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Today, the market of online casino games is bigger and stronger than ever before. Top iGaming analysts point out two major reasons behind this unprecedented spike in online gaming popularity - a rapid advance in web technologies and the rising demand for online entertainment that seems to be growing only bigger in the next ten years according to the data provided in the research.

Online casino games had initially emerged in the mid-1990s as an accessible alternative for brick-and-mortar casinos. Back in those days, you had to travel for thousands of miles if you wanted to gamble legally. And let’s face it, not all people have time and money for this. For example, if you’re going to spend a weekend in Vegas, you need to plan the trip, spend some time for gas or plane tickets, rent a hotel room and spend lots of money on trivial expenses. Due to strict gaming regulations, it was practically impossible to enjoy your favorite games whenever you like unless you were receding in Las Vegas or Macau.

Everything had changed when the internet started to become more and more popular and accessible. Little by little online casinos started to evolve, becoming something more than just a temporary substitute for brick-and-mortar casinos, and nowadays people mostly see those two as the radically different ways of gaming. Of course, each of them has its pros and cons! So let’s look at the list of things that people normally like and dislike about online and classic gambling.

Online Casinos

Pros:

  • A chance to save time and money for long-distance traveling
  • Possibility to play real money casino games from the privacy and comfort of your home
  • A great choice of casinos and casino games on the internet
  • Online casino bonuses and VIP programs
  • Possibility to stay private - your personal data is always kept in secret according to the privacy policy
  • With computer technologies, you can go beyond the gameplay of traditional casino games
  • Freedom to play any time of the day and from any territory
  • No one can take your seat at the table or the slot machine you want to play
  • Before playing for real money, you can always play free online casino games for fun in a demo mode.

Cons:

  • Missing the atmosphere of brick and mortar casino
  • In some casinos, online banking may take time

Classic Casinos

Pros

  • Instant exchange of casino chips for wins
  • Great atmosphere of brick and mortar casino
  • Possibility to play poker and other social games live with real people
  • A chance to get a cocktail or two as a compliment
  • Possibility to meet new people or to play with friends live

Cons

  • Extremely time-consuming comparing to online casinos
  • Impossible to stay private once you’re there
  • Limited working hours
  • In some legislations, you may need to pay taxes for your winnings

As you can see, each casino type gets its praise from the players. However, privacy, accessibility, variety and convenience are pointed out by the players as the principle and undeniable virtues of online casinos in comparison with classic ones. And if we look at official statistics that describe the market share owned by each of casino types, we will see that nowadays online casinos already occupied about 80% of the global gaming market. In the near future, this share is only going to grow bigger.

History of Online Casino Games

History of gambling started a long-long time ago - there’s plenty of ancient written sources that contain descriptions about earliest betting practices and proto-casino games. However, it took us thousands of years to invent the iGaming, which is our major topic we are going to talk about right now. So let's go straight to the mid-20th century from where we will be able to trace the origins of online gaming.

Games Going Digital

The first-ever video games featuring interactive gameplay, manual controls and interactive display were developed throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. Of course, they were pretty expensive to build and still pretty primitive. Until the early 70s it was hard to find any gaming machines in public space - most of them were developed and maintained in universities and other research facilities.

However, in the early 1970s the industry grew to the point where the price of gaming machine units became fairly reasonable, and developers started producing the first commercial video games. The first digital casino game that was released as a commercially successful computer-based cabinet was video poker. The first beta version of video poker was released in the mid-70, while the first commercially-produced video poker unit became available in Las Vegas casinos in 1979.

From the very beginning, it has become extremely popular among players and there were many good reasons for it. Firstly, in 1979 interactive video games were still a novelty and people had gone crazy facing these technologies that were more quite impressive back in those days. Secondly, players have listed a great number of advantages that they found in the new video poker. Among them the first players named the privacy of the gaming process, game’s fast tempo, and, of course, the convenience of the new invention. Casino owners, in their turn, were happy to see that the video poker had a great success among players and by mid-1980s you could find a machine like this in every casino in America.

