Live Dealer Hi Lo

In late 2015 the Playtech company, a leading provider of online casino game software, released Live Dealer Hi Lo, a version of the classic gambling game Hi Lo with Live Dealers.

For Playtech, which was founded in 1999 and has since become a globally leading online casino software provider, Live Dealer Hi Lo represents a relatively new addition to its growing division of live dealer games.

Playtech opened its first live dealer studio – which connects players directly to human dealers and genuine casino equipment through live streamed footage – in Manila, the Philippines in 2003. That studio is used to host Playtech’s assortment of Asian themed casino games, such as Live Baccarat and Live Sic Bo. In 2009, Playtech added a second European facing live dealer studio, which is based in Riga, Latvia.

Beginning with the classic casino games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette, Playtech was at the forefront of the live dealer movement, recognizing early on that players inherently preferred the sights and sounds of a real casino setting. Chips riffling, cards being shuffled, wheels spinning, and dealers bantering with their players define the casino gambling experience – and live dealer technology allows Playtech to recreate this unique atmosphere perfectly.

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Expanding into Live Dealer Games

Once the concept had been proven to be successful, Playtech expanded its menu of live dealer games beyond the staples, adding hybrid table games like Live Dealer Casino Hold’em and, of course, Live Hi Lo.

Perfect for the casual gambler looking for a casual and carefree time at the tables, Live Dealer Hi Lo adapts the age-old card game of Hi Lo. In this game, the objective is about as simple as it gets: based on a single exposed card, players guess whether the next card dealt from the deck will be higher or lower (or the same) as that first card.

Playtech’s Version of Live Hi Lo

playtech softwareObviously, when you see a low card like a 3 or a 4 on board, guessing “higher” is an easy choice, so the game compensates for this knowledge edge by assigning odds to the lower and higher bets based on the current card rank. So in this scenario, betting on lower with a 4 showing would be a big risk, as you can only win when a 2 or a 3 is dealt next, but if it does you’ll earn a commensurately large reward.

Playtech’s version of Live Dealer Hi Lo also includes a few additional wagers to help spice up the action, and these red / black card or number group bets are sure to be a hit with roulette fans.

Similar Games

genies-hi-loPlaytech’s version of Live Hi Lo should not be confused with another online casino product known as Draw Hi Lo. Although the games are essentially identical, aside from their names, Draw Hi Lo is produced by the Betsoft company and lacks live dealer functionality. So if you see Draw Hi Lo out there during your subsequent searches for a Live Dealer Hi Lo table, realize that this version of the game incorporates simple graphics rather than a live streamed studio session.

Another similarly named game is Genie’s Hi Lo, which is also designed by Playtech. In this game, which features a distinctive pink logo and background with a virtual female dealer named “Genie,” the basic Hi Lo structure is maintained. However, the deck includes a single joker card and a few rules have been modified. Once again, don’t confuse Genie’s Hi Lo with Live Hi Lo while looking for a table.

Setup of Live Dealer Hi Lo

live dealer hi lo table layoutLearning to play Live Dealer Hi Lo takes only a few minutes, as the game provides a simple and straightforward experience for players.

After choosing your preferred table and accompanying live dealer, take a look at the screen interface before getting started.

In the center, you’ll see the live streamed footage of the table and dealer, along with the multiple deck shoe containing several decks of cards.

To the right-hand side of the screen will be a series of card graphics and graphs under the heading “History,” and this area is used much like the tower in roulette, tracking the results of previous hands so players can follow along.

To the left, you’ll find a chat box through which you can communicate with the dealer.

In the lower center area of the screen will be the betting layout, which contains various spaces for placing wagers.

Video of a Live Dealer Hi Lo Game

Playtech Live Hi Lo Odds

With that said, the table below highlights the baseline odds used in Live Hi Lo for higher and lower bets depending on the current base card.

LOWER CARD HIGHER
N/A Ace x1.00
x12.00 2 x1.10
x5.00 3 x1.20
x3.00 4 x1.30
x3.00 5 x1.40
x2.00 6 x1.50
x1.80 7 x1.80
x1.50 8 x2.00
x1.40 9 x3.00
x1.30 10 x3.00
x1.20 Jack x3.00
x1.10 Queen x12.00
x1.00 King N/A

As you can see, when the base card is high, taking the easier lower bet returns odds which are quite close to even money. For example, with a Jack as the base card, choosing the lower bet offers only 1.2 to 1 odds on your money. But if you choose the riskier play and take the lower bet, you’ll earn 5 to 1 on your money when you get lucky.

Live Hi Lo Alternative Wager Pay Table

The full list of alternative Live Hi Lo bets and their corresponding payouts can be found below:

BET PAYS
Black 1.92 to 1
Red 1.92 to 1
Ace 11.56 to 1
Ace or King 5.78 to 1
2, 3, 4, or 5 2.89 to 1
6, 7, 8, or 9 2.89 to 1
J, Q, K, or A 2.89 to 1

As you can see, these bets add another element to Live Hi Lo, giving players something else to think about aside from the binary higher or lower decision in the base game.

Where to Play Live Dealer Hi Lo

The version of live dealer hi lo created by Playtech has become the industry standard, and today players living almost anywhere on the planet can connect directly to Live Hi Lo tables through any number of reputable online casino venues. Below we recommend our top online casinos to play Live Dealer Hi Lo.

