Choosing a good casino and the right game can be a tough choice with so much variety on the ever-growing market. The wisest people in business know not to gamble with their money: there’s really no way of telling who you can trust, besides from the old and established names in the business.
Everything good on the market that is a safe bet comes down to a few companies that a good reputation and, really, all the games that have been made by them are a good choice. For gourmets here’s a list of three whales of the world of online gaming: Microgaming, NetEnt, and RealTimeGaming, most popular casino games of all time, and an analysis of how they differ within each company.
They live up to their motto:
If you eat, sleep and breathe online gaming like we do, you’ve come to the right place.
For those who has been a proud fan of Azimov and Bradbury for a while, and those just joining after watching the latest remakes of Matrix, Bladerunner, and Total Recall: sci-fi, virtual reality, interstellar travel, cryptocurrency and all the rest of it are not only the tomorrow of life. Everything exciting about the future that is portrayed in Ghost In The Shell is here today. So grab hold of your Oculus Rift virtual reality headset (one of the gadgets created by Microgaming for total immersion into gaming experience) and fasten your seatbelt.
Microgaming is all it set out to be: a company that launched the first online casino in 1994, has clients like the Palace Group, 32Red, Fortune Lounge Group, and Carmen Media Group, handed out, amongst others, a 13-million-pound jackpot to Betway’s client Johnathan Heywood in 2015, received an impressive number of awards (Global Gaming Awards, Gambling Online Magazine Award, Awards For Excellence, and so on) and left the world a legacy of more than 850 online casino games. They are also famous for creating and founding eCOGRA, an organization that ensures the rules of online gabling are strictly kept to.
Microgaming are known for providing a safe and reliable service with unique and intriguing content. Viper software, which was implemented in 2002, is still thought of as the best gaming software around. They offer reliable and attentive customer support at any time of day or night, and make their games accessible, stable and secure and the interface is always user-friendly.
NetEnt delivered such widely known names as The Invisible Man™, Dracula™, Starburst™, Gonzo’s Quest™. It comes on the heels of MicroGaming, was founded in 1996, and has two headquarters, one in Sweden, and one in Malta. There is something about tropical islands that humankind just doesn’t know how to resist. Maybe that’s where dreams are made.
NetEnt has a massive base of dozens of online casinos, has been offering famously high standards of quality for decades (two decades, to be precise), and they are quickly picking up pace, constantly bringing new games to the table. South Park video slot, Scarface, Creature from The Black Lagoon and Frankenstein were all created here as well as a wide variety of other games like lottery games, scratch cards, as well as bingo, video poker, mini games and keno. Live casinos, NetEnt Touch, and a 11-million-Euro MegaFortune Jackpot in 2011 recognized by The Guinness World Book of Records – you’ve got it all.
NetEnt is totally known for its graphics, which are stunning and gorgeous; hassle-free, no-loss transition to mobile gaming; a wildly diverse array of bonuses; and a colossal list of games collected after two decades of having been in the field, running things.
NetENt boasts big names like a luxurious Aliens video slot (launched in 2014), MegaFortune and StarBurst, and also Jack Hammer and Jack Hammer 2 with a very popular maximum bet of 250 Euros.
RealTimeGaming is the software for the players in The US. It’s mostly used by players in USA and France. all about innovation, equipping its website with fast and interesting animation, has a reputation in the business and refers to itself as the “most powerful, flexible and easy-to-use casino administrative interface in the industry”. It offers a huge variety of products, including hundreds of branded games, casino slots, card and table games, “Strong and diverse APIs”, flash and download games, and much, much more.
Usually referred to as RTG, it unites quite a few operators under its wing, was created in America in 1996, but moved to Costa Rica a while later. RTG is friends with a massive number of providers who license them, who it offers a Backroom Management Service to, which includes a full list of tools necessary for quick, efficient and clean operation of casinos all over the world. This may mean instant troubleshooting, online monitoring, and providing improved support for customers. Stuff like that.