The Invention of the Internet

In the early 1990s, the Internet technology started to become more and more accessible to the wide public. The first-ever online casino was launched in 1996. By this time, computer-based video poker and video slot games were already a regular thing in any casino worldwide and those games became the first to become available to every online player. The idea to create an online casino was so brilliant that the following year more than 100 new online casinos were launched to cope with the rapidly-growing demand for online entertainment.

During the same period, there were many well-known licensing authorities and game developers. For example, the first-ever online gaming licensing authority was founded on the Caribbean island of Barbuda and Antigua and was actually established in 1994 - two years before the opening of the first casino. Distinguished licensing bodies such as the Curaçao Gambling Authority and the Kahnawake Gambling Commission were established in 1996. In 1998, RealTime Gaming opened its first office in Atlanta, Georgia.

Present-Day Online Games

Nowadays, the online casino gaming industry stands tall as never before. According to the industry report, the online gaming industry estimated worth reached $53 billion in 2019. The same research claims that by 2024 the iGaming industry will double its value up to $102,97 billion. This forecast is based on the online gaming industry growth index which is around 11,5% a year. However, some industry experts are even more optimistic about the nearest future of iGaming, expecting the market to reach the mark of $110 billion by 2024.

But how do game developers make their money? Well, its very simple - they develop online gambling games and provide them to the casinos for a monthly fee. Depending on the game type and provider, the size of monthly payments may vary. Also, biggest game providers normally establish several brand casinos for themselves where you can find their games, and most probably, a casino like this uses the casino platform that was also developed by this company. By the way, casino platforms are the second most frequent type of software that iGaming companies normally specialize at. In some cases, platform developers may also offer consulting and maintenance services of their servers to the brands that are only making their first steps on the iGaming market.

Online Casino Games Varieties

Most online casino games are based on classic games you can find in any brick-and-mortar casino. For instance, developers normally try to make games like roulette, baccarat, craps or blackjack as much realistic as possible. Also, when it comes to poker games, a regular online brand would probably feature several realistic poker games that are designed to recreate the vibe and feel of a real-life poker game and video poker machines that normally feature different rules and gameplay. Controls and the playing field design are based on classic video poker machine interface.

Actually, you can sort online casino games by types to get a better impression of game types:

  • Realistic games - Games that are designed to recreate the essential gaming atmosphere. Those games are frequently featuring first-person perspective and lots of detail. The games that normally belong to this kind include baccarat, roulette, online table poker, bingo, lotto, scratch cards, some virtual sports.
  • Nostalgic games - The type of games that are designed to recreate the vibe of old-school cabinet-based games. Among nostalgic games you will find many classic 3-reel slots, some simple 5-reel slots, many video poker games that feature classic interface and 8-bit sounds, some bingo games too.
  • Innovative and interactive games - Normally, these are the games that go beyond classic casino game gameplay and technologies and frequently use elements from modern 3D and casual non-gambling games. This category includes any complex 3D slots, slots with interactive bonus levels, games featuring floating symbols, expanding reels, modern animation and sound design.
  • Live games - Live dealer games allow players to get the most real emotions out of the online casino games. Games that are frequently featured in the live lobby are baccarat, roulette, some poker variations, blackjack and some others.

And now we offer to look at the following online casino game list to trace their evolution and find out what pros and cons each game type has.

Card Games

The classic card games that you are about to find in every worthy online casino include games like baccarat, table poker, blackjack and casino war. If the casino is serious about having a worthy card game portfolio, you will probably find several casino war and baccarat variations and a great number of table poker games and such classic casino game as blackjack. The last two games are extremely popular among players all over the world, and it takes more than a single variety to tame the players’ thirst for casino card games online gaming. The most frequent table poker variations are Five-Card Draw, Pai Gow poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Texas Hold’em, Casino Hold'em and some others. Popular blackjack varieties include Pontoon, Spanish 21, Bonus blackjack, Multihand blackjack, etc.

