The Beginner’s Guide to Playing Online Casino Games
While it’s great to have so many casino games to choose from, picking one that’s right for you can sometimes be a bit tricky- especially if you’re a complete beginner. Learning more about the types of casino games available can make things a whole lot easier, so let us introduce you to the world of online casino gaming.
What games can I play at online casinos?
From thrilling, fast-paced chance games to more tactical, skill-based titles, the best online casinos have it all. Let’s take a look at the gambling games you can enjoy playing online:
Slots make up the majority of most online casinos’ game collections, and with good reason. From low stakes penny slots to huge progressive jackpots, there’s an almost endless number of possibilities for both casual gamblers and high rollers. Playing slots is simple: bet, spin and win! Be sure to look out for the variety of bonus features, including tumbling wilds, generous multipliers and plentiful free spins.
Another popular casino game, this is essentially a combination of poker and slots where you just need to get a ranking hand to win. Players are dealt five cards and can swap cards to make a stronger hand. Variations like Deuces Wild and Joker Poker feature wild cards, which make it easier to land a winning combination.
Table games are a staple of any casino, online or land-based. As well as the traditional favourites, great for casino purists, there are plenty of exciting variations with a modern twist. Let’s check out what’s on offer:
A casino classic, players bet on where ball will land once it’s dropped into the spinning roulette wheel. The simplest bets are red or black, odd or even and high or low, but there’s a whole host of other betting options to keep online roulette interesting. As well as the traditional roulette variations, you can expect to find exciting variations such as multi-wheel roulette and double ball roulette at the best online casinos.
One of the most exciting casino games, the aim of online blackjack is the same as the real thing: get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. As you can choose whether or not to draw cards, there’s a skill element which means your decisions influence your success. Players who fancy mixing it up a bit can choose from variations such as Blackjack Switch and Pontoon. You’ll be up against the dealer whichever title you play, so make your moves wisely!
Another game where luck isn’t the only deciding factor - players must try to make the highest ranking hand possible to beat the dealer. From Texas Hold’em to Caribbean Stud, there are plenty of variations on offer.
Famous as James Bond’s game of choice, baccarat is as straightforward as it gets- your aim is to get a hand total closer to nine than the dealer. All bets are played before any cards are drawn, so this game comes down entirely to chance.
There are no cards in this casino favourite - instead, you’re betting on the roll of two dice. Another game of pure luck, online craps players can choose from a wide range of possible bets when trying to land a win.
This ancient Chinese game is alive in kicking in casinos today. Like craps, online sic bo is a game of chance where you wager on the roll of dice. This game uses three dice rather than two, opening up a whole host of possible outcomes.
Similar to lottery and bingo games, keno players place wagers on numbers from 1-80. 20 numbers are then picked at random, after which you receive a payout if you’ve managed to make some accurate guesses. Fingers crossed!
Live Dealer Games
For some, playing against a computer just doesn’t cut it. If you’re a fan of more interactive gaming, a live dealer casino is the perfect solution. Live dealer games are streamed in real-time from specially built studios, with a human dealer running the game just like in a bricks-and-mortar casino. You can view and chat to the dealer, and some casinos even let players chat among themselves thanks to the live chat feature. Whilst live dealer blackjack and live dealer roulette are some of the most popular variations, you’ll be able to pretty much every table game with a live dealer at the top casinos. These games provide the most immersive casino experience you can find online, but the extra cost of hosting these games means they often have a higher minimum bet limit than other online casino games.
Free Casino Games
Are you a fan of casino games but don’t fancy wagering real money? Good news - you can play online without spending a penny. Virtually every online casino has free demo versions of its games, without the exception of live dealer titles. Whether you want to play free slots, or just fancy a game of roulette and blackjack for fun, free games give you the chance to play casino games online without dipping into your own pocket.
Free demos are ideal if you just want to play casino games for fun, but they’re also handy if you want to try out a new game or give your strategy a test run before you jump in with real money. You won’t necessarily get to access the same bonus rounds and extra features when you play free casino games, but they certainly give you a taste of the real thing.
