Playtech is massive. And yet they’re not all that well known to slot players.
But Playtech is the biggest online supplier of iGaming software in the world. So they tell us.
Playtech calls itself a “one-stop-shop for gaming operators”. They are the largest supplier of online gaming software, and they are traded on the London Stock Exchange.
The company was founded in 1999 and were born in Estonia, but now they are a global corporation with 19 offices around the world and nearly 6,000 employees. The company has 140 licences and are licensed to operate or supply software in 20 jurisdictions. They can be trusted!
What do they do?
What don’t they do might be an easier question?
Playtech’s main customers aren’t gamblers who play on the games they make, they are casino companies who run sites that host the games. This might seem like technical and obscure knowledge for players to concern themselves with, but in fact, it’s extremely enlightening for players to see how such companies operate. In this part of the gambling transaction, the player is the product, to be delivered to and kept at the site for as long as possible, because the longer a player spends at a site the more money you are likely to lose.
We are going to have to skim over a fair bit of the Playtech operation but we can tell you what the company describes its operations as.
The company calls itself a “True Omni Channel” operation, meaning it operates across the gambling world. This holistic whole is divided into:
We have said at the top of this article that Playtech is probably not as well-known as you would expect a site of its size to be. And in this section you’ll see one of the reasons: Playtech doesn’t always appear on the label of the end product.
Like many online gambling companies, Playtech is made up of many parts and that’s most true of its slots production. The company produces more than 700 titles. Around 550 of them are branded as Playtech, but the company also has a number of other brands under its control. It’s useful for players to know that many companies, mainly the biggest ones, operate in this way, as it’s important to know what games you’re playing.
If you’ve ever turned away from a casino screen thinking, “everything looks and plays the same way” then the way the industry is structured might give you something of a clue as to why that should be the case – when in theory you are offered hundreds of brands to choose from. Playtech has nine of those brands.
It’s notoriously hard to get a really detailed hold on company sizes and game performances in the totality of the iGaming industry. We base our popularity ratings on UK market performance, because the UK is the world’s largest gaming market, and it’s possible to find stats for single markets but not for the whole world.
These are Playtech’s biggest slots under the Playtech brand. Please check figures like a theoretical return to player (the number of stakes that should be returned to players if they behave in an idealised way) on the sites you’re actually using, and always make sure you read the rules of any game you play. We have omitted casino games from our lists to concentrate on the biggest slots.
Big cows with horns! OK, this game is a bit more sophisticated than that suggests. It’s been on the market since 2016 but remains Playtech’s biggest title at the start of 2021 – longevity is always a good sign of quality in our view. The game’s theoretical return to the player is 95.96% and you can win 1,500 times your stake on betting from 0.4 coins to 80 coins. There’s an extra reel and an extra row of symbols to give a 6 by 4 gaming field with 4,096 ways to win. The game is high variance, so should pay bigger prizes less often, and has free spins, multipliers, wilds, stacks and more backing up its wildlife theme.
Another wildlife-themed game takes us into the mountains of Africa this time while showing a lot of similar themes and features from Buffalo Blitz. There are 4,096 ways to win on a six by four grid and the RTP is exactly the same, with medium variance. The top win is 75,000 coins, with betting going as high as 200 coins. The bonus games are much the same, with a free spin delivering up to 100 free goes.
I wonder what the Greek gods would have made of their strange afterlife as mainstays of the online slots world. They probably would have found it funny – they did enjoy toying with mankind after all. This is a 2016 chapter in the ever-expanding universe of the Age of the Gods (which now includes live casino games too), and it is themed in the same way as all the rest – gods, heroes, togas. It looks pretty similar and plays that way too, with four progressive jackpots providing the strongest attraction for many players. That top prize impacts the RTP, which is just shy of 95%, while the top prize is a very nice 7,500,000 (though with top staking at 2,500 coins this is a game for high rollers in some respects). Free spins are the reliably popular bonus game.
