Novomatic is a literally huge global gaming company, with its base in a picturesque wine-growing region of Austria. It not only provides online casino software to some of the best online casinos, it also provides many of the real-world slots found in European casinos, and even runs its own land-based clubs and hotel resorts. Quite a player I’m sure you’ll agree, and if you’ve ever attended the International Casino Exhibition at the ExCel Centre in London each year you’ll know Novomatic are there with probably the biggest stand, and more slots than you can shake a stick at!
Like the US’s WMS gaming, Novomatic’s history begins with pinball machines. Novomatic’s founder, Professor Johann F. Graf (now there’s a name to conjure with!) began the business in the 80s importing pinball machines into Austria.
Novomatic is an Austrian firm and a true land-based giant in Europe that powers thousands of high-class and small local casinos and betting shops. The company was launched back in the 1980s with the production of their first line of proprietary Admiral slot machines and has grown to supply their products to more than 80 countries across all continents and employ over 20,000 people.
At first, Novomatic was a company powering casinos in Austria and neighboring countries, but with the fall of the Berlin wall and the Iron Curtain they began expanding over all EU states and later continued to North America, Asia, and even Africa. They entered the online market around 2010 by buying a software company called GreenTube which helped them port their land-based games to the online world.
Moving into manufacturing too, Novomatic quickly built its business from supplying gaming machines across Europe and as the business grew moved into wider areas of leisure betting – Austrian sports bettors know the name well, in the way that UK punters know William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Turning to the online casino market, Novomatic was able to parlay the popularity of its real-world video slots into online hits too, so games like Book of Ra soon became important slots for online casinos to have as they were like catnip to slot jockeys who’d been enjoying these games in land-based clubs across Europe.
Novomatic also built its empire with careful acquisitions of other big players in the real-world and online slots business, with a notable example being the UK’s Astra Games who themselves have acquired some rip-snorting online slots developers such as Mazooma, Greentube and the stalwart Bell-Fruit Games.
Novomatic’s heritage in real-world casinos machines gives many of its online slots quite a classic feel in our opinion. They have plenty of appeal for what we would consider more traditional slot players, with presentation that’s quite conservative compared to the more quirky developers like Thunderkick.
If you like themed slots that stick to the basics of five proper reels, traversed by multiple paylines and a few bonus features, Novomatic has more than enough to keep you entertained, with games like Reel King, Rainbow King and Fairy Queen as great examples of what Novomatic do well.
Novomatic Blackjack Games
As already said, Novomatic is a supplier of virtual machines for the land-based sector, so they haven’t really invested much energy in making Blackjack games. The only offer they have is consisted of only two variants with standard rules, although both variants are not to be easily overlooked:
Novomatic Multi-Hand Blackjack – Also known as Novomatic Blackjack (despite the multi-hand game format) this is the standard Blackjack variant where you can play up to three hands at a time, but you can choose to play with one. The number of decks used isn’t fully disclosed by Novomatic, but the rest of the rules are:
- You can double after splitting
- Dealer stands on Soft 17
- Can’t re-split aces
- Dealer peeks for Blackjack
- Insurance available
The game also comes with the standard 3:2 payouts that used to be available in most brick-and-mortar casinos, while the insurance pays 2:1.
Novomatic Royal Crown Blackjack – Novomatic also offers Royal Crown Blackjack (sometimes offered under the GreenTube label), which is just another version of the Multi-Hand game, but one that was probably ported from their land-based offer. Thus, the controls are similar to playing a video poker machine, rather than an online game.
At Royal Crown Blackjack you can likewise play up to three hands at a time, but the bet sizes have been raised massively. The rules are almost identical, i.e. dealer checks for blackjack, you can get insurance, and you can’t re-split aces, but you can double down on any pair. The payouts are also the same as the Multi-hand version, i.e. you get 3:2, 2:1, and 1:1 for blackjack, insurance, and standard wins, respectively.
Other Novomatic Games
The largest portion of Novomatic’s online portfolio is Video Poker and slot games that were ported from their tried-and-tested line of land-based products. Thus, if you’ve ever spent time on a Novomatic machine in your local casino, you’ll be able to find their biggest hits online as well. Most of these are popular slot games like Fairy Queen, Dolphin’s Pearl or the Book of Ra, but you can also find Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better, and Joker Wild Video Poker, along with bingo and other skill—based games.
With the explosion of interest in online slots, and the increase in computing power and broadband speeds liberating online slots developers to innovate in ways previously impossible, Novomatic’s slots can seem a little conventional in comparison to some rivals.
However, its games have no shortage of fans on the Internet, and exude a quality that does bring an authentic whiff of casino gaming onto your desktop. Cutting edge originality might not be its forte, but appealing online slots games aren’t in short supply from Novomatic software.
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