7 – 10 Days
Joe Fortune is a cutting-edge online casino owned by Haydock Sports Limited and launched in 2016 aimed at Australian gamblers. The site is related to the following Internet casinos: Bovada, Café Casino, Ignition Casino, and Slots.lv. Their brand focuses on Australian customers. They offer a casino game exclusive product—you won’t find traditional poker games or sports betting at Joe Fortune. They have a limited number of bonuses and promotions, but the ones they offer are generous, even if the playthrough requirements are a little steep.
Australian gamblers are well-known for their love of slot machines, although they refer to these games as “pokies” or “poker machines”. The management at Joe Fortune understand this, and most of the retail space on their site is devoted to promoting the pokies available there. Like many modern casinos, Joe Fortune offers games from multiple software providers, including Microgaming, Rival, and Spinomenal. They also offer proprietary games that are exclusive to their property.
Like many other online casinos, they categorize their games in the following way:
Besides those categories, which are more or less traditional, they also have a category called “Kick-Arse Games”. This doesn’t actually seem to be a separate game category, though—it’s just a list of popular games on the site.
Being familiar with the Australian market, I was surprised to see a “slots” category instead of a “pokies” category. My guess is that the management of the casino might hail from America and not be as familiar with the lingo used by most gamblers in Australia. It’s also possible that the site is aimed at a more international market than my first impression.
At any rate, you’ll find slot machine games from multiple providers on their site. Some of these games include:
That’s a complete alphabetical list of the games they have available, but you can subcategorize these games into various niches, too. Zombiezee Money slots, for example, is powered by Rival Gaming and features 5 reels with 20 paylines. It also features expanding wilds and bonus spins and games.
Zombie Slot Mania, on the other hand, has the same theme—zombies—but the game is powered by Spinomenal instead of Rival Gaming. And it features 50 paylines.
With this many games from this many providers, you’d have to be among the most jaded pokies players to be unable to find something to tickle your fancy.
The denominations on these games vary, but many of them can be played for as little as a penny per line per spin, but they can usually also be played for as much as a dollar or more per line per spin. This can add up quickly on games with as many as 50 paylines, so be sure you know how much you’re wagering before you hit the spin button. I’ve met naïve players who bet too much out of the gate.
You’ll find a nice selection of games with progressive jackpots, so if you’re looking for the big score, keep those games in mind. I prefer to limit the amount of time I spend playing progressives, though, because the payout percentages are lower. I figure I have almost as good a shot at hitting a progressive jackpot on a single spin as I do by making multiple bets and spins.
You’ll find games here with a single payline and 3 reels, but you’ll also find a wide selection of games with 5 reels and lots of paylines. They even offer the new 243 ways games, which are especially popular in the Australian market.
Joe Fortune’s video poker games selection looks like this:
Many of these games are available in multi-hand versions, like Jacks or Better or Joker Poker. All of them are available in a single hand version, too. Watch the pay tables, though—the better pay tables are available on the single hand versions of the games.
The “Specialty” category at Joe Fortune is where they make their scratch card and bingo games available. In Australia, these scratch card games are called “scratchies”, and they’re popular. The bingo games are played solitaire—they don’t include the chat functionality you’d find a full service online bingo hall.
Here’s a complete list of the scratchies available there:
Here’s a list of bingo games available:
These specialty games probably have the lowest payback percentages in the casino, but if they’re your cup of tea, they’re well-designed and entertaining.
Here’s a complete list of the table games available. After the list, I’ve included categorized lists with some observations about each category:
You’ll only find 2 categories of roulette here—American Roulette and European Roulette. You should always opt for European Roulette when you have a choice. The house edge is dramatically lower, and the gameplay isn’t significantly different. In American Roulette, the wheel has 38 numbers total, 2 of which are green and labeled with a 0 and a 00. In European Roulette, the wheel only has 37 numbers—it only has a single green 0.
This results in one game with a house edge of 5.26% and another game with a house edge of 2.7%. There are no good reasons to play in the game with the higher house edge.
Baccarat is a casino card game associated with high rollers and with James Bond. Unlike some other card games, there is no skill involved in baccarat. It’s just a guessing game with a close to 50% chance of being right. The house edge is low, but it’s not the most interesting or exciting game. Joe Fortune’s version of baccarat is as good as any online version.
Joe Fortune has multiple blackjack variations available:
The game with the lowest house edge is “Single Deck Blackjack”. The side bets on these games normally carry a high house edge, so I recommend avoiding games like Perfect Pairs and Zappit on general principle.
Of course, the low house edge only applies if you’re playing with perfect basic strategy. If you haven’t memorized that or don’t have a basic strategy card, you might as well just pick any of these games at random.
Caribbean Hold’em and Caribbean Stud are house-banked poker games. That means instead of playing against the other players, you’re playing against the casino, like you would be at the blackjack table. In some respects, these games resemble video poker, too. You’re playing against a pay table, but the mechanics of the games differ. And of course, it’s played live, with a dealer and a real deck of cards, at least in a regular casino. Online, all poker games resemble video poker.
