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Live Dealer Football Card Games – What are they, and are They Any Good?

There has been a spate of new live dealer game releases focusing on Football – unsurprisingly because of the interest in the FIFA World Cup.

Three major live casino providers, Evolution, Playtech and On Air Entertainment, have games in this category. I thought I’d look at them to see what they are about, how the games play and how they compare.

live dealer football card games

What are Football Card Games?

Football Card games are live dealer card games with a Home and Away position on the table. It could be any sport with two teams; however, the focus here is Football or Soccer, as our friends across the pond prefer to call it.

The standards for the game include using eight shuffled decks of 52 playing cards contained in a perspex dealing shoe.

There are three main betting positions – Home, Away and Draw.

There can be eight optional side bets, which can be played independently from the Home/Away betting positions.

The dealer controlling the game will place the first card in the Home position and the second in the away position. The card with the higher face value wins. Players receive 50% of the main bet back if it’s a draw.

There are differences between Evolution, Playtech and On-Air versions, which involve how the cards are ranked and the pay-outs values. I’ll cover these and more in the sections below.

Who has created A Live Football Card Game?

Three live casino providers have created Live Football Card Games:

  1. Evolution has created Football Studio or Top Card and an off-spin called Football Studio Dice, which uses dice rather than cards.
  2. On Air Entertainment has brought us Card Matchup.
  3. Playtech has launched Football Card Showdown.

Evolution Football Studio

football studio game round

Football Studio has been around since the World Cup in 2018 and has undergone several design changes.

The game, though, has remained the same. It has its own specially designed futuristic-looking studio with an oval table. The game comes with a good selection of results statistics and a widget for displaying football results information from multiple leagues and competitions.

There are no side bets. The game has an RTP on the main hand of 96.27%, and the Draw RTP is 89.64%.

On Air Card MatchUp

card matchup female dealer

Card Matchup is played in a shared studio environment with other games promoting a Sports theme. It has a Pub like design. The table is rectangular, and there are no specific football pitch markings, making the table multi-functional. Football pitch, markings included.

The presentation of Card Matchup is comfortable – i.e. you feel at home at the table. The user interface has a Sports widget for selecting sports scores from previous and in-play football matches by country and competition. There are eight side bets and essential information on past game results.

The game has an RTP of 96.27% for the main hand and 89.63% for the Draw RTP.

Playtech Football Card Showdown

Playtech Football Card Showdown

Football Card Showdown is presented from a shared studio with a sports bar feel. The table is the most traditional of them all, being kidney-shaped with a Football pitch marked out on the felt.

The game is simple in form and has eight side bets and a range of results statistics. The results history for all shoes played during the day is displayed behind the dealer on the wall.

The RTP is 96.27%, while a draw has an RTP of 82.17%.

Which is the best live dealer football card game?

The best game can be subjective, but in this instance, there are some differences between the games, which could be used to grade them from Best to Worse.

Let’s start with the presentation. This is probably the most objective and personal, as it depends on what you like. Everyone is going to want something different.

In terms of class and cost, I’d say Evolution Football Studio stands out, but for me, I prefer the presentation of Card Matchup – it feels more natural and comfortable.

Playing Rules

All three games are played the same way, but Playtech is the only provider to use Burn Cards between each hand.

This effectively means 182 fewer cards are used from an 8-deck shoe than the other games. The shoe is changed more frequently, and there is less chance for players to work out the card values remaining in the shoe.

Card Values are also different, with Playtech choosing to assign the Ace as a Low card while the others offer it as High. With Playtech, there is an even number of high/low cards. With On Air, there are more higher cards than lower ones.


Payouts for most hands are the same across all three providers.

The only exception is Playtech, who pay 10:1 for a Draw, while Evolution and On Air pay 11:1.

Side Bets

Evolution Football Studio doesn’t have side bets.

Card Matchup and Football Card Showdown have eight each, with On Air offering Red/Black while Playtech offers Odd/Even. They all pay 1:1.


The in-game statistics aren’t great across all of the games.

The most vital piece of information, the card’s value, is missing from all the stats across all providers.

Instead, we get the Win/Loss/Draw results for Home and Away and the performance of the results across the shoe.

Playtech produces additional information on the number of Wins, Losses and Draws for the entire day.


Evolution and On-air provide results widgets for Football games. Playtech doesn’t offer anything.

Strategies for Playing

Players use gambling and betting strategies to try and get an edge over the house. Unfortunately, none have been proven to work consistently. You might be lucky and get some wins when trying one, but in the long term, you’ll lose – that is mathematically proven.

With this type of game, where two cards are being compared, the only way to beat the house is to know what cards are left in the shoe and take appropriate action when you know. If, for example, you know there are more high cards in the shoe, you will stand a greater chance of winning on a side bet where you can bet on high. But Playtech, for example, uses burn cards to thwart that, while On-Air disables the side bets after 104 game rounds. They leave nothing to chance.

The best strategy I use is to follow trends, keep betting on one position until I lose, double my bet and switch positions. I continue like this until I either run out of money or make a small profit. The former happens more than the latter.

I advise making sure you bet amounts you can afford to lose and play the game because you like it and are entertained.

Where can you play them?

My go-to casinos for playing these football card games are:

Final Thoughts on live dealer Football Card Games

The concept of this type of card game is not new. We’ve seen two cards go against each other in games like Dragon Tiger and loosely with Baccarat. These sports-focused games are intended as cross-over games aimed at sports bettors that want an interest in sports and a quick fix on their wagers rather than waiting for a race to complete or 90 minutes to be played.

Best Live Football Card Game – Verdict

Considering all the above, On Air Entertainment has the best live dealer football card game with Card Matchup.

It has the best possible playing rules, football widgets, results statistics and side bets. It also has the top payouts across all bets.

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About Neil’s Casino Comparer Reviews

I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.

Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?

Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?

Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?

Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?

Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?

Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?

After all that, would I play there regularly?

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