RTG offers exclusive features that no-one else does. Software is customizable to unique taste of a client and offers game branding options. Also consider supported functionality across all platforms – laptop, desktop, iPhone, Android or iPad. As does everyone, RTG offers lucrative no-deposit bonuses, spin offers, promotions and progression-based rewards, but also one of the key features here is world-renowned quality of software. Don’t forget about the essential 128-bit encryption security protocols, and the choice is pretty much crystal clear.
RealTimeGaming are known mostly for Texan Tycoon, Hockey Hero Slot, The Three Stooges, but a few names that might ring the bells are The Spirit of The Inca, Tiger Treasures Slot and Naughty or Nice Slot Game.
Microgaming’s most popular slots are Lotsaloot, Mega Moolah, Major Millions, Tomb Raider, and many, many others accessible in more than 120 online casinos. Microgaming has celebrated “the longest-running brand partnership in the industry” with its Lara Croft: Tomb Raider online slot game that has remained fantastically popular for more than a decade. This is a beautifully crafted game with a hot picture of Lara waving a very professional-looking gun in the air, 5 reels, 15 paylines and a very ambient soundtrack.
Despite huge popularity of MicroGaming’s Hitman online slot game, I prefer NetEnt for its gameplay. For instance, Aliens’ 3 levels of gameplay and an Alien Activity Meter along with a few hefty bonuses suggest quite a lot of thought has been put into the game. NetEnt, anyway, has always been known for its beautiful graphics, too.
Microgaming also has the largest choice of Blackjack variations on the Internet (from Atlantc City Blackjack to Vegas Strip Multi-Hand Blackjack Gold) with more than a 40 different kinds of the game, although if you live in the US probably not (or rather definitely not since MicroGaming does not operate in the US since 2008, and you won’t find NetEnt there, either, although RTG).
However, for the rest of the world there are all these exciting versions of the game up for grabs, with a few variations (but mostly the game’s core rules, like the number of cards, insurance, rules for slippting and doubling down, etc., is the same). Microgaming often offers its players audit reports so that they may make sure that the game is fair, and also Gold version and Expert mode for veterans of the business.
NetEnt bluntly states that it offers “better gaming”, which it does in many respects. The graphics are simply stunning, the music is very classy, and the gameplay, which is full-screen, just hits you like a wave of hot air. Microgaming’s Blackjack is also quite classy, but there is definitely something magical in the way NetEnt presents their game. It almost makes you think about those old-time ushers who would welcome you into the building with that fantastic grace. Given the choice between the two, I definitely vote for NetEnt’s Blackjack, since although there are fewer versions of it and it seems technically less enhanced, it is just plainly very beautiful. NetEnt offers Blackjack, Blackjack Pro, Classic Blackjack, Double Exposure Blackjack and Pontoon. NetEnt is good at Blackjack but it could be said that its strongest suit is slot games, which it boasts 120 of in online casinos on the Web. NetEnt’s slots are probably the best in terms of effects, graphics, story and the size of investments made into the games, although Microgaming’s slots are knows for terrific payouts with fascinating bonus rounds with lots of technical know-how. Microgaming is also known for its stunning selection of games and plenty of bonus rounds.
When it comes to Video Poker, Microgaming once again reminds that it is the leading online gambling software developer in the world. The graphics, again, could be better (reminiscent of old VGA video adapters and Sid Meyer’s Civilization), but there are plentiful jackpots and some technical help with options like Game Analyser, Optimal Play Hints, and such. Again, thanks for the technical side of it, like AutoPlay and Expert Mode and levels of gameplay, and it is also quite easy to get.
NetEnt offers these Video Poker games: All American, Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and Classic Deuces Wild. Its graphics, as always, are stunning, and there is a variety of gaming options. It offers more levels, and there is generally more of a feel that the game interface was better thought through, so I say for video poker stick with NetEnt.
NetEnt’s Roulette offers a history of previous spins as well as better graphics, and more betting options. Names like NetEnt suggest accountability and prestige, and a few customizeable features and things like game stats log and impressive graphics confirm that. RTG’s Roulette offers fewer betting options; they do offer good bonuses though, and their software is very reliable and quick (RTG does not release any games that have not passed Technical System Testing, which is very hard to pass due the fact that it’s very demanding). RTG’s software is one of the fastest around.
