Evolution Side Bet City Review

Evolution Side Bet City is a unique live poker variant set in a Las Vegas-themed poker room that transports you right back to 1985. It’s fast, fun and easy to pick up for those who are new to online poker.

Without giving too much away, there are betting options available to you based on all the usual poker hands and as the game unfolds, you’re able to see the different winning hands and payouts on-screen throughout.

So, before you see how this provider’s latest release makes poker accessible, learn how to play, see what it pays and more in our Side Bet City Review.

This casino game was initially reviewed in June 2019.

Image source: Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming Side Bet City Review Quick Facts

RTP3 Card Hand: 96.69%, 5 Card Hand: 95.21%, 7 Card hand: 94.34%, All Lose: 96.29%
ProviderEvolution Gaming
TypeLive dealer
Bespoke tableNo
Live dealersOne
Opening hours24/7
Minimum bet€1
Maximum bet€10,000
Special betsNo
StatisticsPayouts, Account history
Favourite betsNo
Instant chatYes
Camera anglesMultiple
Video settingsMedium, High, HD
CompatibilityDesktop, Tablet, Mobile

What is Evolution Gaming Side Bet City?

Evolution Gaming Side Bet City is a swift, 80s-themed live poker variant where you’re to bet on whether you’ll win on a 3, 5 or 7-card hand, or on the All Lose option if you believe that none of the three hand options will win. You can place bets on any combination of these and will win based on all the usual poker hands where payouts reach a whopping 1000:1.


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How to play Side Bet City

Let’s look at how to play Side Bet City next.

A new round begins when the fifteen-second betting window commences. Now, you’re given the option to place chips on one or more of the four bets – 3, 5 or 7-card hand, or on the All Lose option – and once that time is up, no further decisions are required from you.

The game is played out via the following card-dealing sequence:

The 3 Card Hand

Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 4
Image source: Evolution Gaming

First, the dealer deals the initial three cards face up revealing the result for the 3 Card Hand. If you placed your bet on the 3 Card Hand and it wins, various digital overlays will indicate so.

The 5 Card Hand

Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 5
Image source: Evolution Gaming
Next, the dealer then deals the following two cards, revealing the result for the 5 Card Hand. Naturally, if you placed your bet on the 5 Card Hand and it wins, a winning message will appear.

The 7 Card Hand

Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 8
Image source: Evolution Gaming

Lastly, the dealer deals the final two cards, revealing the result for the 7 Card Hand. Again, if you have placed your bet on the 7 Card Hand and it wins, you’ll be notified accordingly.

The 7 Card Hand

If you have placed your bet on the All Lose bet spot and none of the 3, 5 or 7-card hands have a winning poker hand, you win, regardless of whether you placed a bet on any of the other three bets.

Seven cards in total are dealt in each game round. Once they’re on the table, the winning hands are revealed and paid out accordingly, and a new round begins again.

Side Bet City Game Rules

There are a few Side Bet City game rules that you should be aware of. For starters, the game is played with a single, standard 52-card deck whose cards are shuffled after each game. Additionally, an unlimited number of players can join this 24/7 poker table at any given time. The rest of the rules you’re expected to follow at the table are universal to all live dealer games, such as respecting the dealer in the live chat.

Side Bet City RTP and payouts

What Side Bet City pays and the theoretical return to player (RTP) of its various bets are up next. Starting with the former, the optimal RTP percentages are:

  • 3 Card Hand: 96.69%
  • 5 Card Hand: 95.21%
  • 7 Card hand: 94.34%
  • All Lose: 96.29%

As there are various wagers you can make in this game, there are naturally many payout possibilities too. Due to this, you’ll find them condensed in the Side Bet City payouts below. There’s a similar table within Evolution’s in-game interface which you’re able to pin in place as you play. While this is a viable option as you adjust to what each bet pays, this table can clutter the interface just a little. Now, onto the numbers.

Winning Hand3 Card Hand Pays5 Card Hand Pays7 Card Hand Pays
Royal Flush100:11000:1500:1
Straight Flush40:1250:1100:1
Four of a Kind/100:150:1
Full House/50:17:1
Three of a Kind35:17:13:1
Two Pairs/4:1/
Pair JJ-AA/1:1/
Any Pair1:1//

The All Lose bet pays 0.7:1. Do keep in mind that any malfunction whilst you’re playing will void the round in question as well as all its eventual payouts.

Can you play Side Bet City for free?

The short answer is ”No, you cannot play Side Bet City online for free” but it’s not without a just reason. The details of this game and the visual appeal of the studio its played in undoubtedly required a significant investment to research and subsequently develop. Then once the game makes it to your screen, there are overhead costs such as lighting and equipment maintenance not to mention the salaries of the individuals both on and off the camera to account for.

That being said, you’re able to enter the game, browse the interface and sit in on a few rounds to see what this poker table is really like before you lay down your own chips. Do just that to get the most of your game when you do decide to spend some of your gambling funds.

Side Bet City Strategy & Tips

As you know by now, this isn’t your typical poker game as you play against a pay table, not against the dealer or other players. Standard conventions not to fold small pairs or advice on how to play the Ace and King combination smart don’t form part of Side Bet City strategy. It’s because of this that you’ll have to think of the best way to play Side Bet City a little differently.If you’re a risk taker, then you’ll want to stick to betting on a 5 Card Hand as it’s a win on those that have the highest return. Another option would be to bet low amounts on all of the four betting spots to guarantee at least the lowest return of 0.7:1 on an All Lose bet every round. Think of this second approach as placing even bets in roulette. Doing so could keep your bankroll fairly stable, but a few bad rounds could still knock you down.Ultimately, the best Side Bet City game strategy is one where you stick to your gambling budget and enjoy your time at the tables. It’s how the pros play.

