Online casinos have been around since the 1990s and with each leap in technology they keep getting better-looking, faster and more fun! Games nowadays are in high-definition with flawless streaming and top-shelf graphics and it’s all thanks to the online casino’s software. Another important part of the software is the random-number generator that determines the outcome of virtual casino games. And now there are even live dealer casinos where you can play and chat on a live video stream with an actual person dealing cards or running the roulette table.
Keep reading to learn the basics of how to use online casino software, the main casino software providers and a look at the history of virtual casino games on the internet.
How to Use Online Casino Software
Casino software is designed to be easy to use and truly anyone can learn how it works quickly and easily. At most internet casinos you can choose to play in your internet browser or download the software (more on that later) but either way it’s really straight-forward. After you’ve deposited money in your account, visit the casino lobby. You’ll see all the different games broken up into categories. Usually slots, card games, video poker and live dealer games all have their own sections.
Click on the game you want to play and it will open another window or tab and begin loading the game. Depending on your internet connection and computer this may take a few moments. Different games have different layouts but for traditional casino games they’re really similar to the way you’re used to seeing them in real life. Click on the denomination chips you want to bet and then click on the table’s betting areas. There’s an undo button to remove the bet.
For more information on each game, check out the game’s information page. It’s usually accessibly by a button on the game’s main page that says “Info” or has a question mark or the information icon. If you run into problems, most online casinos have live chat customer support to help you figure things out.
Download Client or Play In-Browser?
Nowadays most online casinos give you the option of playing either by logging into the website using your internet browser or downloading the site’s software client. It’s really about what you feel most comfortable with. A lot of people prefer playing in-browser because it doesn’t take up space on your computer as a separate program, and you automatically get the latest version instead of having to download updates when they come out. Some people prefer running it as a separate program on their local machine which simply comes down to personal preference. At most online casinos there’s no real difference in performance or security either way.
Biggest Casino Software Providers
In the online casino industry, software and games are developed by companies that then license the technology to the casino site operators. Many of the main online casinos license the same software and there are a few companies that own most of the market. One way to tell if you’re going to like playing on a new online casino site is to see who provides their software. If you liked using it at another online casino, you can rest easy knowing it’s going to be a similar experience at the new casino.
Here’s a look at the biggest casino software providers and which major online casinos use them.
- Microgaming – Microgaming is the biggest and most successful software provider in the online casino space. They’ve developed many of the best games, awarded some of the biggest jackpots and they now have a solid offering of live dealer games.
- Playtech – Definitely one of the industry leaders, Playtech has one of the best live dealer platforms available and they also provide software for sports betting, poker, live casino, bingo, all available across PC, Mac and mobile devices.
- NetEnt – Net Entertainment, more commonly known as NetEnt, has been a pioneer in online casino software since the 1990s. They now have a huge offering of industry-leading live dealer games and slots as well as some of the most advanced graphics.
- Cryptologic – It’s been around since 1995 and has consistently been one of the biggest casino software providers. Cryptologic was purchased by Amaya in 2012 and the software is still used in tons of major online casinos.
- Realtime Gaming (RTG) – Known for being highly customizable from site to site, RTG licenses software to a number of different online casinos. They have large progressive jackpots that rival some of their larger competition, all the classic casino games and a strong live dealer offering.
Encryption and Security Software
Another really important facet of online casino software is the site’s security, encryption and banking software. Choosing an online casino that’s licensed by a reputable regulating body is really important because it means a third party is making sure the casino has the necessary security and encryption in place. Most casinos use 128 or 256 bit Secure Socket layer (SSL) Data Encrypting Protocols which create a very secure connection for you to pass banking and other sensitive information to and from the casino. It’s the same encryption technology used by major financial institutions around the world and it’s virtually impenetrable.
Random Number Generators (RNGs) and Fairness
Since the creation of online casino games, sites needed a way to duplicate the random outcomes achieved by using shuffled decks of cards, spinning roulette wheels or rolling dice. The answer? Random-number generating software. Sometimes called pseudo-random number generators, RNGs (or PRNGs) use complicated algorithms to determine the games’ outcomes. Just like a site’s security, RNGs are tested by the regulating bodies that license online casinos. That’s why it always goes back to choosing a casino site that is licensed and has a long reputation for fairness and integrity.
History of Online Casino Software
The first online casinos opened more than 20 years ago and a lot has changed during that time. In 1994, Microgaming began developing the first online casino software and a year later, Cryptologic started working on security protocols to safeguard online banking transactions. Another factor that led to the birth of the first online casino was Antigua and Barbuda passing the first legislation making it legal to offer online gambling to people in other countries. In 1996 the first real-money wager was placed on InterCasino, a brand that’s still in business today.
The next group to enter the industry as a regulating body was the Kahnahake Gaming Commission in 1996, operating on First Nations (indigenous peoples) land in Quebec, Canada. As more and more companies began developing software and more licensing bodies were created around the world, the online casino industry exploded in popularity. By 2016 the online gambling industry is worth over $45 billion globally and is projected to grow to close to $100 billion by 2024!