The online casinos of today are a significant improvement on the early versions that first appeared on the web towards the end of the last century. They have evolved dramatically over a relatively short period of time, and the best casinos now provide a truly excellent online gaming experience.
Most of the improvements we’ve seen at online casinos are due to the software they use, as casino software is much more sophisticated than in the early days. The graphics and animation are certainly way better than they used to be, as are the sound effects and background music. The software is generally a lot more user friendly too, with improved functionality and additional features.
You don’t really need to know about all the ins and outs of how the software works to enjoy playing at online casinos, but it doesn’t hurt to understand at least the basics. We’ve covered these below, along with information on the different types of casino software and details of some of the major developers of online casino software.
Casino Software Basics
The most important thing you need know about online casino software is how it ensures that the games are fair. A common concern among people who play online, and those considering doing so, is that the games are “rigged” in the casino’s favor in some way. This concern is largely unfounded, as casinos already have a fair advantage in the house edge so they’ll always make a profit without having to resort to cheating.
The software at online casinos uses what are known as random number generators (RNGs). These are computer programs that are constantly producing random strings of numbers, with no discernible pattern, and the software communicates with them to produce outcomes such as which card is dealt next or what symbols appear following a spin on a slot machine. The outcomes of the games are completely random as a result, and this ensures that the games are perfectly fair. You have as much of winning a hand of blackjack, or any bet you place, in an online casino as you do in a land based venue.
It’s also worth knowing that the majority of online casinos don’t develop their own software, but instead use third party providers. This is a change from the very early days of the industry, when many operators used their own proprietary software. Some still do, but they are in the minority now.
As a result of this you will find the same games at several different online casinos. A number of the top places to play use software from a selection of developers, ensuring that there is a wide selection of games on offer. This means players usually have plenty of choice wherever they play, and also that they aren’t necessarily limited to a single casino if they have a favorite game they enjoy playing.
Different Types of Casino Software
Casino software can be broadly divided into three categories – downloadable, instant play, and mobile. Many games are available in all three formats, meaning you can play them from a variety of different devices. For the most part, the games all work in pretty much the same way regardless of format, but there are a few minor differences.
The downloadable software at most online casinos is only compatible with PCs running the Microsoft Windows operating system. You’ll find this type of software at a number of different places, and once you have downloaded it you will have full access to a wide selection of games. You just have to load it up, log in, and start playing.
Instant Play Software
Instant play software has become increasingly common at online casinos. It enables you to play games directly from your web browser, without having to download anything. This type of software typically uses Adobe Flash, which means it’s compatible with a wide range of devices and operating systems. Many instant play games can be accessed from smartphones and tablets.
In addition to the instant games that can be played from a mobile device, a number of online casinos also offer mobile apps that feature a range of games designed (or modified) specifically for mobile devices. You can download these apps to your phone or tablet from the appropriate app store, or direct from the relevant casino’s website.
Online Casino Software Providers
Very few online casinos develop their own software, with most of them choosing to use software provided by third party developers. Some places use a single provider, while others several different ones. The final section of this guide features information on the biggest and best software providers used by online casinos, including details of all the games they have to offer.