How do casino games work?
It’s all well and good simply playing casino games online, but you probably want to have some idea of what goes on behind the scenes. Let’s take a look.
UK-licenced casinos use random number generator (RNG) technology in their games. This basically means that each outcome - which cards are drawn, where the roulette ball lands and so on— is completely random and unpredictable. This gives all players the same fair chances of winning.
The house edge is the estimated average profit a casino expects to make from all wagers placed on a game over time. So if a game has a house edge of 5%, the casino expect to make £5 for every £100 gambled, on average. The house edge is different for all games. For example, the banker bet in baccarat has an edge of around just 1%, while the edge in Caribbean Stud poker is over 5%. However, no matter how small, house edge means that the casino always has a slight advantage over the player.
The return to player (RTP) percentage is the opposite of house edge - it’s the theoretical percentage of returns you would expect to make over time from a particular game. Let’s say the RTP of a slots title is 97%- in theory, you would expect to win £97 back for every £100 you wager.
It’s important to remember that the house edge and RTP are theoretical. It’s possible for players to make large wins in the short term, and even to profit over a long play period if you get extremely lucky. On the flip side, there’s also the chance that your returns will be well below the RTP. But it’s useful to know so that you have a rough idea of how you can expect a game to play out.
Casino game bonuses
Online casinos are on hand to give your bankroll a tidy boost with an assortment of enticing bonuses. There’s a whole range of great offers out there, from welcome bonus matched deposits and free spins to regular promotions like cash back. Just keep an eye out for the small print - the terms and conditions can mean that making cash profit from bonuses isn’t always easy, especially with wagering requirements, games restrictions and time limits to contend with.
Mobile casino games
Do you want to play online casino games on the go? You’re in luck! Virtually every game that you can play at the desktop casino is also available on your mobile and tablet, be that through a mobile-friendly website or a native mobile app- the best casino sites have created these for iOS and Android. You can use a mobile web browser, while some casinos also have native apps. You can play live games on your mobile too, so there’s never ending access to a whole world of casino fun at your very fingertips.
Casino games software developers
Ever wondered who makes casino games? Well, it’s not the casinos themselves. Pretty much all the games you play online are made by independent software developers, the biggest being Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech.
Each software developer has its own specialities and traits, which could help you pick when you’re sifting through online casinos. For example, Evolution Gaming focuses solely on live dealer games, while IGT is famous for its slots. Knowing what software is used by a casino gives you a good idea of what to expect from that site and whether it’s suited to you.
Ready to play online casino games?
Now you know all about online casino games, we bet you can’t wait to try some out for yourself! Whether you fancy trying to win at slots, blackjack, or any other game, you’ll find a vast array of quality titles across our recommended casinos. Don’t forget to check out our expert casino reviews, where you’ll find everything you need to help you pick out a favourite. Sign up to start playing the best casino games today - have fun!
Frequently asked questions
Can I set limits on how much I spend playing real money casino games?
Yes, you can. All UK-licenced casinos will allow you to set daily, weekly or monthly deposit limits to help you keep tabs on your expenditure. Some sites also offer other tools where you can limit the number of hours you play and the bet amounts you place, promoting responsible gambling for players.
What real money games offer the biggest jackpots?
Progressive jackpot slots are the clear leader in this department, and these jackpots grow bigger each time someone plays. Games like Mega Moolah, Jackpot Giant and Mega Fortune can reach jackpots of more than £10 million. Of course, playing these games doesn’t guarantee you a big win, but it does open up the chances.
What currency do real money games use?
When creating your account, you will select a currency. Your casino balance and the games you then play will be displayed in your chosen units of currency.
Is there an age limit for playing real money casino games online?
Yes, of course. This is gambling and UK laws apply. Therefore, no minors under the age of 18 years can play real money casino games. Know Your Customer (KYC) checks ensure that only those who are old enough to gamble are able to do so.
Do I need to download software to play real money casino games?
Not always. While some casino sites have downloadable software to play casino games, others offer instant play games. This means you simply need to visit the site and log in to start playing.