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Playtech Live Hi Lo Casinos

For a list of the major online casino platforms operating worldwide which carry Live Hi Lo, take a look below:

Other Playtech Online Casinos

While these six client casinos represent the leading players among Playtech’s stable of live dealer client casinos, dozens more can be found serving regional markets in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere. The online casino brands below primarily utilize Playtech software for their base game menus, so they’re also a great bet to offer Live Hi Lo currently, or at some point down the road:

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Whenever you land on an online casino lobby page, be sure to search for the live dealer section of the games menu. You may see a game titled “Hi Lo,” but unless it reads Live Hi Lo, you’ll be stuck playing the older graphics and random number generator style tables. Navigate your way to the live dealer area and find Live Hi Lo to experience Playtech’s cutting edge live dealer technology for yourself.

How to Play Live Dealer Hi Lo

#1

Sitting Down at the Table

If you’ve sat down fresh to enter a new game, the dealer will begin by burning three cards face down from the deck, before placing the fourth card face up in the center of the table. This card is known as the “base” card, and you’ll use it to make your subsequent betting choices.

If you’re sitting down in a game which is already running, you’ll probably see a base card already exposed. At this point, just wait for the current hand to be completed, before jumping into the action for yourself.

#2

Placing Your Wager

To place your wagers in Live Hi Lo, you just click on the colored chip graphic ($1, $5, $10, etc.) before clicking on the betting area you’d like to back. Each left click of the mouse on a betting area will add a chip, while a right click will remove a chip.

Client casinos are free to set their own betting limits for Live Hi Lo, but typical ranges run from $1 to $20 or $2 to $30.

Going forward, we’ll use a running example hand to help illustrate important gameplay concepts. So to get started, let’s imagine the dealer has put out a base card of 5h. But before we place a wager in this example hand, we need to know exactly how the wagering works in Live Hi Lo.

#3

Picking Higher, Lower, or Tie

Players have two sets of primary bets to choose from in Live Hi Lo, and both are dependent on the base card.

The original Hi Lo concept involves betting on whether or not the next card dealt will be higher, lower, or the same as the current base card. When betting on a tie, this is referred to as a “snap,” so you’ll see three main betting areas for this component of the game located on the left side of the screen: Higher, Lower, and Snap.

As mentioned above, the game sets proper odds for the higher and lower bets according to the current base card. Playtech’s version of Live Hi Lo takes this even further by setting its in-game odds based on the previously tracked discards as well. This means that the odds will always be slightly different for each higher or lower bet.

When betting on the snap bet, or the tie between the base card and the next card, the odds are always fixed at 12.06 to 1.

In the running example hand, we know that the better bet with a 5 base card is to take the higher bet, so we’ll do so for a $5 wager.

#4

Optional Wagers

In addition to this base game higher / lower / snap betting dynamic, Live Hi Lo also allows players to back a different set of wagers.

For these bets, you can make a roulette style wager on whether the next card will be red or black, or you can back individual cards and groups of cards. You may place a wager on black looking to see a spade or a club, for example, while also wagering that the next card will be either an Ace or a King.

For the running example hand, let’s splash around with $5 on the next card to be black, and $5 more on the next card to be either a Jack, Queen, King or Ace. This latter bet makes perfect sense too, as we’re already backing the higher side, so hitting a particularly high card like these four will turn our base game bet into a winner as well.

#5

Card Revealed & Getting Paid

As players are selecting their wagers, a “No More Bets” warning will signal that betting is about to close. At that point, bets are locked in and the dealer will then burn three more cards from the top of the deck, before turning the fourth card face up. This card is used to settle all pending wagers, before becoming the new base card for the next hand.

Back to the running example hand, the dealer burns three cards and then turns over the Ks. For the base game bet, this K is higher than the previous 5 base card, so we’ve won on our first $5 wager. In this case, the payout odds will be close to 1.4 to 1, so we’d collect a payout of $7.

The Ks is also a black card, so we’d then collect a payout of 1.92 to 1 on our second $5 wager, good for a profit of $9.60.

Finally, we chose the “faces and aces” card grouping with our third $5 wager and hit the K, so we’d pocket an additional payout of 2.89 to 1, or $14.90.

#6

Start Over Again

Once all bets have been settled, the dealer will announce that betting is now open based on the new base card, and a new hand begins.

Live Dealer Hi Lo Strategy

live-dealer-hi-loAs a pure guessing game, no legitimate strategies for Live Hi Lo actually exist. In fact, the best strategy you can apply to a game of chance such as Live Dealer Hi Lo is to resist the urge to seek out strategies in the first place.

You may have noticed that Playtech includes a separate screen to help players track the results of previous deals. This is based on the common gambler’s fallacy that cards can be “due” to come, and some players will indeed bet black when they see a run of red cards and vice versa.

Of course, with a multiple deck shoe containing hundreds of cards, and only the last seven base cards displayed on the tracking screen, these “patterns” don’t hold much predictive power at all. So to play this game with strategy in mind, simply avoid using the tracked cards as a way of informing your upcoming wagers. Recognize that Live Dealer Hi Lo is a guessing game and nothing more, and play it accordingly.

When to Take Risks

Obviously, there is a sense of strategy in which bets you back, as taking the longshots on higher or lower bets (or the longest shot in the game, the snap bet) will leave you on the losing side more often than not. Live Dealer Hi-Lo does reward players who take this higher level of risk, offering larger odds based payouts, but every casino game tilts the odds slightly in the house’s favor.

Take the essentially even money proposition offered by the red and black colored card bets. Here, you have a 50 percent chance of landing a winner, which should offer straight 2 to 1 odds, but in Live Dealer Hi Lo the payout odds are slightly lower at 1.92 to 1 for red and black.

Overall, the house edge offered on Live Hi Lo by Playtech stands at 3.55 percent, which is in line with similarly structured table games like Draw Hi Lo (3.93 percent) and Genie’s Hi Lo (3.40 percent). So with these numbers in mind, there isn’t really much to think about when it comes to game selection strategy either.