 bet would make just $1 profit).

But wait: there’s more! If you want to play faster, you can take advantage of Zone Baccarat, in which players only get 10 seconds in order to make their decisions, significantly speeding up the pace of play. Alternately, there’s 3 Table Baccarat, which allows you to have up to three games on the table at once. These tables can come from any mix of the above options, allowing you to mix and match based on your preferences. Finally, you can try Parlay Baccarat, which allows you to make bets on whether or not you can win multiple hands in a row, with big payouts possible if you can win several consecutive rounds.

Next up is Sic Bo, the popular dice game that offers a multitude of different ways in which to bet. The betting area is huge, taking up about half of the game window; this is a definite plus, as with so many possible wagers, it would be easy for a smaller area to become cramped and difficult to use. The video area features both the standard full view of the table and a close up on the dice to make sure the results are clear. As this game is very similar to roulette in some ways, it makes sense that you’ll see many of the same statistical information panels offered here, including a list of recent results and a breakdown of numbers that have been hot and cold lately.

Finally, there is the very simple game of Dragon Tiger. In this game, each hand (Dragon and Tiger) gets one card; the hands are scored as in baccarat, with the higher hand winning. The layout is essentially identical to what you’d see in the baccarat games, including side bets, a list of recent results, and a breakdown of where the entire pool of players has their money on each hand.

Made for Asia

If the name itself didn’t tip you off, we’ll spell out the obvious: Bodog Asia is, in fact, designed with the Asian market in mind. Since opening in 2011, the company has operated their studios in Manila with the exclusive intention of catering to markets like China and the Philippines itself.

This is clear from just about every aspect of the operation. While you can access all of these games in English, they are also available in Chinese (both simple and traditional), Vietnamese, Korean and Thai. The atmosphere is also evocative of Asian themes, with a heavy use of red and gold coloring throughout the studio. Add that to the game selection, and it’s clear exactly where this room is being marketed.

There’s a clear effort here to attract players from both the mass market and the VIP segment. Several different types of rooms are available, ranging from regular – which may have bets available for as little as $1 – to high roller, VIP, and private tables, the latter of which usually allow bets of up to about $2,000. While that’s not as high as at some global operators, it’s more than enough to cover what most players are comfortable spending at Internet casinos.

One rare touch that we really like is the fact that there is a free play mode available here. That’s a rarity in live dealer games, seeing as how they are much more costly for the sites to run. In fact, every game has a practice mode that lets you play alongside real money counterparts, which gives you a chance to try these games before you wager any actual funds.

An Excellent Site – For the Right Players

Bodog generally puts out a quality product, and their Asian live casino is no exception to this rule. The game selection is top notch, and the interfaces provide all the information you could ever need. The video feeds aren’t quite as advanced as at some other live dealer sites, but they make it easy to see all of the action – and to us, at least, that’s easily the most important aspect of the streaming part of the equation.

There are a few caveats. There is no chat functionality, which means this isn’t the most social of atmospheres: something that won’t impact most players, but worth noting, at least. And, of course, we have to reiterate that this is very much an Asia-focused platform, with the table selection being weighted heavily towards games that are traditionally popular in those markets.

But that’s not a negative if these are exactly the games that you’re looking for – and that’s the point. If you want to play baccarat, sic bo, or other games in an Asian environment, there are few options out there that can compare to what’s offered by Bodog Asia.

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