When we talk about online casino software providers, we’re generally interested in talking about the classic resort-style games they offer to players: slots, table games, video poker, and so on. This is for good reason: gaming of this type is really what Internet casinos generally rely on to bring in players.
But there are other types of machines and games out there, and some companies do a great job of showing how alternatives to the norm can be very attractive to many players. 1×2 Gaming in one such company. The developer does produce a number of “standard” titles, but is also one of the leaders when it comes to virtual sports – a way to bet on “matches” that are only happening on your screen. This makes for a dynamic collection that adds a new dimension to any casino site.
1×2 Gaming was first launched in 2003 as a UK company, and that’s still where their headquarters are located – now in Brighton & Hove, a key hub for the software industry in the United Kingdom. Today, the company produces games that are utilized by nearly 70 online casinos, including major industry leaders in the regulated UK market, like Ladbrokes and Bet365.
Mostly Average, But with a Virtual Surprise
When you first take a look at the 1×2 collection, you might begin to wonder exactly how their products became so popular among operators. A first look at their slots lineup, for instance, doesn’t appear very inspiring: the games are solid enough, but the graphical quality is average at best, which can definitely turn off players.
Let’s take a closer look. There are about three dozen games offered, covering a number of different thematic ideas. Some of these titles are quite dated, but others are more modern: for instance, the Star Wars parody Star Bars is sharp, interesting, and amusing. Also in that vein is Cartoon Capers, a game that is almost a perfect mirror of the old animated show Wacky Races.
For a look at what’s typical from this company, let’s take a deeper dive into one of their more popular slots. One classic theme for online gambling has been Greek mythology, and that idea is explored fully in Gods of Olympus. A five-reel, 20-line slot machine, this title uses some very classical Greek symbols that are well-designed, if not particularly eye-catching. This is a common refrain for many of the 1×2 machines: there aren’t any impressive animations, and the sounds and art are appropriate, but unremarkable. On the other hand, the special features are pretty entertaining: there’s a free spins game, as well as a bonus round where you’ll open jars to reveal prizes of instant credits. There’s even a video preview of this bonus so that you can get a better idea of what to expect before you play.
Other games in this collection are similar: good, solid additions to a casino, but unlikely to be used as a highlight to attract new players. A few more 1×2 Gaming slots that we enjoyed are:
- Dead World
- Celebrity in the Jungle
- Gladiator of Rome
- Jackpot 3×3
- Lucky Stars
- Thor: Stormlord
- Treasure of the Pyramids
1×2 also provides a number of table games, scratch off cards, video poker machines, and more, all of which are designed to give operators a little more variety in their casinos.
Table games are perhaps the best developed of these areas. You’ll see all of the classics here: blackjack, baccarat, craps, and roulette, among more exotic options. Interestingly, there are even a couple of unusual roulette options that we haven’t seen elsewhere. Some of the more intriguing options include:
- Astro Roulette
- Chinese Roulette
- Sic Bo
- Caribbean Stud Poker
- Texas Hold’em
- Casino War
- Three Card Poker
- Odd One In
On the other hand, video poker is only sparsely supported. Just three machines are included in this collection: Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, and All-American Poker. In addition, there are more than a dozen different instant win games available. Most of these are scratch cards, but some are a bit more complex. For instance, Penalty Shootout has you play a full shootout with five strikers against a goalkeeper, giving you the ability to bet on each shooter to make or miss their opportunity at preset odds.
Finally, there are a number of keno and bingo games to choose from as well, offering different themes on the same sort of instant drawing style of gameplay. Many of these games are also available for play on mobile devices, bringing the action to your smartphone or tablet.
Taking the Virtual Field
Without a doubt, the biggest reason most players (and probably most casino owners) will be interested in the 1×2 Gaming suite, however, is their collection of virtual sports games. These products allow players to place a variety of bets on the sports of their choice, all simulated in seconds rather than having to wait for weeks to see how competitions and leagues play out. Most of these games cover various football (or soccer) competitions, but there are also versions for American football, rugby, and various types of racing (from horses to dogs and cycling).
To see how this all works, let’s delve into one of the most entertaining options among this collection: Virtual World Cup, a game clearly modelled after the 2014 FIFA World Cup tournament. You’ll have the ability to spend a few minutes before each round of games looking at the odds and placing bets however you like. You can pick individual match winners (or draws), place futures bets on who will win each group or the entire tournament, or even bet on who will score first or what the final score of a given match will be. The whole thing plays out like a real football tournament, only at light speed. You’ll even get to watch some “featured matches” play out in between rounds!
Other versions are similar, and come with names like:
- Virtual Football Pro
- Europa League
- Virtual Rugby
- Virtual Legends
These games have proven immensely popular throughout the industry among both players and operators. Often, these simulated sports packages have been nominated for prestigious awards by organizations like eGaming Review and the Global Gaming Awards, usually in categories designed to highlight innovation in the industry.
A Fun and Engaging Addition to Any Casino
As we noted above, players who are mostly just interested in playing slots really don’t have to give too much thought to the software developed by 1×2. In fact, we’d even go so far as to say that this is true for their table games and general casino products as well. Don’t get us wrong, these games are perfectly playable, and you’re likely to even enjoy a few of them; however, almost any major developer has products that can match or exceed them, limiting how much they really add to any site.
On the other hand, their virtual sports games are one of more entertaining and unique additions to the online gambling landscape we’ve seen in a while. They aren’t the only company that has these products, but their lineup is one of the most developed, covering the widest style of competitions and sports. If you’ve always had some interest in the format of sports betting, but find actually sweating out the results of games either too stressful or too time consuming, we’d definitely recommend placing a few bets and watching the action play out much more quickly on the virtual pitch.