The original Age of the Gods was released in 2016. Did Playtech know that they were launching a literal online empire? We may never know, but they did put a lot into this game though, with great graphics and a set of not one but four free spins rounds each themed to a different Ancient Greek god or goddess. RTP is 95.02%, volatility is medium and the top prize is a cool, around 1 million coins (again, top stakes of 500 coin are high). Jackpot games can take off, or they can be ignored, but with the might of Playtech behind it this progressive did seem likely to win a following.
What do gods have to be angry about? Do we have time to worry about that when intergalactic/dimensional beings of untrammelled power are in a mood?! Probably not. So let’s get on and look at the game! Another AoG title from 2016 with a 94.88% RTP and a big jackpot prize of 5 million coins this time. Four gods this time, with similar aesthetics and functionality to eth rest of the series – a uniformity that doesn’t seem to have put punters off in the least.
Getting more up to date we find Better Wilds, a release from the long summer of 2020. This is a long way off the likes of Age of the Gods and is a very simple fruit-style game with respins and wilds – but of course – as the main bonus features. Better wilds has a 5 by 4 grid and 24 pay lines.
Gold rushes are perfect for slots theming of course, and Hot Gems is an entry in this big genre from Playtech. Taking the gold and making it gems gives us the classic jewel-style symbols that are such an old favourite in the slots world. This game has done really well to stick around in the charts. It’s very simple and was launched nearly a decade ago in 2012. It’s very classic, with a five by three grid and a maximum win of just 5,000-times stake. Betting is quite low, 0.25 coins to 25 to match the 25 pay lines. Free spins are where the big win potential lies with free spins multipliers really upping the ante for players who hit this feature.
Playtech keep it ancient in this 2012 release based on the enormously popular Ancient Roman set film, complete with a digitised Joaquin Phoenix and Derek Jacobi! Aces! Quite typical of character slots of its time, the thing that stands out most now about Gladiator JP is its low, low, low RTP at just 91.46%. Also of its time is the double-or-nothing gamble feature and marked-up pay lines. It’s a good version of the film though and obviously remains popular despite some unattractive mathematics.
Again, Playtech go with a six by four grid, in this 2018 release that is themed on South American wildlife and culture. The design is quite nicely done, with the screen drenched in jungle greens, and some pleasing take on Mayan geometric designs. The maths are more friendly than our last title too, with medium variance, a top prize of 50,000 coins, and betting from 0.25 to 2500 coins on 50 pay lines. The main bonus feature is an expanding wild and a respin sits in for the usual free spins round.
That title must have been doing something right to get a comeback gig in the form of this 2021 do-over. This time, the greens are dumped out for golds, and the symbols are given a nice makeover too – they’ve upped the sexy quotient quite a lot. We still don’t have free spins, but we do have that respins round and the gigantic snaky wilds. The top prize is not a 25,000-times stake, with betting up to 375 coins on the same fifty pay lines. The RTP is really good looking at 96.47% (notably generous for a Playtech title) and the game slides smoothly onto its 6 by 4 grid and has slithered up the UK charts pretty smoothly too.
As a company licensed more than 100 times in 20 jurisdictions I think it’s fair to say that Playtech have passed the legitimacy test. As long as you pick legitimate sites that you’re entitled to play at then you shouldn’t have an issue.
You still need to keep safety at the front of your mind, so always make sure you’re only gambling with money that you can afford to lose and make sure you know safe gambling protocols. It doesn’t hurt to read the rules of the game you’re playing either.
Can you play Playtech slots without gambling your own money? You can. Playtech slots are often featured in free spins offers so keep your eyes peeled for those. More simply you can always play on demo mode at your favourite casino site or find review sites that host free games in return for your date of birth.
Take your pick! Playtech games really so span the whole world of slots – you can see almost every possible theme in our shortlist. All of the company’s games are safe and high quality and can be played with confidence. Use review sites to find the titles that suit your taste in theming or gameplay and get stuck in.
Playtech slots are governed by random number generators. This means that there is no sure-fire way to hit winning combinations – it’s all in the lap of the gods. The best advice is always to play safely and to stay well away from any sites that tell you that they are able to sell you a winning method.