RTG’s Baccarat is apparently quickly gaining popularity despite its overly simplistic layout, basic music and lousy sound effects. Its game design is a little psychedelic, but overall the game feels quite satisfactory. Repetition sucks, but NetENt’s version is much more visually enjoyable and also offers a few more versions of the game, European Roulette Pro and Roulette Professional. I say this is a good choice also because NetEnt’s games are tested for safety and quality by iTech Labs – and – eCOGRA. MicroGaming offers a chance of absolutely massive winnings with their Roulette Royale, and the graphics are quite nice, so this is clearly the solid second choice to fall back on.
If you’re new to the industry, or maybe you’re looking for some good old-fashioned excitement with clear-cut rules and standards you can rely on, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to look at Blackjack. Make sure you pick licensed and secure sites that use good encryption software and genuine RNG software.
The Differences Between Real-Life and Online Blackjack
- Now, there are a few games better known to the humankind, so we won’t bore you with the details of the rules. The deal with playing online Blackjack is that it is played at a casino portal using software that randomly generates card numbers (and you must make sure, as we always say, not only to read T+Cs through carefully but choose a casino that offers a service with a genuine Random Number Generator). Look out for companies that employ outside auditors like Technical System Testing for regular testing of their systems to ensure fair play.
- There is still something to be said about talking to live people at the casino, the glitz and glamour of feeling your powers of presence, and the odd chance of meeting someone new. Online gambling does not compare with real life, although it has its own benefits.
- Online blackjack usually has more variations, plus it adds the option of logging your winnings ad losses. Tada! Never again think that you should have much more money than this, and wonder where it all went. Also, looking over the record of your gaming might help you come up with a better strategy. There are a few more bonuses and awards here than in real casinos, too, if you know where to look.
- RTP in online casinos is often higher and there are way many more advantages, perks and deals. Land-based casinos often don’t go in for good deals, and if they do, places like that can be hard to find for miles around. On the Internet, however, competition is ruthless and often-welcome bonuses and high rates of return are a casino’s only way of attracting customers.
- Complete privacy means that not only will you not be distracted; also no-one will be looking into your cards (or waiting for you outside after you win with a baseball bat).
- A live Blackjack venue, on the other hand, is more sentimental. It has real people, there is no way in the world you can get cheated here (or it’s way more complicated), and it’s basically not a bad place to hang out because it makes you feel socially relevant. The two forms, with development of technology, are merging into one another, and it may very well be that soon virtual Blackjack is no different in technical terms than to its live version.
Online Roulette is reserved for experienced players who are out to have fun and have some money to risk. It is usually recommended that you pick games that have as little of an element of chance as possible if you’re out to make money, so this is not the game for beginners.
Playing online and real-life Roulette
- Roulette is one of the most popular casino games thanks to its complete and utter lack of accountability. The show is spectacular, quite clear-cut and usually assembles a large audience.
- Online Roulette is more easily accessible, often on the move and through a hand-held device, whereas you would need to drive to a physical location for a land-based casino for the real thing, which is time-consuming and takes up fuel and human resources. Unless you are having fun, in which case it is worth it. However, if you are just after a quickie rather than a long-term relationship, go for an internet version of the game.
- The atmosphere in a casino is buzzing, the whole thing has been built from scratch to suit players’ needs, and there is good food and drink…If you are a people person, yes, but if you like concentrating, this probably isn’t the place.
- Online casinos usually offer a few varieties of games whereas in a land-based casino there will highly likely be only one version of the game, which is most sought after by most people (talk about mainstream).
- Online Roulette tables are not limited in terms of when you can place your bet, so feel no pressure.
- In a land-based casino you can see the wheel so you are completely assured there is no fraud. In online casinos (allegedly) everyone uses Random Number Generators, although, of course, you are better off checking for yourself that this particular company is well-renowned for integrity, has few bad reviews and uses independent auditors to regularly test its software.
