Online casinos have become a major source of entertainment on the internet, but most players tend to stick with one or two games they know. They rarely venture out to explore unfamiliar games, or research the best casinos for their interests. This article provides a beginner-friendly launch pad for those curious about the wide variety of entertaining options on offer at the leading casinos. This guide will give you a quick overview of the most common casino games, and I’ve added links to more in-depth explanations for some of the more popular ones.
The genres of casino games
The most prominent category of games is what are generally called “video slots” based on the one-armed bandits of real-world casinos. Then there are online versions of real-world card games, such as blackjack, baccarat, and various types of poker. There are also online versions of dice games such as Craps or Sic Bo. Roulette combines balls and spinning wheels of fortune. Finally, there are number-based games such as Bingo and Keno. In the last decade, many online casinos started offering “live” casinos, with video feed featuring a living and breathing dealer, as well as other players taking a virtual seat at your table. Most of the games are now also available for smartphones and tablets via mobile casinos.
- Video slots have evolved into a distinctive creative genre bearing only a distant relationship with their mechanical ancestors in land-based casinos. Online slots come with a wide variety of themes, whether inspired by movies, or a TV series. Some “progressive” slots have games within games leading to jackpots accumulating across multiple casinos, sometimes growing into millions of pounds, until they are at last won.
- Card-based games have also come a long way. There are hundreds of variations on blackjack, in which players try to draw cards closest to the number of 21. Baccarat is also based on adding the numerical value of cards. In poker, players try to combine the cards they’ve been dealt into combinations with the highest game value. Pokers also has many different flavors, like, Pai Gow Poker, Deuces Wild, and Texas Hold’em, as well as hundreds of variations on slot-like video poker, which is typically based, loosely or strictly, on 5-card jacks-or-better draw poker.
- Dice Games are also well-represented in every online casino, such as classic craps in which the player aims for a lucky 7 or 11 without “crapping out”. Sic Bo, also known as hi-lo, originated in China. It involves betting that a certain condition or combination, such as identical values appearing on all three dice, will be met by the next roll.
- In Roulette, from the French word for “little wheel”, the idea is to place bets on which of 36 slots the little ball will end up, such as on red or black colours, on odd or even numbers, a high number (19-36) or a low number (1-18). Online casinos offer an abundance of variations on this simple yet engrossing game.
- Bingo and Keno are popular games for casual fun. Players receive a virtual bingo card with various numerical combinations. If the numbers called out result in a winning combination, the first player to have such a “bingo” is the winner. Keno is also a lottery-like game: players choose 20 numbers from a selection of 80. A series of numbers are then randomly generated. Players hope their numbers will come up first!
- Live Casinos have surged in popularity because they blend a real and social aspect to the gaming, often featuring dealers or croupiers attired in what might be considered distracting outfits. But the banter is live, one can interact with fellow players. In short, more fun than a duel with a computer.
Naturally, the mobile revolution quickly arrived at casino games, with mobile games now programmed in the HTML5 computer language, which runs in the browsers of all mobile devices, requiring no download.
Hopefully, this survey has whet your appetite to learn at least one game you have never played. Most online casinos offer free to play versions so you can practice and feel comfortable before trying your hand with real money. And if one version of a game doesn’t thrill you, just search for similar games with high ratings at reputable casinos. Remember the golden rule for successful gaming: first comes fun, then comes money. So don’t settle so easily- go out and get a feel for all the games and enjoy!