Side Bet City fuses 80s flair with non-stop poker action - New game from Evolution

Evolution cranks up the pace in this neon-drenched poker game...
The neon lights of the 80s have returned in all new Side Bet City.

Evolution Gaming's latest live dealer game is a poker variation with a focus on fast-paced action. The aim of the room is simple - bet on a winning hand from three possible card combos. 

You can choose a 3-Card Hand win, a 5-Card Hand Win - or even a 7-Card Hand Win. You also have the option to bet on an All Lose outcome. Payouts are exceptional with a max win of 1000x available.

Poker is a refreshing new direction for Evolution considering their recent launches. And Evolution’s Chief Product Officer Todd Haushalter was similarly thrilled. He said:

“We are very excited by the potential of Side Bet City because it adds something very different and distinctive to our already wide choice of poker variants. Side Bet City is a fast, simple live poker game with big payouts, all wrapped in a 1980s’ theme.”

“We feel the game will attract the widest range of players with the way the game plays out. Players new to poker will love it because it’s an easy and entertaining introduction to the game."

Evolution Side Bet City

While Evolution may have been fixated on dice for a time (with new games like Super Sic Bo), the leaders in live entertainment still know their cards. Side Bet City is a homage to the 80s that both new and old poker fans will appreciate.

Studio design: Evolution nails the retro feel with their choice of studio design. Neon lights drench the table and surrounding shelves, which are filled with all sorts of quirky gizmos. It almost evokes a kind of cocktail bar type of vibe.

Dealer Quality: The center of the room is dominated by the playing table and of course the dealer. And this isn't a presenter type dealer like those found in Lightning Roulette. This is a more chatty and banter focused dealer that will appeal for the more sociable gamblers.

Design wise, we have no complaints - Evolution really has recreated the 80s for this studio. And the friendly dealer is just icing on the cake. But how does the gameplay stack up? We look deeper in our Side Bet City review.

Side Bet City Review

This is arguably Evolution's most simple card game to date. And it requires no prior knowledge of poker at all. If you do have that knowledge, however, seeing the hands form will give you a nice kick.

The winning objective is to pick which hand(s) will win from the four possible choices. The value of the win depends on what combination of cards makes the hand. For example, landing a Royal Flush with a 3-Card-Hand will pay 100x.

In terms of gameplay, everything is automated for you. You simply need to pick your bets and relax. Here is a full paytable of the game alongside the return to player for each bet.

Side Bet City Payouts
3-Card Hand
Royal Flush1001000500
Straight Flush40250100
Four of a Kind
Full House
Three of a Kind3573
Two Pairs
Pair JJ - AA
Any Pair1


In addition to the above hands, there is also an option to bet on All Lose. This means that no winning hands were formed from the 7 card draw. This pays out at 0.7:1 with an average RTP of 96.29%.

The game is played with two alternating decks of cards. Decks are shuffled via a dedicated shuffling machine.

Side Bet City Betting Strategy

Unlike low house edge games like blackjack, there is very little to say about Side Bet City strategy. That's because aside from the betting choices, everything is out of your control. The return to player for each bet suggests this game boasts the same payouts as an online slot.

One strategy you could try is using the All Lose bet as a kind of insurance option whilst betting on the 3-Card-Hand. If you lose on the 3 card draw then there's a chance that the two other hands could fail too. Meaning you will get a consolation win in return.

This strategy theoretically means you can stay in the game for a long time. But for a potentially more rewarding play session, you are going to have to look at the 5-Card-Hand or even 7-Card-Hand betting options.

Side Bet City Verdict

Stylish, simple and fast-paced - Side Bet City is a worthy addition to the Evolution casino games selection. While the returns might be on the low side, the game does balance this with a fun atmosphere and exceptional live dealer. For new poker players, this game will certainly help you learn about the various hand combinations.

But for veteran players, you might want to stick to dedicated tournaments or even video poker. Side Bet City is available at select Evolution sites like Leo Vegas Casino. You can also check out our full list of partners below.

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