Video Poker is very similar to slots other than in that the player has a lot more control in this game. There are no opponents’ faces to study, so this game is sometimes considered to be less than the real thing, but it also offers substantial advantages.
Pros and cons of video poker
- Playing online games, of course, is a more risky experience. Or is it? Land-based casinos have quite a few aces up their sleeve no-one knows about, and the online gambling community has a lot to boast about in terms of community watchdog companies, strict T+C’s, and a complete accountability of the Internet where anyone can post any review they like.
- Internet gambling is a very intimate group people many of whom know one another. News of casinos with bad reputation spreads like wildfire, and fewer and fewer businesses are shortsighted enough to risk all their customers for the sake of a one-time dirty win. So consider online video poker as an opportunity.
- The biggest and best thing about playing poker is its psychological aspect. It’s all in the faces – who will give away the prize by showing the tell? Perhaps the most interesting thing about the game is the tension, the adrenaline, and the realization that it all depends on your ability to know people and outsmart your opponent. It can be said that this is the ultimate sport (well, without the sport). Deprived of people, really poker loses a lion’s share of its engagement.
- Video poker is very similar to slot machines in that there is an RNG, but in video poker, players have the power of choice, and, because there is a finite amount of cards, cards can be guessed and a strategy can be worked out. Video poker machines actually offer an advantage of more than 100% return, as is the case with Deuce’s Wild, if you know how to play the game right.
- Casinos offer machines with an RTP higher than 100% because very few players know good strategy and in the long run it pays to make a good offer and watch most people fail to take advantage of it because they don’t know what’s going on. Still, if you are smart, you may be one of the few that benefit. Remember that Ocean’s 11 was bas based on real events in an Australian casino. The casino administration are still looking for the protagonist, having only figured out a small part of the plan and still maintaining hope of finding their missing millions.
- Finding machines with better payouts will significantly increase your winnings in online video poker. There are 9-6 machines in Nevada, which means payment of 9 to 1 on full house and 6 to 1 on flush. Which is a good deal, also considering that the more you invest, the higher the payout, which is something you don’t get in regular poker. Go for that famous adrenaline rush by taking control of the game. Las Vegas proudly presents 10-6 and 9-7 Jacks or Better machines with much more than 100% payouts for optimal play. Only a few players know anything about optimal play, so what a way to feel like one of the elite!
Baccarat is considered to be a French-born (or Italian) game of aristocracy, with higher bets than in other games, but there is a more affordable version, called mini-baccarat. It was said to take roots from ancient sacrificial rituals wherein the fate of a virgin girl was decided on the roll of a dice. Slightly less dramatic today, Baccarat is basically a game of chance and destiny, the influence of which is lessened in case of online versions of the game:
Online VS Land-Based Baccarat
- An online version may be the best way for beginners as it offers a good way to learn. You are able to concentrate, hear yourself think and there is no pressure.
- Unexpected budget expenditures can be tough. Something always comes out of nowhere: you have to pay for repairs, new taxes, presents for new members of the family…Saving money on trips can be a good thing, and that saving you can make money on if you know what you’re doing.
- Normally you have to wait until you can travel, especially if other members of the family or friends are going, which means long waiting times. On the other hand, online experience is always at a hand’s reach.
- Real-life experience has all the hallmarks that make the game real – the sparkle, the music, the whispered undertones…Nothing compares to the real thing, of course. Being part of a group, that primal rush of pack-hunting and winning, the smell of smoke and blazing of lights…It’s sort of like a battlefield.
- Usually there are more games offered online than at the land-based casino, and you may be able to choose one that suits your style or strategy best.
- It’s easier to play when you are in charge of the pace. In the casino you tend to give in to the pressure from others, which means giving up your own instincts, which can prove fatal. Being comfortable and deciding for yourself when and what happens can prove to be a huge advantage.
- Being able to play free at an online casino is a big advantage for those who want to master their strategy, especially for beginners.