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Portomaso Gaming Review

While there’s sometimes a bit of mystery behind where the name of a company may have come from, that’s not an issue with Portomaso Gaming. The company is simply named after its location, the Portomaso section of St. Julian’s on the island of Malta. They are one of a large number of firms related to the gaming industry that base themselves in the country, and have developed a full suite of Internet casino products.

That includes an interesting mix of live dealer games that they have provided to a small number of casinos, including the aptly named “Portomaso Live.” These games were produced with the help of Wirex, an Italian software group that brought their experience in developing live streaming games to help create the final product as it exists today. You won’t find an incredible range of game options here, but there’s still an interesting mix of tables, and what is available is fun to play and presented in an attractive and professional manner.

Small Game Selection, But Many Options

If you’re looking for one of the big three games, then Portomaso will have you covered. In fact, that’s all that you’ll find here: the game variety covers the most important and widely played options, but doesn’t offer anything out of the ordinary, making the selection sufficient, but not special in any way.

Most of the tables offered are devoted to roulette, with several different versions available. What’s interesting is that while most of these tables are functionally equivalent, they do come from different casinos and studios. You can play a live dealer, single-zero roulette game that originates from two different casinos (each of which has a slightly different look), as well as one that comes from a studio instead.

This is as good a time as any to talk about the look and feel of the live dealer platform. While the color schemes vary depending on where you are playing, the general layout is always similar. You can see the live vide at the top of the screen, typically in an upper corner for roulette games. The rest of the screen is made up of a betting layout that is plenty large enough for players to easily place their bets without any confusion. Some versions also include the alternate “race track” layout for roulette, which also allows players to make some of the French bets. The quality of the video feeds vary: the best quality comes from the studio-hosted games, though the casino-based options are certainly good enough to get the job done as well.

There’s one alternate version of roulette: a fast spin game that is run from the floor of the Portomaso Casino. This game uses the same rules and layout as the other games, but with – you guessed it – faster spins, making it ideal for those who want to speed up the pace of play.

Next up is blackjack, which is only available from the company’s purpose-built studio. There are only two tables available, each of which can handle up to seven players at a time. The rules are typical for an American-style blackjack game, and are identical at both tables. In our experience, reading the cards was slightly more difficult than on some other live dealer systems we have used, but not to the extent where we had any actual problems identifying our hands or playing the game.

Finally, there is one baccarat game that is streamed live from a casino floor. This is a standard, run of the mill baccarat table: the typical commission on banker bets applies, and tie bets pay out at 8-1. There are no side bets available, but that might be a decision intended to keep the pace of play as fast as possible: the game moves very swiftly, giving players (an essentially unlimited number of players can participate simultaneously) as much action as possible.

One difference between this platform and many others is that the games here aren’t all available on a 24/7 basis. To be certain, the games that are hosted at the two live casinos stay on all the time, meaning you can always have access to most of the roulette games and the baccarat table. However, the studio versions are only available part time. The consequence of this is that blackjack is sometimes unavailable, further limiting the game selection during off-peak hours.

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Maltese Headquarters Targets English-Speaking Audience

Given that all of these games are based in Malta, it makes sense that Portomaso is primarily targeting an audience in Europe. However, it appears as though their focus may be even more specific than that. The company holds a license with the UK Gambling Commission, and the games are only available in English. As a result, it is primarily players in the United Kingdom that will benefit from these games, though many players throughout Europe have access to them, as evidenced by the fact that they can often be played in euros.

As with most live casino developers, you won’t find any free play versions of their games here (that’s especially understandable given the limited number of tables). When it comes to real money limits, there is some variation. We’ve seen baccarat offered with minimums as low as €5 and maximums of €100 per hand, while roulette usually features a €10 limit on individual bets and a total spread of no more than €400 on each spin.

Good Games, Underwhelming Platform

When looking at the individual games offered by Portomaso, it’s easy to praise their efforts. All of the games run smoothly, and the dealers are professionals who clearly know what they’re doing (particularly, as you’d expect, the ones that are broadcasting from casino floors). While the game limits aren’t as wide as we’ve seen from some other developers, there’s still plenty of room for most typical players to play at the limits they want, and we found that the streams are both well-presented in terms of technical quality and in the user interfaces, which are easy to navigate and clear of some of the clutter that we’ve seen in other presentations.

Overall, though, the actual platform here is a bit underwhelming. The number of games is small, and the number of tables for each game is also very limited. The fact that some games aren’t always available is disappointing, as is the lack of dealer interaction – a feature that could bother some players, given the fact that the social nature of live dealer games is often a big draw that sets them apart from more traditional forms of online gambling. And while we like the fact that these games can be played on mobile devices, even that isn’t entirely true: only the studio versions work on phones and tablets, and they have a reputation for being somewhat finicky, especially on Apple devices.

That means that we can only give Portomaso Gaming’s live casino offerings a weak recommendation. That doesn’t suggest that their games are bad by any means: if we didn’t like them, we wouldn’t recommend them to you at all. However, there are simply many studios out there that have done a more complete job in developing their live platforms; if you’re seeking out a site specifically to play these types of games, you can do better. On the other hand, if you’re already playing at a site that includes these offerings in their collection, then they are fine to play: each of these games is fun, professionally designed, and easy to play, which should be more than enough for most gamblers looking for authentic casino action.

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