Casino Game Guides
You can play almost any type of casino or slots game online and in land-based casinos these days. It seems as technological innovation has progressed and games have become mostly software based that the only limit to what games you can gamble on is in the minds of the developer's imaginations.
On this page, we cover all the major casino games you can play, both online and in real world casinos. We look at how the games work, playing strategies, history, and variations on themes. We also cover how the margins work in games and what the return to player percentage is.
Whether you want to play traditional games like standard roulette, blackjack, and baccarat or you want to get involved with slots, progressive jackpots or feature games then we can hopefully shed some light on how to play them and how to get the best value. If you are more of a purist and don't like software generated games we also cover live casino games, how they work and common variations.
No longer reserved only for the rich and powerful, Baccarat is a centuries old game that is widely available at most online casinos these days, although you will be harder pressed to find it at a physical casino. Here we will briefly take you through the history of the game, how to play it, as well as answering a few frequently asked questions and clearing up some potentially confusing terms and phrases.
Although not as popular as the likes of roulette and blackjack to Western casino players, baccarat is extremely popular in other parts of th world and in fact, there are some surprising and revealing stats on this topic in this article.
It might not be as well known in this country as some other casino games, but Craps has been keeping people entertained for hundreds of years, and offers numerous ways to enjoy a bet as well as more flexibility than most other games.
It's a game that can feel a little intimidating to the uninitiated, what with so many different areas of the board, people placing bets all over the place, and the hysteria that can build during a round; but these are all indicators of how much fun can be had while playing and you should not let them put you off. Once you have read this guide you will feel much better equipped to give Craps a shot.
The Best Place to Play
Online casinos are numerous and also very similar, so it can be tricky to read between the lines and find one that is perfect for you. There are a few key considerations to make here, with the first and probably most obvious being; what kind of games do you want to play?
Some online casinos are extremely slot focussed with only one or two variations of roulette or blackjack thrown in. If you like to play table games and slots in equal measure then a casino like this is probably not the best option for you, whereas for a dedicated slotter it would be ideal.
Similarly, some casinos focus much more heavily on table games with masses of variations on each game as well as games you might not often see at other casinos like Pai Gow, etc. It all depends on what you want. Of course, there's nothing to stop you signing up at more than one casino to get the best of both worlds, but can you be bothered with all the jumping around between different sites? Only you can answer this, but it is a consideration.
Another thing to consider is the banking terms and conditions. If you are a penny player then you will be looking for somewhere with low deposit and withdrawal minimums and no fees. Someone with more money to spend and perhaps a taste for all things future might prefer a casino that allows methods such as ewallets or Apple pay and that has dedicated tables for high stakes.
One more thing to think about might be what kind of offers the casino promotes. Some work with VIP schemes that really look after big spenders but don't add a lot of value for the every day player. Others have a mixture of daily/weekly/monthly rewards and promotions alongside a loyalty point scheme which will be of more use to most of us but can you put up with the hassle?
There is no one single best place to play, only the best place for you. Our casino reviews have been written to help you make that decision.
If you are new to slots then you may have a few questions about some of the terms and phrases you have seen so far. It's true that playing an online slot is about as simple as a game can get, but there is more to them than just bashing the spin button.
Some games offer the option to alter the number of active paylines per spin, which in turn will affect the amount that you bet per spin. On top of this, you might be able to adjust the amount you stake on each active payline per spin:
|Number of Paylines||Active Paylines||Bet per Line||Total Bet|
In this way you are lowering your bet per spin but also removing a lot of the potential winning possibilities because if you have turned off a payline and land a win on that line, you will not be pad out.
Some games even go a step further and throw 'coins' into the mix. The coin value can be set by the player, and then a number of coins are wagered on each line as follows:
|Number of Paylines||Coin Value||Coins per Line||Total Bet|
As you can imagine, to then start fiddling around with how many paylines you want active can become confusing. The slot will always show you how much your overall wager is though, so you don't need to do the maths on your own, but you do need to understand that betting £1 on a single payline is not the same thing as betting £1 across 50 paylines.
Other slots fix the paylines in place and only allow you to adjust the overall wager which is much simpler.
All games have an RTP, whether they be roulette, video poker, slots, or blackjack - even pub fruit machines have an RTP.
This acronym stands for 'return to player', and indicates the estimated amount of money that will be paid back to the player over a very large number of spins. A game with an RTP of 95% then, would pay out 95p for every £1 that it took.
However, this is not to be taken literally. The RTP percentage is based over such a large sample of spins that no one player could ever play them all, so it is more an indication of how generous or not a game is thought to be.
From the casino's point of view they will be keeping 5% of everything staked on that game, and if the game is being played a lot then that 5% is a very healthy return. If the game takes £10,000 in a week then the casino has pocketed £1000. Not bad.
From the player's point of view, the fun comes from hoping you are the one that triggers the bigger payouts. The game could be paying out 0% for 100,000 spins, meaning that all of the players who have tried it so far have had 0% RTP, but then one lucky player comes along at the right time and hits a big win scooping 95% of everything that has been spent on the machine over those 100,000 spins, which means the machine is paying out at 95% true to its word.
That is an oversimplified example and an extremely unlikely scenario, but it demonstrates how the RTP is established and maintained.
Live vs Software Generated Games
In an attempt to appeal to as many casino players as possible, game developers and casino companies now offer and support both software generated and live streamed versions of most games.
- Software Generated: These games can be played by hundreds and thousands of people at the same time and will load up in your browser. They are run by a random number generator (RNG) and offer no interaction or social aspect.
- Live Games: These are games that are actually going on somewhere in the world, usually streamed from a dedicated live casino studio. A professional dealer will be hosting the game and communicating with players over the internet, and various different camera angles will keep players in on the action. Players can also chat with each other.
The live dealer option gives you more of an authentic casino experience without having to actually go to one, but it is also limiting in terms of how many hands you can get through in an hour. It's a slower way to play but there is also the enjoyment factor to consider, and some casinos run promotions specifically aimed at live dealer games too. It's also a good option if you are less trusting and want to see exactly what is going on.
Playing software generated games gives you an awful lot more choice in terms of what there is available to play, and the pace/style of play is in your control; if you are learning a new strategy on blackjack, for example, you might want to wait longer between hands than a live dealer would allow. It is a much more solitary experience but gives the player more control and allows them to play as quickly or as slowly as they would like.