Casino Software Guide 2018
An outstanding online casino experience always requires great software. It takes much more than just compatibility and stability to keep you captivated. The greatest online casinos deliver faithfully rendered games that will enthral you on demand. Discover how easy it is to get started with today’s casino software. Learn how to get in the game from your desktop, laptop, mobile, or tablet right now.
Before You Play
There are dozens of quality casinos that are worthy of your attention. While every casino has its own free software, the similarities outnumber the differences. Before choosing where to play, it’s a good idea to know what to look for and expect. This guide will prove useful when combined with the installation guide on the site where you play.
Downloading The Casino Software
Most popular casinos no longer force you to install their software to get into the game. Instead you can take advantage of instant play or no download versions that let you access the entire casino right from your browser. Some players still prefer the simplicity and stability of a software download. Most casinos do offer software for PC and Mac, yet some may steer Mac users towards instant play versions.
To download casino software simply visit the casino and click on the download button. The site should detect whether you are using Windows or a Mac and provide you with the correct software. Depending on your version of Windows, you may receive a warning message asking you for permission to download. You can also select if you wish to save the file or run it once the download is complete. We recommend selecting run so the installation will begin automatically.
Installing The Software
Both Mac and PC users can find the software in their download folder or on the desktop. Simply click on the icon to start the installation. If you are a Windows user who selected run while downloading, the installation wizard should launch automatically.
Installation is as simple as following the on screen prompts. You’ll usually be able to pick where you want to install the software, but the defaults are fine for most users. You can safely ignore any security warnings provided you are installing software from a recommended and licensed casino. For more information on how to install, check out this guide.
Whether you wish to play strictly for fun or want to win real cash, most sites require that you sign up for an account. You can register either on the site’s website or within the software. Expect to provide your real name, address, date of birth, email address, and choose a user name and password. You’ll also need to accept the site’s terms and conditions. Don’t forget to remember your login info after signing up. You’ll need your login info if you want to play.
The casino lobby is where you’ll find yourself when you aren’t playing a particular game. It’s also what you’ll see when you first load your software, although you may be required to log in first. Most lobbies feature a list of available games, links to the cashier where you’ll be able to deposit or cash out, access to customer support, help sections, tutorials, news, your personal profile and information about promotions.
When you’re ready to play, just click on your desired game. If you installed software on your Mac or PC, you may be required to install less popular or new games the first time you try to play them. This is to keep installations streamlined. Downloading new games usually takes no more than a minute.
Instant Play Action
If you are taking advantage of a no download casino, the lobby is often built into the site’s webpage. You can launch a game by clicking on its designated icon. When you launch a new game it will usually open up in a new browser window. Make sure your browser has pop ups enabled.
Although instant play games don’t require you to install software, they usually depend on Adobe Flash. You probably already have the necessary browser plug in on your computer, but you may be prompted to update it to the latest version. Don’t be alarmed and allow any update if prompted.
Enjoying The Games
Most online casinos offer hundreds of games, at least when you factor in all the different types of slots. Choose from your favourite table games, slots, and poker just for starters. When you first launch a game, you may be prompted to specify how much cash you wish to bring to the table or machine, although some sites will bring your entire bankroll.
When playing on your desktop or laptop you can usually play multiple games at the same time. Only your gaming appetite and the size of your computer screen will restrict the amount of action you can handle.
The Mobile Experience
When playing on a mobile device or a tablet you’ll either need an app or you can play in your web browser. How you play depends largely on the casino and your device. You’ll find apps in Apple’s App Store, in Google Play, and directly on the casino’s homepage. It’s a good idea to check with the casino to find the best way into the game.
Banking On The Cashier
The cashier is the banking area of the casino. You’ll be able to check your transaction history, fund your account, or withdrawal your winnings. Most sites offer at least a dozen convenient banking methods. You can generally deposit by filling out a quick form with your credit card or banking details, address, and desired deposit amount. If you’ve ever shopped online before, the process should be familiar. Deposit speeds depend on the method you choose but can be completed in seconds. Withdrawals are just as easy but usually require more time for processing.
Biggest Names In The Business
After visiting a few online casinos you’ll likely notice how familiar many of them seem. That’s because most casinos use software developed by one of several leading gaming software providers. These industry titans customise and tweak the entire experience to reflect each licensed casino’s vision and theme, but the technical foundation is the same. The fact is building a casino from scratch is technically demanding. Sites must be continuously tested and upgraded to remain completive and safe in a crowded landscape. By licensing software, your favourite casino can concentrate on marketing, promotions, and customer support to deliver the best possible experience.
Casinos are rarely shy about their chosen platform. You’ll often see logos from top providers including Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Betsoft, Novomatic, IGT, Wagerworks, and Playtech displayed on the bottom of a casino’s landing page. Your favourite will be a matter of personal preference. Be sure to test out a few platforms and see which one meets your needs.
Netent is a Scandinavian company founded in 1996, and produces hundreds of games for a large list of top online casinos. Its selection of slots often includes generous bonuses and themed mini games. The advanced graphics and exciting features mean their casino games are popular with customers, and Netent claims that part of the reason these customers stay is because they return around 95% to them. All the Netent software supports more than 20 languages and currencies, so is available to a large audience across the world.
