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Traditional table games such as blackjack, roulette and poker have been the main attraction in casinos for more than a century. However, as the modern world has progressed, so too has the casino sector, bringing with it a number of different types of casino games. Online casinos have spawned their own style and genres of games, while always bringing the fun, excitement and thrill of sitting at a table, eyeing your opponent or dealer.
Online casinos split their games up in many different and often creative ways, but they usually boil down to slots or table games. More recently, casinos have explored other gaming options to increase their attractiveness to both ardent casino members and casual players alike, with concepts such as bingo, keno and scratch cards. There have even been attempts to push into sportsbook territory, with game developers creating virtual sport games that can be bet on whenever a player wishes to do so, not just when a sporting event is happening.
Slot machines online have evolved from the one-armed bandits of the early casino days. First efforts in virtual casinos sought to recreate the classic casino slot, mimicking the sounds and animation of a working fruit reel machine. However, as technology developed, it allowed game designers to be more adventurous and cinematic, taking their inspiration from the video game market, which enjoyed a similar sharp rise to success.
Developers played around with the reels and symbols, adding more and more ways to win. They established the precedent of bonus games that could whisk players away from the reels and grant bonuses at random. There are also now classic slot games that do away with the cutting-edge frills to return to something more traditional. These three-reel, single-pay-line machines capture the true essence of banks of bricks-and-mortar casino slots.
Linking slot machines together to create a large communal pot isn’t a new idea, and has been used in countless ‘physical’ casinos, with the winner reaping the rewards live on the casino floor. However, online casinos and game developers have managed to evolve the progressive jackpot games to the next level. Progressive slots can be tied together under one online casino, or through a global network managed by the software provider. This allows for the pot to be filled much quicker because there are millions of players, not just the guys who’re physically in the casino. Progressives often have more than one jackpot, with smaller ones that pay out more regularly to make them more appealing.
Common table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat have found a resurgence online, as players are freely able to explore the many variants that exist from the comfort of their home. For example, there is American Roulette, French Roulette and European Roulette, not to mention the various bonus-type games such as Double-Ball Roulette or Dragonara. Variants of traditional games have distinct strengths and playing styles, allowing gamblers to find one that best suits their needs.
Poker games have become a thriving industry online, with stars of online poker tournaments progressing into the professional live field. Players can visit poker rooms through virtual lobbies, and find one that matches their skill level and betting amount. It also means that players can explore different styles of poker from other countries, including Caribbean stud poker or Pai gow poker.
Video poker games originally popped up in casinos in the 1970s and 1980s when TV screens became affordable. They proved successful because they allowed players to try poker without the fear of potential intimidation of sitting at a table of devoted poker pros. This made them ideal to be adapted to online casinos when they started to become more popular. Video poker has a number of variations including Jacks of Better, Joker’s Wild and Bally’s All American.
As the internet has developed and connection speeds have increased, it has become possible to not only stream videos and music online, but also live broadcasts. Several game developers including NetEnt and Evolution Gaming have invested in custom-built studios that they have fitted with casino tables and cameras. They have hired dealers to host games with players from all across the globe sitting at the same virtual table, with the dealer able to answer questions raised by the players.
This has allowed online casinos to try to recreate the immersive feel and exciting atmosphere of bricks-and-mortar casinos in a player’s home. And as technology has developed further with the advent of smart phones and tablets, it means players are now able to play a real game with a real dealer from anywhere they can get a good signal. With technology leaping again into the world of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), could live broadcasts become even more immersive than the reality of visiting an actual casino?
Keno is often known as Chinese Lottery, but modern variants of the game have replaced the Chinese symbols with Arabic characters. Its simple rules have helped it to thrive in the online market, becoming one of the most popular games to play in casinos online. Another online casino phenomenon is the virtual scratch card, the concept of which takes those silver-covered cards available in a multitude of stores and transports them online. These provide players with a simple and fun way to try their luck when they don’t have time for a longer gaming session.
There are many game developers and designers around the world, with many having created and build systems for hosting casinos so that they could implement their own game strategy. Well-known names include NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, NextGen Gaming and Play’n GO. More recently, there has been a raft of smaller developers making high-quality, award-winning games such as Yggdrasil, Thunderkick and Kiron Interactive.
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