- Slot Machines
- Video Poker
As with the vast majority of Microgaming-powered casinos, Royal Plaza offers both a no-download flash version suite of games, as well as a 'bells and whistles' download version. I opted for the latter version - as this offers the best selection of games. The download page of the casino says that a no-game 700k version is available along with a 3mb 3-game version. However, regardless of the option I selected, I was actually presented with a 6.25mb download. While this file size doesn't bother me, I was disappointed to see that the website clearly hadn't been updated with details of the latest download available.
Despite this slight setback, the download itself was obtained without difficulty, and after running the set-up program I was faced with the welcome screen of the casino. At this point though, I realized that something seemed slightly different compared to a number of Microgaming-powered casinos that I had visited recently. Then it dawned on me - Royal Plaza Casino does not use the latest version of the Microgaming software. This means that only around 60 games are available in total, and some of the more advanced features built in to the latest Microgaming software cannot be found at Royal Plaza. I think this is actually a strange move, although having said that ,I guess management have decided that as all major games are available there's no need to update to a later software version.
Registering an account at Royal Plaza Casino is kept simple, and I personally had no problems setting up my US $ account. A user simply has to submit their personal details via a standard form, and the account is instantly credited. As with a number of casinos, other currencies can be used at the casino - UK Ã‚Â£, Euros and Canadian $ are all accepted.
As a new user I expected to have some sort of sign-up bonus available - which, depending on the associated terms, I would accept or decline. However, I was very surprised to learn that there is no sign-up bonus available at Grand Plaza. Similarly, no deposit bonuses are available which again is unusual, particularly when a casino is keen on enticing players to deposit by e-wallets such as NETeller. Of course, real gamblers will often play with no bonus, but I do think that it's strange that a casino should choose not to offer anything to entice new players.
Since there was no sign-up bonus available, I headed straight to the cashier to make a real money deposit myself. A vast number of deposit options are available, including credit cards and e-wallets such as Ecocard and NETeller. I purchased $100 using funds in my NETeller account, and was pleased to see the deposit go through instantly without any problems.
As stated earlier, Royal Plaza has around 60 games; and while this is not as many as some competitor sites, it's still enough for a player to get lost trying to find a game they want. As such, a simple menu system is employed to make game finding things easy. This means that Deuces Wild Video Poker can be found in the video poker section, and Blackjack can be found in table games.
It was these table games that I actually decided to check out first, and for those that like a dabble at the tables, the selection of games at Royal Plaza Casino should be pretty impressive. Of course, classics such as Blackjack and Stud Poker can be found, but so too can harder-to-find games such as Pai Gow and Sic Bo. The only criticism I would make is that there is less variety when it comes to sub-selections. For example, Blackjack is available only as single or multi-hand, whereas competitor sites may offer a variety of tables playing with different rules. Nevertheless, I was happy enough and got to work at the Blackjack table.
When it comes to bets on the table games, I found that Royal Plaza was pretty generous. Single-hand Blackjack, for example, accepts bets from $2 to a dizzying $1000. Multi-hand blackjack allows bets on up to 5 spots with a maximum of $500 per spot, meaning here the maximum bet is a massive $2500 across the table. With a range like this, the vast majority of players should be satisfied. I decided to throw around some $5 hands - unfortunately they didn't really do anything amazing, but at least I didn't lose too much either!
I also tried out some of the other table games available such as Stud Poker, but again, while I had some fun, I didn't win a fortune! I did enjoy my play though thanks in the main to the nice graphics and sound effects employed by this casino. A number of the games utilize a dealer voiceover, for example, which really does enhance the playing experience. The only thing I thought a shame was that the 'expert' function found at other Microgaming casinos wasn't available. As such, help on best play for example, cannot be accessed. However, for those that like a simple game, Royal Plaza does a good job.
When it comes to Video Poker games there was a reasonable selection available. Many favorites can be found, including Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild. However, there is only one variety of multi-hand poker available (Jacks or Better 4-play). This is disappointing and again is down to the use of old software. For the occasional Video Poker play I think this casino would be fine. However, I definitely think boredom could set in as time goes on with such as limited selection available.
I have to say, I wasn't too impressed with the presentation of the Video Poker games either. I played Louisiana Double Poker and discovered that Royal Plaza have tried to make their games 'life like' by making them resemble land-based machines. By this, I mean the games play almost with a graphical representation of a video screen shown. The problem with this - is that it reduces the card sizes, and while not a major annoyance, I do think I've seen better elsewhere. I also lost quite a bit of money on these games, which also didn't help my playing experience!
To finish up my play, I checked out the slot selection of games. The slot variety is reasonable and jackpot hunters will be pleased to know that all the Microgaming progressive games can be found here. This includes the great Major Millions; which has hit for almost $2m in the past! There are also quite a few 'classic style' games which closely resemble mechanical slots of the past.
Unfortunately, the newer video-style games that Microgaming have introduced at other casinos are not to be found here. In fact, when it comes to feature slots there are only two in total at Royal Plaza.
As such, I decided to check out some of the games I used to play when Microgaming casinos first launched. This includes the cool Jackpot Express game (which I've hit the jackpot on previously!) and the attractively-themed Winning Wizards game. I actually started my slot play well, and managed to get my balance up to $166. Unfortunately - I lost pretty much all of this trying to activate the feature on the Treasure of Maya game - something that I never achieved!
In fact, after playing on some of the progressive games available I ended up with a balance of zero. As such, on this occasion I had nothing to withdraw. However, as with the vast majority of Microgaming-powered casinos, the owners of Royal Plaza do not shirk on their financial responsibilities and according to the website all withdrawals are paid after the 24 hours pending period. This would mean that most people would receive funds within 48-72 hours of cashing out, which is most certainly respectable.
Customer support at Royal Plaza is provided around the clock via a number of methods. Email is provided as you would expect. However, an impressive 14 toll-free telephone numbers are also provided, meaning the vast majority of players should be able to receive instant help completely free of charge. Even for those that cannot use a toll free number, an email I sent was responded to within around 6 hours - which is not too shabby at all.
To conclude, I would say I had a reasonable time at Royal Plaza. However, the use of old software really does reduce the playability of this casino. A reasonable selection of games is available, but one only has to look at the Video Poker and Slot selection to see how much better the offering is at competitor casinos. Similarly, the lack of any bonuses will probably put off a number of players. Having said that, for those that enjoy traditional games such as Blackjack, and those that want to play at a trusty casino, Royal Plaza would still fit the bill. Banking and customer support functions work well, and the fact this casino has been around for a while must mean something is being done well. For me though, I like a bit more variety - and on this occasion can state that I probably won't be back.