Microgaming, founded in 1994, is the 'bigwig' in the gambling software industry. It is the largest provider of online casino games, with more than 600 games available for consumers to play. Microgaming offers large jackpots and is a highly dependable software package, known to have a high standard of client protection, fair gambling, and professional conduct. It is also accessible globally, offering games that can be played in 24 languages. The company produces a range of popular games, such as its Jurassic Park and Viper series, and offers a wide range of invaluable products and services to its clients, such as slots, site design, and site management.
Playtech software has enjoyed a recent surge in popularity, and for good reason. It focuses strongly on user-friendly interface and functions, and also on providing excellent customer service. It was established in the late 90s and has had a major part to play in helping legalise gambling in various places worldwide. Its main speciality is online slots, some named after popular film brands, such as Fantastic Four and Elektra. However, it does also produce high quality table games for major casinos. Some features set it apart from the competition, like good reward programmes and transaction history, and it also offers massive bonuses and jackpot wins. Playtech currently produces around 170 games, and this looks set to increase in the future.
IGT is an American company dating back as far as the 1950s, becoming a public company in 1981. The company made its name by producing the world's first ever wide-area progressive jackpot slot machines, and is still one of the leading software providers. Over the years it has made its way into the European markets and now offers a wide range of online and mobile casino games. Its 130 games are highly accessible worldwide, being offered in 32 currencies and 15 languages. IGT is famous particularly for its branded games, including its Monopoly and Cluedo slots. It has won a number of awards, including 'Best Slots Manufacturer'.
NextGen Gaming and NYX Interactive merged in 2011, and its software is used by top online casinos such as Bet365 and Las Vegas. It is popular software mainly due to the easy-to-use functionality and slots that are simple enough for new players but also appeal to experienced gamblers. The company already boasts a good few high quality slot-based games, but it continues to improve its graphics and user experience. Although it isn't as widely-used as some of its competitors, it is used by some very high-profile online gambling platforms, Therefore, some of its games offer large site-specific bonuses. The NYX/NextGen merger is an innovator in its field and has been short-listed for various industry prizes.
PlaynGo became a fully independent company in 2004, but started small-scale operations seven years prior to that. It boasts more than 80 games, which consist mainly of online slots. The company stays true to traditional games, such as Blackjack, but is not afraid to modernise and produce creative new versions of these old favourites too. Users can enjoy PlaynGo games on both the web and on mobile, and they even have a choice of over 30 languages to access them in. The simple navigation and friendly interface makes PlaynGo games popular with consumers. There are also options for those players with little time on their hands, with PlaynGo producing 'quickfire' games for its mobile gambling sites.
Evolution is a relatively new player in its field, but in the 10 years since it was founded, it has already amassed some high-profile clients, such as Paddy Power Casino and William Hill. It is an innovator, having launched an iPad gaming platform and winning a slew of awards. The company's speciality is high-quality live casino games, which aim to make the players feel as though they are actually in a casino. Evolution Gaming has certainly made a name for itself in the 'live streaming' online casino games sector, and its client list is only getting bigger. The live feed of the croupier is streamed from its Latvian studio, and the user can customise their views and place bets. It is truly an immersive experience.
Novomatic began in 1980 as a manufacturer of physical gambling machines, and is now one of the biggest gaming companies in the world. It produces highly popular slots in casinos, and over the years has also developed a successful online presence. With seasoned gaming veterans, some of Novomatic's games will be easily recognisable; for example, its Indiana Jones-themed slot game, Book of Ra. The company's games are characterised by colourful, bold, and crisp graphics, making them visually pleasing to users. Although Novomatic offers old favourites, such as roulette and poker, it focuses mainly on producing slot games, and some are even offered as mobile games.
One of the oldest casino and gaming companies, WMS is one of the leaders in its industry. The company has evolved a lot since it was founded in 1934, and has pushed its way into the online market. WMS is most known for its Vegas slots, offered online and in land-based casinos worldwide. WMS software works on an instant-play basis that requires no downloading, making it incredibly easy to use.
The simple graphics and classic sounds characterize Aristocrat, one of the industry leaders in Vegas slot machines. The online Aristocrat casinos offer a wide range of exciting slot games, such as Queen of the Nile and 50 Lions. The software uses instant-play, so users don't have to download anything, and the Vegas experience can begin as soon as possible.
Thunderkick is the baby of the online slot world, having only been formed a couple of years ago, and the company focuses on making slots fun to use. They try to enhance the user experience as much as possible, and have made a name for themselves as being quirky, so any users looking for more serious or traditional games will have to look elsewhere. In their portfolio are games such as Esqueleto Explosivo (skulls that sing and explode) and Magicious (an enchanting magic show). As well as on the web, Thunderkick games are also supported on mobile, so the fun can be taken anywhere!
Amaya offers online and mobile gambling options in sectors such as casino and sports betting. The products are aimed at a wide range of customers, and has a growing poker base - this includes live poker competitions, online poker tournaments, and poker rooms in land casinos. The company boasts one of the fastest-growing customer bases in the online casino market.
Bally technologies has its origins in land-based casinos, and their online casino game versions are adapted, rather than created specifically for online or mobile. Bally's focus is mainly on slots, and although it is only just starting to push into the online market, their web and mobile base is growing fast. Their games can seem a little basic when played on mobile, but this is only set to improve as their online coverage increases. Ultimately, they have been in the casino business a long time, so if you can put up with more basic visuals and user faces, you can be sure you are playing with industry experts who know their stuff.