A Guide to Online Casino Software
Online gaming is a multi-billion-dollar industry, in which casino software developers play an essential role. As a player, you might not have given it much thought, but the choice of platforms can make or break a gaming website. Some hire a company, while others count on an in-house team to do the job. Mind you, software providers are essential not only in terms of the quality of graphics and design but also because they are responsible for the payments and the security of the customers’ data.
In their attempt to offer a wider selection of games to their customers, some online casinos use multiple platforms. Most of them employ the services of third-party providers rather than create the gaming platforms themselves. A user-friendly feature you won’t have trouble finding is mobile gaming – play slots or video-, table-, and live dealer games on any mobile device, anywhere. Online casino gaming software evolves just as fast as IT so you can expect exceptional graphics, dramatic music, responsive design, and all kinds of attractions. The providers are in intense competition with one another, and the result is better games and more perks for the players.
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Flash vs. HTML5
A while ago, Flash by Adobe was used for games and animations, but now it’s an out-of-date technology. Online casino software companies employ an HTML5 framework, which ensures very smooth animations as well as the freedom to play on all kinds of devices. HTML5 provides universality and freedom because it delivers games of flawless quality in all major browsers. Thanks to this new technology, you can play anywhere, even while traveling, and have the same functionalities you’d have on a laptop or a desktop PC. Nowadays, developers know how a game will look and feel on mobile devices even before they create it.
How Gaming Software Functions
Online casinos use an RNG (Random Number Generator) to ensure their games are fair. These programs produce strings of numbers at random. The gaming platform communicates with the RNG to produce results – the symbols that appear on a slot machine, the cards that are dealt, etc. RNGs are programmed to provide a fixed percentage of wins for each game, and thus give gambling hubs profit in the long run. After all, gambling sites would go quickly out of business if they didn’t have an advantage.
Casinos have their software regularly tested by independent companies. That includes checking the payout, source code, and other technical specifications. This ensures that the operator is fair and all players have the chance of winning quoted on the website. Every online gaming provider is required to provide regular reports, tests for compliance, and other system tests. And these are made available publicly. If you were wondering if online casinos give you better or worse chances of winning compared to land-based venues, you should know chances are the same.
Types of Online Gaming Software
If you want to play in your browser or a download casino, using a native app or a web app, these are all possible thanks to the different gaming platforms. Indeed, the more options you have, the better because you’ll have the freedom to play any time, at any location. Mobile platforms are extremely popular, and so are live dealer ones. A combination of platforms is also possible. For example, you can stream live dealer games on your mobile. Though there are software developers who produce only one or two platforms, here’s a list of all online casino platforms:
- Download: This was the first one and, for some time, the only one available. It is mostly compatible with PCs that run Microsoft Windows. Once you download and run it, you get a variety of games. Log in, and you are ready to play.
- Instant Play: This platform is very common these days. It is convenient if you’re using more than one desktop computers, and you don’t want to download, as it allows you to play in your browser. It functions thanks to Adobe Flash and is compatible with all kinds of operating systems and devices.
- Mobile Apps: These are the so-called native apps that you can download from the app store for your mobile device or by scanning a QR code. Mobile apps are handy because they let you access the casino with a tap. If you don’t want to download an app, however, you can simply play in your browser thanks to web apps.
- Live Casino: This platform provides games with real dealers. The live games are streamed in real time from brick-and-mortar casinos or specially-built studios with various environments. The live platform gives players the feeling of playing at a traditional casino in the comfort of their home. So, it’s no wonder it’s a player favorite. Because of their popularity, live tables are usually available on the go.
Top Gambling Software Providers
Some of the best developers have been in the gaming business from the start, helping define it. Others have joined the party much later, revolutionizing it. What is common for the names we’re about to give you is that they take pride in their excellent reputation, which is the result of hard work and dedication. They have won awards and are valued highly by the players. So, here are the most prominent casino software developers:
- Microgaming is the biggest provider in the casino industry as well as one of the first in the business. The company creates new titles on a regular basis and has released more than 850 so far. Microgaming maintains an online poker network and numerous table games, but the brand’s main focus is slots. You’ve probably played their popular games Immortal Romance, Jurassic Park Online Slot, and Halloween. The company has won numerous prestigious awards over the years.
- Playtech, which is based on the Isle of Man, provides software for online casinos, bingo sites, sportsbooks, live dealer games, iPoker, and others. Its products are available across platforms, thus enabling the users to access their accounts from all sorts of devices. Some of their most successful titles are Beach Life, Jackpot Giant, and Monty Python’s Spamalot Holy Grail Jackpot.
- Net Entertainment, also known as NetEnt, is a Swedish company founded in 1996. It is famous for its quality graphics, innovative approach, and unique game features. Starburst, Aliens, Mega Fortune, and South Park are some of the titles everyone likes to play. Besides being visually impressive, NetEnt games are compatible with most platforms and devices.
- Evolution specializes in B2B live casino games. They have studios around the world and offer live streaming of the best quality. EG has won numerous awards, which proves they are the undisputed leader of live gaming.
- International Gaming Technology (IGT) has been in the industry since 1975. Of course, that means the company was working solely for land-based casinos at first. Towards the end of the 20th century, it began developing games for the online sector as well. The company stands out with attention to detail, beautiful graphics, and the compatibility of their products.
- Real Time Gaming (RTG) was founded in 1998 in Georgia and later moved to Costa Rica. The company has an excellent reputation and is very successful in the online casino industry. They provide fast and, at the same time, user-friendly software for download and instant play. RTG offers a wide array of table and slots games including progressive ones. This is one of the few brands that welcomes US players.
Online Gaming Software and Customer Protection
All licensed casinos are required to protect their customers’ sensitive information. The way they achieve this is by implementing encryption technologies. Operators are obliged to clarify what kind of information they collect and how they use and store it.
Player Funds Are Safe
Reputable online casinos adhere to a strict policy of keeping the money in their customers’ accounts separate from the money they use to run their business. This is a requirement for the licensing of gaming websites which works for the good of both sides. It ensures protection for the gamers in case the site has financial difficulties or if it’s forced to shut down. Thus, players can be sure they’ll get their money in full should the casino site go bankrupt.
What to Look for in a Casino
When choosing a website, one of the things you should check is which games are available. Some of the most common titles by gambling software providers are roulette, slots, video poker, various kinds of blackjack, and others. Note that most platforms don’t allow more than one person to interact in a poker game at a time. Moreover, you are usually prompted to download a program if you want to play poker. Another important feature is the payout rate, also known as RTP. You should check it before playing real-money games so that you know in advance what your chances of winning are. Slots have relatively high RTP, usually over 90%. Table games have an even higher RTP and, therefore, a lower house edge.
To Play or Not to Play?
One of the main factors that can make you give up playing online for real money is the question of whether gambling sites are fair. Many people think that RNGs are rigged to produce results that favor the casino and, thus, it’s impossible for players to win. Even though the software is programmed to provide a certain percentage of winnings for the house, in the long run, there’s a good chance of winning both small and large sums of money every now and then.
All accredited online casinos are required to test their software and have their games inspected by independent organizations. Third-party agencies, such as Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) and eCOGRA, examine how the platforms operate and publish payout rates. The RTP shows an average rate of all players for a certain period calculated statistically. Rest assured that if there are any bugs in the software, they will be fixed in time. Moreover, thanks to regular checks, cheating players is practically impossible, and those who would dare do it will be exposed publicly.