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Choosing An Online Casino



The online casino market is now incredibly saturated with both duds and delights. Most casino software providers have now become household names, meaning that there are now literally hundreds of identical casinos, all offering the same games and similar bonuses. All that keeps them from duplicating each other is different choices in design or colour scheme. It can be difficult to discern both what you want from a casino and also what makes a certain online casino �unique� from all the others. Well, we have compiled a list of what you need to look out for in order to separate the good from the bad and choose a casino that is perfect for you.


The first thing to look out for when investigating online casinos is the aforementioned software providers. There are 5 that you should pay specific attention to, as you�ll see their names pop up a lot. They are Cryptologic, Microgaming, Playtech, Rival and Real Time Gaming. Each software provider offers something different, so it�s up to you to decide what you are looking for from a casino. Thankfully, we have picked the key features of each, to make that decision a little bit easier for you.



When it comes to slots machines, Cryptologic really are the pick of the bunch. Those savvy software creators have packed their offering full of interesting and individual slots. If you quickly browse around looking for the best online slots available, CryptoLogic�s name would definitely pop up, alongside their themed Marvel Jackpot slots machines. The Marvel Jackpot slots have proved a big hit online, as with their combination of recognisable comic/film characters (Spiderman, Blade, The Hulk and X-Men) as well as excellent rewards, such as the three progressive jackpots and superb graphics, Cryptologic have really carved their own niche in such a busy market. If slots aren�t your thing, most online casinos who have Cryptologic as their software provider offer up an excessive amount of table and card games.



Another big contender in the software market is Microgaming. While they don�t have as many recognisable, branded slots as say, Cryptologic, they do offer slots machines themed around Tomb Raider, The Osbournes and Hitman. If slots aren�t your game, then Microgaming casinos offer a wide variety of table games and over 40 poker rooms. Microgaming formed in the mid 1990�s, meaning that they are possibly the most recognisable name when it comes to online casino software providers, meaning you should at least give them a spin before fully committing to a casino.



Playtech are mere toddlers compared to the matured age of Cryptologic and Microgaming, but what they lack in years doesn�t automatically mean they will lack in ideas or style. Playtech describe themselves as �vibrant� and �forward-thinking�, which means they really are a company you should keep an eye out for. While they don�t have the largest selection of games available right now, their ever expanding nature suggests that if they aren�t for you the first time around, you should give them a second try later on, as knowing Playtech, they will have even more impressive features on offer such as the ever-impressive Dollar Ball Lottery.



Again, Rival are relatively new kids on the blocks when it comes to software providers, but they offer up something no one else does; the i-Slots range. i-Slots are revolutionary video slot machines that have narratives, cut scenes and more importantly, substance. Instead of just aimlessly spinning the reels, Rival have added something new to the mix and tried to capture the attention and imagination of their players and if you ask a regular Rival gamer, I�m sure they�ll agree that Rival�s idea has worked. Slots are the main selling point of Rival powered casinos, so if you�re after unique poker or baccarat features, you may want to try elsewhere.


Real Time Gaming

Real Time Gaming (or RTG) are another casino software provider trying to make a name for themselves, but that doesn�t mean you should simply disregard them and go for more established software. Savvy gamers will realise that rather than flocking to the casino with the most players and therefore the most amateurs and annoyances, it�s best to hone your skills in a quieter casino. Complete with wonderful authentic looking slot machines based on a variety of subjects (from Phantom of the Opera to Sherlock Holmes), and numerous progressive games not to mention table and card games, the suite on offer is quite impressive. On their website, RTG also list all of the bonuses available to players at each casino, meaning that you can at least do a few test runs to ascertain whether they are right for you.



Now that you know about the main 5 providers, we�ll look at what you are after when it comes to games. Slots are often the most popular games in a casino, meaning that they earn the casinos the most. You�ll find that online casinos are eager to sell the amount or style of slots that they house, but if you look a little deeper you�ll find they have a variety of table and card games available as well.


The staple games of online casinos include poker (as well as variations such as Texas Hold �Em, Caribbean Stud Poker and Video poker), Blackjack, Baccarat, Casino War, Casino Solitaire, Craps and Roulette. You�ll notice that the majority of casinos offer variations on these games, such as single player, multiplayer and private group options. Roulette usually comes with two rule variations as well, in the form of European or American guidelines; to find out which one is best for you it�s wise to do a bit of homework before you start playing. Online casinos now offer more than what you�d usually find in a bricks and mortar casino, with side-games including bowling and even scratch-cards.


It really is a case of choosing what you want from a casino then finding one which fits around your guidelines. No matter what you want in an online casino, you�re bound to find something catered to your needs�and remember there are no rules about having accounts in various casinos to make sure you make the most of everything available to you.



Of course, one of the main factors of choosing a casino is whether you consider yourself a casual gamer who rarely wants to play, or someone who would prefer to build a rapport with a casino. If you fall in the former camp, a non-download online casino would be best for you. Most operate using Java and Flash plug-ins to your internet browser, which are often already pre-installed onto a computer. These offer instant play, which is best if you�re just after a quick flutter, whilst online. If you fall into the latter party (if you�re a more �serious� gamer) then a download option casino would work out well for you. Not only do these casinos have better graphics, sound and design, you�ll find their welcome bonuses and loyalty programs often work out better as you�ve made that little extra effort to play there.



You�ll find that in an effort to attract new players, all online casinos will offer a welcome bonus of some kind. Most offer a match bonus of up to 100% on your first deposit, meaning that if you deposit 50.00 in your currency, they�ll match that with another 50.00. One thing to look out for is whether the casino offers bonuses on subsequent deposits, as if you plan on becoming a regular a monthly bonus will make your time there very rewarding. Don�t forget to check the terms and conditions but most importantly look for the wagering requirements. The most important part of wagering requirements is the play-through amount which determines how quickly you can convert bonus money into real cash. Looking for these can help you decide which Casino Bonus ultimately suits you.


Loyalty Programs

Last but not least, loyalty programs are another important factor to regard when looking for an online casino. If you�re more of a passing gamer who doesn�t wish to stick to one or two casinos, then this section doesn�t really apply, but if you�re interested in earning free casino credits then do pay attention. For most casinos that offer one, as soon as you sign up to it you automatically join their loyalty program. Once you begin playing, you will start accumulating complimentary points. These complimentary points generally work on a scale similar to the following; gaining 1000 of these points will entitle you to 10 casino credits and so on. However, some casinos are more generous or thrifty compared to others, so it�s best to do your own investigating. If you are what casino aficionados like to call a �high roller� (someone who injects a lot of cash into the casino through gaming) you may find yourself being sent an invite to a casino�s exclusive VIP club, where you can enter tournaments, receive higher bonuses and be treated to complimentary gifts like champagne and even holidays. Again, it�s best to do your research, but all of the features listed here are available at various online casinos.


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