Introduction to Online Casinos
Online casinos are a concept that has existed since the earliest days of the Internet in the early ‘90s. People around the world love to gamble and the idea of winning a huge jackpot from the comfort of your own home is something that appeals to everyone. Software developers quickly set about making that a reality but online casinos have always been a challenge as security is paramount when dealing with real-life cash.
After a few misfires the industry really started to hit the big time in the early 2000s. Over the next decade there were tremendous improvements in the underlying technology behind online casinos. These days online casinos have never looked better, run on more devices or been more secure. Players who frequent land-based casinos might be surprised to learn that good online casinos are just as safe as their real-life counterparts.
The online downside of the modern online casino industry is that the proliferation of online casinos has led to an almost-overwhelming amount of choice. Fortunately that’s where we come in with a highly-curated list of online casinos complete with in-depth reviews. If nothing else, we hope that you get a sense of what you’re looking for in an online casino by perusing our site.
What you should look for in an Online Casino is a solid reputation.
It doesn’t matter how much you win on a shady casino if you can’t withdraw it, right? WRONG
On the bright side the shady casinos are much rarer these days with stricter laws and more transparency across the board. One way that you can assess an online casinos credibility (well, besides reading our reviews that is) is by checking to see if it has licenses from its respective gambling commission. Another way is to check user reviews, which are quite common and accessible these days. With safety out of the way, you can focus on what your particular tastes are like when it comes to online gaming.
Are you a slots player or more of a Blackjack lover?
These are important questions that you’ll want to think about before signing up for an online casino. Most casinos offer a wide assortment of games but like most things in life, casinos excel at one particular aspect of the industry. There are bound to be casinos that offer a little bit of everything but do not necessarily do an outstanding job. In that case, it might be better to opt for a casino with a smaller game selection if that casino caters to your personal preferences.
You should also look for casinos that are a good value. That can mean big sign-up promotions or perks like free spins. Another thing to consider is what the loyalty program is like for each casino. Some sites are much more rewarding if you put the bulk of your volume into playing on that site.
How We Review Online Casinos
When it comes to reviewing online casino we try to take a meticulous look at every aspect of each site so that players can make an informed decision. First and foremost, we make sure the casinos are both safe and secure and have been audited or received a license from the proper governing body. From there we investigate what games the casino offers and what software partners it utilizes.
We also take a close look at the various promotions available on the site and whether the sign-up bonuses are competitive to other sites. We also take a look at wagering requirements and see if it’s actually possible to unlock the bonuses. Casino loyalty programmes (or VIP schemes) are also something we take a closer look at to see if its worth it for players to invest a significant amount of time on a particular site.
Furthermore, we assess the overall aesthetic of a site and whether it’s easy to navigate. In this investigation, we also include what platforms the casino is available for; including Windows, OSX, Android or iOS. We also take a closer look at unique-selling points of a casino such as exclusive games or exclusive perks. Finally, we give a history of the casino just to give players an idea of how the company came to be in the first place.
Do Online Casinos Make Their Own Software?
It can happen but generally they don’t. Instead, online casinos take advantage of a large number of online casino software developers so they can offer a variety of games. The most-established software developers have perfecting their craft since the ‘90s with teams of engineers and coders that would also be at home creating a Triple-A video game title. Some of the biggest casino developers build software for every aspect of the online casino business including slots, table games, live casino, progressive jackpots, bingo, poker, sports betting and more while others prefer to focus on one genre such as slots or live casino.
The bigger developers are massive businesses and quite often listed on major financial indexes so if you see them supported on certain casinos that’s a good indicator that a site is both safe and secure. Big-time casino players tend to develop a certain affiliation for certain developers and will follow them to various different online casinos. If you’ve ever heard someone say, “I’m a Microgaming player or a NetEnt player” that’s what they are referring to.
It’s a sharp contrast to something like the online poker industry where the biggest sites are also responsible for their own software. This use of external software developers gives some of the smaller online casinos a proper chance to succeed in the industry, since they can draw on the same software that the giants use.
What Are Live Casinos?
Live Casino (not to be confused with land-based casinos) is an exciting new way to play online. Live Casino games are traditional table games such as Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat that are actually live streamed from real-life studios with real-life dealers and croupiers. Players can interact just like they would at a land-based casino by placing bets and chatting with dealers and other players. The floor staff’s job isn’t just to keep the cards flowing or the wheel spinning, but provide some humanity and much-needed humor to the table.
While online casinos have been attempting live casino technology for over 20 years, it’s only within the last five years that the technology has finally caught up and given developers the ability to provide a seamless casino experience with very little lag. Live Casino games generally run much better with a decent internet connection, but they are definitely worth checking out if you are new to online casinos. Games load up within seconds.
This particular segment of the industry has exploded recently with studios opening all over the world. Players even benefit from regional studios in places like Spain and Italy so they get a more personalized experience. It’s surprising just how much personality Live Casinos add to online casinos, which can sometimes feel a bit lifeless.
What’s the Difference Between Download, Flash, HTML5 and App-based Casinos?
For years, the best online casinos were the ones that you could download as a separate piece of software. The stand-alone casino software was just more reliable, faster and easier to navigate. Luckily, there has been a major shift in that thinking since approximately 2010 when mobile began to dominate the online world and browser-technology started to mature. At first, online casino software developers utilized Adobe Flash Player to run all their games in browser but that technology has proved difficult to use/run in the past and isn’t exactly conducive to mobile devices, which have become ubiquitous in the online gaming world.
HTML5 on the other hand, was a dream for online casino developers as it’s supported by nearly every device that can run a web browser. The modern online casino generally utilizes a fair amount of HTML5 games so that players can play anything they want on any device they choose. There are also standalone apps designed for Android and iOS but the all-encompassing nature of browser-based games has made HTML5 the main choice for online casinos.