The table

Evolution Side Bet City - 5
Evolution Side Bet City - 2

Image source: Evolution Gaming

The Side Bet City table isn’t really your standard poker table. It’s a rectangular shape, not the usual semi-circular one we’re used to seeing. What’s really eye-catching about it all, though, is the on-theme blue lightning that almost makes it look like a bar of some swanky establishment.

Its felt is a dark, deep colour – perhaps a black – that’s illuminated by the purple and blue hues of the surrounding lights. There are seven bet spots outlined on the centre of the surface with a dealing shoe off to the dealer’s left and discard rack, an astronaut figure and dice to the right.

The environment

Evolution Side Bet City - 11

Image source: Evolution Gaming

The Side Bet City studio is any knick-knack collector’s dream. The game’s retro logo takes its place in the centre of the backdrop while what appear to be two shelving units sit on either side. They’re framed by those blue and purple lights we mentioned earlier and placed on the shelves there’s a Vikings helmet, a gas mask and a Route 66 sign to name a few of the novelty items you’ll see.

The dealer

Evolution Side Bet City - 4
Evolution Side Bet City - 8

Image source: Evolution Gaming

The dealers of this live casino game are professionals through and through. They welcome you to the table, describe the cards as they’re dealt, congratulate the winners and shuffle a new deck of cards to begin a new round. Overall, they’re not as talkative or outgoing as the presenters of Dream Catcher or Monopoly Live but we’ve witnessed a dealer or two do a little jig in between deals. In terms of outfits, female dealers wear one-shoulder neon pink top and headbands paired with a white skirt while male dealers are a little more traditional in a suit jacket and t-shirt or dress shirt and tie.

What it looks like and how it works

Now that you know how to win on Side Bet City and what it looks like, let’s take a closer look at how it all comes together and works.


Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 1

Despite this game’s innovative theme, the Side Bet City interface adopts this provider’s conventional one with some adjustments here and there.

As usual, it’s the base of the screen where the majority of the controls are found. In the centre you’ll see the digital betting area that rises and falls as needed. Further to the left, you’ll catch sight of your balance and current bet amount (should you have an active bet) while off to the right you’ll see a smaller version of the payouts table, a view of the different winning hands and their respective payouts, and two buttons – one to the lobby and the other to play up to 3 additional Evolution Gaming tables concurrently.

Portals to the various settings including access to the chat system and multiple audio and visual settings (which we’ll go into in a minute) can be found to the top right. Additionally, there’s an overview of your Evolution account history from the clock button, game information behind the ? icon and a button to put the game in full screen. On the opposite side, there’s another version of the payouts table along with the minimum and maximum wager limits for each bet type.


Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 10

Image source: Evolution Gaming

The four betting areas and your chip stack rise up to signify the commencement of a new round. Click or tap on the chip value you’d like to wager with (it’ll have a gold ring around it once it’s selected) and place it on the respective area. As with other titles by this provider, you can undo, double or repeat your last bet if you’d like to do so.

The fifteen-second betting window begins when the layout rises and you’re able to bet on any of the four wager options. Once betting time ends, the dealer deals the cards to the spaces marked on the table’s felt. Off to the bottom right you’ll notice that the cards are digitally rendered there and the cards that make up the winning hand are marked in the bet’s colour. A winning message including your win amount will also appear.

Audio and Visuals

Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 6
Evolution Side Bet City Screenshot - 9

Image source: Evolution Gaming

Evolution Gaming Side Bet City uses audio to immerse its players into the game. Uptempo music can be heard all through each game round and it remains consistent throughout. Despite this, you’re still able to hear the dealer’s voice clearly. Remember, there’s not much to keep track of from the dealer’s verbal cues, so you can choose to mute the table via the speaker and cog icons on the interface.

As you’ve already seen, this game takes place inside a one-of-a-kind, 80s themed studio with this provider’s premium multi-camera rig in place to capture every part of it. There’s a wide shot which shows the entire set and various close-up shots when the cards are being dealt to the table. You’re also able to switch between the view you saw described above and what is called the Classic View. In this view, the video stream appears much smaller such that it better suits poorer Internet connections.

Mobile and Desktop

Much like earlier launches including Deal or No Deal, Super Sic Bo and Monopoly Live, this brand-new title was built to perform exceedingly well on PC, smartphone and tablet. Coded in HTML5 which each device’s specs and capabilities in mind, its UI adapts as best suits each screen seamlessly. On top of this, the game’s integral live video feed utilises HTML5 built-in native video support to ensure image quality is assured throughout.

As expected, the game plays in both landscape or portrait orientation on mobile and switches automatically between the two modes while the Player Orientation Lock is turned off on the phone. Similarly, the game is optimised for play in landscape orientation on tablet. So, whatever your device preference is, you’ll benefit from all the same game features and a familiar look-and-feel.

What do you think about Side Bet City?

As Side Bet City is another one of Evolution’s 2019 releases, we don’t expect you to have an answer to this right away. But once you’ve played a few rounds, reached a high payout on a 5 or 7-card hand, encountered an exceptional dealer or found a betting strategy that proved successful, let us know on feedback@livecasino.com. We’d love to hear from you!

Ready to play Side Bet City?

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