Craps is a standard at most casinos worldwide, but it’s a particular favorite in the United States. The house edge is good if you stick with the simple bets on the table. It’s played with two dice, and you bet on whether or not the shooter is going to succeed on the come out roll or make a point on the subsequent dice rolls. Stick with the pass/don’t pass, come/don’t come, and odds bets.
Let’Em Ride is another house-banked poker game, similar to the Caribbean poker games I already mentioned. But it has a unique feature in that you can pull some bets back if you don’t like the way your hand is progressing. Another way to look at it is that you can let those bets ride if you think things are going to go your way.
Pai Gow Poker combines the hand-setting action of the Asian game Pai Gow with the creation of poker hands. You get paid off based on the strength of a 5 card hand and a 2 card hand. It’s an entertaining enough game with low volatility. You’ll see a lot of ties, and the house edge isn’t that high. It’s also a slow paced game with few hands per hour, so you should be able to preserve your bankroll when playing.
Tri Card Poker
Tri Card Poker is another house-banked poker game, this time played with just 3 cards. It’s a lot of fun, and the house edge is reasonable. It’s based on what we called “Three Card Poker” in the United States, but that’s a trademarked name, so they use “Tri Card Poker” instead.
You have to be at least 18 years old to play at Joe Fortune Casino, and according to their terms and conditions, you need to make sure to use your real name and provide identification if requested. Playing under another name or identity can be considered a criminal offense.
The site is only available in US Dollars and Australian dollars. Players from the United States are not allowed to play there. This is probably related to the site’s relationship with Microgaming, a software provider known for not allowing their licensees to accept real money players from the United States.
Joe Fortune is licensed by the Government of Curacao, specifically, Curaçao eGaming. This particular gaming authority is relatively friendly to gambling sites. They only offer one kind of license, and once you’ve been approved for it, you can offer any kind of online wagering through your site that you want.
The Curacao eGaming commission is one of the oldest in the business, but they’re also one of the most hands-off licensing authorities, too. This isn’t great news for the player, but the reality is that none of the online gaming licensing authorities provide too much help. Players get ripped off even by sites licensed by the harshest authorities.
What matters more than where a site is licensed is that site’s reputation. As luck would have it, Joe Fortune is associated with a number of casinos with excellent reputations—Bovada and Slots.lv, in particular, have been in business for years and have generated minimal numbers of customer complaints. I’m confident that in spite of being licensed by Curacao eGaming, Joe Fortune is on the up and up.
Joe Fortune primarily caters to an Australian audience that plays pokies. It’s a new site, so their target demographic might change. I got the impression when reading the language on their site that they’re Australian in the same way as the Outback Steakhouse, which means not really. When I visited their terms and conditions page, it was written using a lot of Australian slang, but not in a natural way—in a way that made it seem as if they were trying really hard.
The fact that they refer to their “slots” games as “slots” rather than “pokies” is telling, too. Australian gamblers and native speakers use the phrase “pokies” more commonly. That being said, it’s clear who their target audience is, and they’ll probably do a great job of catering to Australian customers.
In fact, the game selection at Joe Fortune is probably second to none. They feature a lot of games that casinos which cater to United States players don’t have access to.
Opening a new real money player’s account at Joe Fortune Casino works in much the same way as it does at any other online casino. You input some personal information at the beginning—your name, address, phone number, email address, etc. Once your account is created, you can make a deposit before placing your first wager.
As with any Internet site, you have to use some kind of mechanism or tool to get the money transferred to the other end. With Joe Fortune, you have the following options for this:
These are a limited number of deposit options compared to a lot of online casinos, but Joe Fortune is gung-ho about using BitCoin to process your banking with their company. They’re so gung-ho about it that many of the other alternatives to credit cards aren’t even available at their property.
You can withdraw your funds using BitCoin or by getting a check via courier. If you opt for the check, it is delivered to your front door, but you have a $3000 limit per check. And they’ll only send you out one check every 7 days. The first check of the month is free, but they charge a $50 processing fee for any checks during a month beyond that first payment.
Payouts are processed within 4 to 10 business days, but if you use BitCoin for your payouts, they’re processed within 24 hours.
Using BitCoin is a new experience for a lot of gamblers, but the support team at JoeFortune.com are excellent. You can find most of the information you need on the support page in the frequently asked questions section, but you can also contact support by email, chat, or toll free number.
The first step in using BitCoin is setting up a BitCoin wallet. Their site recommends CoinJar or Bit Trade Australia. Another option is to find a BitCoin ATM to use. You can find listings for that via the link on their support page.
The process of actually making your withdrawal through BitCoin is simplicity itself. You just go to the cashier, select the withdrawal, enter the amount, and choose BitCoin from the dropdown menu. Then you input your BitCoin wallet information, and the site processes the withdrawal.
Joe Fortune offers a generous signup bonus for new players–$5000. This is not a one-time bonus on your first deposit, though. They’re actually multiple bonuses paid based on your first few deposits, as follows:
The bonus code for the first deposit is JOINJOE200. For the next 8 deposits, the bonus code is JOINJOE100.
You’re not allowed to take advantage of one bonus until you’ve hit the playthrough requirement on the previous bonus. The playthrough requirement for each of these bonuses is 40X.
