Over the past year, searches for online casino games have surged, with some of the world’s biggest providers reporting a record number of new sign-ups as bricks-and-mortar players look to get their adrenaline fix elsewhere. Although many will argue that online casinos can’t quite compare to the glitz, glamour and all-round sophistication of some of the most iconic land-based casinos the globe has to offer, for many, they have provided welcome entertainment during the months we have all been repeatedly implored to stay at home.
For many of the world’s best-known casinos, moving into the digital age has proved to be a savvy way of retaining some of their biggest high-rolling customers, allowing them to remain at the forefront of their client base’s consciousness and continue schmoozing them with all the usual VIP perks. These days, the original online only offerings have some stiff competition, and with high-tech apps that utilise modern innovation to provide customers the best possible service – AI technology being perhaps the most notable of them all – it’s little wonder that digital casino offerings have taken off to such a degree.
Accessible from just about anywhere – whether at home, in the airport or on the beach – they cater effortlessly to our ever-increasing appetite for convenience, and with all of the most popular original casino games, plus a host of modern alternatives, at players’ fingertips, they will likely retain their legion of loyal fans long after land-based establishments have reopened their doors.
If you’re new to the world of online casinos – or perhaps, casinos in general – then you might be wondering where to get started when it comes to scratching that gaming itch. Here, we take a look at some of the biggest and best games to get your teeth into for your chance to win big – and how to choose the right one for you.
Understanding the odds
Before you dive head first into your debut online poker game, it’s wise to understand the odds. The higher the RTP of a game, the better the odds of winning, so be sure to look into the figures before placing your bets. Slots, for example, have an RTP of between 94 – 95 percent, while table games can be closer to 98 percent.
Similarly, it’s important to understand the volatility of a game, which is particularly pertinent when it comes to playing slots. While many high-rolling players will prefer high-volatility games, others prefer to play it safe with a lower volatility choice, so be sure to know what you’re dealing with before commencing play.
So, what does high volatility mean in this context? Essentially, the higher the volatility of a game, the less frequently it will pay out – but when it does, jackpots are much larger than those of their lower volatility counterparts. The latter, though, do pay out more often – so it largely depends on what you’re looking to get out of your game.
Roulette and craps
Nothing quite epitomises the glamour of a night at a traditional casino like a spin of the roulette wheel, and it has long earned itself a reputation for being one of the most exciting pursuits in the house. Popular not just with players, but with spectators too, you’ll invariably see a crowd of onlookers cheering players on – something you might be wondering if it’s really possible to recreate online, and to be a part of from your home. The good news is that it can, and today’s digital casinos offer a live gaming experience that feels just as good as the real thing. Players can join a live dealer with a real-life roulette wheel, and see all the action unfold in real time.
Very much a game of chance, roulette is based around making predictions about where the ball might land each time the wheel stops spinning, while craps depends on landing the right set of numbers when throwing the dice. In roulette, the outside bets have very low volatility – perhaps one of the lowest in gaming. So, the probability of winning when betting on red is around 48 percent in single zero roulette.
Poker is an iconic game that has featured in many Hollywood blockbusters – from James Bond flick Casino Royale, to heist movie Ocean’s Eleven.
With various different styles of game to try your hand at – from Texas Hold’em to Three Card Poker – online, you can once again play live against your opponents. That poker face is just as important online as it is off, so if you haven’t perfected it yet then it might be time to get practicing.
Poker is a game that relies on an element of strategy more than others, many of which are based around little more than luck alone. In poker, players must decide when to bet, and how much, and must learn how to bluff effectively in a bid to throw other players off their game. So, if you’re looking to become a poker pro, then it’s wise to learn the ropes before you go all in to avoid being the player who falls victim to this kind of manipulation.
Volatility in poker can vary, depending on the type of game. You’ll need more money to play with if indulging in a game with a high variance to prevent yourself from going broke. A tip is to check out the pay table for the game and see how high the pay-outs are for the top hands – as if they are elevated when compared with those at the bottom of the table, then the game is likely highly volatile.
Another of the best-known casino games on the block, Blackjack has been a favourite amongst players for centuries, and it continues to draw in crowds at land-based casinos until today. Blackjack – or 21, as it is often known in UK casinos, is a gambling card game where players attempt to acquire cards totalling a face value of 21, and no more. The person with the closest score to 21 is the winner – making this very much a game of chance.
There is a small level of strategy involved, with players able to decide whether to ‘stick’ with their initial hand of cards or ‘twist’ to exchange a card with the dealer – but since all of this is done blind, the result is still very much a matter of luck.
The bottom line
While these are the most iconic online casino games to choose from, today’s providers offer a host of new and innovative entertainment options that will ensure you never run out of new and exciting games to play. If you’re new to the world of gaming, however, then these originals are a great place to start – you never know, you might just scoop the jackpot.
Please gamble responsibly (18+ UK) – check age restrictions before participating