For my readers who are unfamiliar with wagering requirements, here’s how that works:
Casinos give free money to players in exchange for signing up and depositing money. But they risk having players take advantage of this to try to get an unfair advantage. So in order to cash out any winnings, the casino requires you to wager your bonus plus your deposit a certain number of times before cashing out or claiming another bonus.
In this case, you have to place $60,000 in wagers on your first deposit plus bonus, and $40,000 on the 8 subsequent bonuses. This sounds like a lot, but it’s not as much as you might think. You get credit for every bet you place, not just the ones you lose.
Slot machines probably average a house edge of 5% or 6%. I’ll use 5% just to make the math easy. When you put $60,000 through a slot machine with a 5% house edge, you expect to lose $3000. Since the amount of your deposit plus bonus was $2000, the casino has a mathematical edge.
Since casinos ALWAYS have a mathematical edge over players, this shouldn’t disturb you.
And just because the casino has an edge doesn’t mean you can’t walk away a winner. It just prevents the casino from getting into a situation where the player has an edge. A casino which gave gamblers a mathematical edge wouldn’t stay in business long at all.
On the $40,000 playthrough requirements, your expected loss is $2000. Again, you only started with $1000, so the casino has a mathematical edge.
Smart players might be wondering if they couldn’t get an edge by playing blackjack with perfect strategy. After all, the house edge on that game is only about 0.5%, which means the expected losses would drop to $300 and $200 in those 2 scenarios.
The casino’s on to that game, too, though. They know that blackjack has a low house edge, so they change the playthrough requirements for that game. In fact, there are several low house edge casino games which only count partially toward fulfilling the requirements of your bonuses.
In the case of single deck or double blackjack, or craps, or roulette, they only count 5% of your wagers toward fulfilling your bonus requirements. That’s the equivalent of multiplying the playthrough requirement by 20, by the way. So instead of having to wager $60,000, you have to wager $1.2 million on blackjack before clearing your bonus.
In the case of video poker, all other kinds of blackjack, and baccarat, the casino only counts 10% of your wagers toward fulfilling your requirements. This has the effect of multiplying your playthrough requirement by 10, so instead of $40,000 or $60,000 in wagers, you’re looking at $400,000 or $600,000.
Pai Gow Poker, TriCard Poker, Let ‘Em Ride, and Caribbean Poker all count 20% toward your wagering requirement, which has the net effect of multiplying your wagering requirement by 5. So you’re still looking at $200,000 or $300,000 in total wagers.
The multipliers are so bad on these other games that you’re actually better off just playing the slots and skipping the other games.
Suppose you decide to try to use blackjack to fulfill your playthrough requirements. You estimate that the house only has a 0.5% edge. You have to place $1,200,000 in wagers to fulfill your requirement. The estimated loss on that kind of action with a house edge of 0.5% is $60,000. Your bankroll is only $1500, remember?
So the house is a bigger favorite if you play blackjack than if you played slots.
Those numbers are more or less true for all their other casino games, too.
This is the clever, cute name that Joe Fortune has given its refer a friend program. It’s a simple enough program, too. You refer a friend, and you get a $100 bonus in your casino account. Your friend gets an extra $10 free, too. The 40X playthrough requirement applies to this one, too.
We thought it was funny that the casino wrote their copy as if they really expect you to literally refer everyone in the world so that you could become a billionaire. Well-played, Joe Fortune.
This is the name of Joe Fortune’s loyalty program. You get 10% daily cashback as a member, right out of the gate, with no strings. That’s a nice perk.
They also have a points system. If you get 50,000 frequent player points in a month, you become a VIP member, and you get 15% cashback instead of 10%. You’re also eligible for an extra bonus on your birthday.
Joe Fortune offers customer service any time day or night. You can contact the casino at [email protected] or you can call them toll free at 1800-837-129.
You won’t find players with much to say about Joe Fortune on players’ forums at this point. It’s a new casino that launched in July 2016, so they haven’t had time to develop much of a reputation good or bad.
I am familiar enough with the other casino brands related to Joe Fortune that I’m confident in recommending this as a legitimate and trustworthy casino at which to play. This is a Betting Partners program, and I’ve had nothing but good luck and good experiences at any of the properties associated with this group.
Don’t get me wrong. Any time you play real money games at an online casino, you’re taking a risk. Some of that risk is expected. It IS gambling after all.
But the kind of risk I’m talking about has to do with the casino dealing with you fairly and legitimately when you’re withdrawing funds.
Joe Fortune offers a targeted set of games that should fit the needs of Australian gamblers nicely. They have a huge selection of slot machines from multiple software providers, including Microgaming and Rival. The wagering requirements on their signup bonus are a little higher than I’m usually comfortable with, but they’re not outrageous unless you’re determined to play blackjack or something like that.
Of course, Joe Fortune is not a great fit for most customers. Since it’s aimed at Australian gamblers, they only accommodate players using US Dollars or Australian Dollars. Since they don’t allow United States players, their target market is clearly in Australia. Players in other countries might be able to find sites that do a better job of meeting their needs.