Tabletop Games

Tabletop games is an umbrella term that is normally used to describe many games, including non-gambling arcade table casino games, card games, poker, etc. However, in the present context, we are going to talk about roulette, wheel of fortune and dice games. A worthy casino would probably offer several roulette variants (European, French, American) and dice games like Craps.

Slot Games

Slot games are probably the most frequently played category of casino video games. Quite frequently, 60-90% of casinos’ gaming portfolio is represented by various online slot machines. In this case, a truly client-oriented casino would probably design a special filter that will allow players to sort games by their features and properties. A good filter has to take into account such parameters like:

  • Developer company 
  • Number and shape of reels (3-reel slots, 5-reels slots, 6-reels slots, cluster slots, etc.)
  • Bonus level (Free Spins level, Mini-game, Double-up feature, etc.)
  • Design (2D slot, 3D slot)
  • Technology (HTML5, Flash player)
  • Theme (Pirate, Horror, Racing, Bank robbers, Fantasy, Western, Animals, Fashion, etc.)
  • Jackpot (Regular, Progressive, none)
  • Bonus symbols (Wilds, Scatters, Multipliers, Stacked scatters, etc.)
  • Number of paylines (switchable/fixed, 9, 25, 30, 50, etc.)

Many of the modern slots often use 3D graphics and gaming elements from non-gambling games to enhance the gameplay and to make it more fun. However, classic slots featuring simple graphics and elementary gameplay are also not going out of fashion, which may be strange for some players. However, the demand for old school games is partly explained by mobile gaming - the slots with simple interface and rules just look better on a smaller screen, and they are easier to play.

Jackpot Games

Technically, any casino game may feature a jackpot. However, most of the jackpots are featured in 3 and 5-reel slots and sometimes in table poker games. The jackpot can be either fixed or progressive. Most of the jackpot games feature several jackpots at a time - a major one and several minor jackpots that are easier to win. In most cases, fixed jackpots are not too big but easy to win. The size of a progressive jackpot may vary depending on slot settings - sometimes it manages to grow up to $10 million before some lucky player manages to win it and sometimes it does not grow bigger than $50,000.

Progressive jackpots are normally funded by players themselves - approximately 1,5% of each bet is dedicated to the jackpot pool every time you make a bet. Jackpot games mostly feature slightly lower RTP than regular slots due to the dedicated amount. However, it does not mean that you shouldn’t try playing it - even if you do not hit the desired jackpot, you still have good chances to get rich due to smaller winnings.

Video Poker

As we’ve already mentioned in the history of online casino games segment - video poker can be easily called the godfather of all online casino games. It was the first casino game that incorporated computer technologies, random number generator and a LED screen, which was a great breakthrough back in those days. When the first commercial video poker machines were released in 1979, the casino owners found out that digital games are not less popular than “analog” once. Also, online video poker machines are known as the best games to play at the casino - the RTP level in some games may reach 98-99%, which is a very high value.

Actually, video poker is a universe of its own that has originated from a poker card game but set its own rules. The first-ever video poker cabinet was based on a classic 5-card draw poker, but throughout 1980s many new original variations were developed due to the machine’s growing popularity. The list of must-have video poker games features such variations as Jacks or Better, Tens or Better, All American Poker, Joker Wild, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker, etc. However, the most prominent invention of video poker enthusiasts was the multi-hand poker - the variation that will be practically impossible to play in real life. Those poker machines allow you to play with 3, 5, 10, 15, 25, 50, 75 or even 100 hands at a time. Those poker games offer a higher risk of losing but higher benefits if you win.

Lotto, Scratch Cards, Bingo, etc.

Games of this kind mostly feature the realistic interface, which is designed to make the gameplay believable. Normally, those games are featured in Specialties sections. There are some territories where bingo and lotto are highly popular. For instance, in the UK bingo has an informal status of a national game, so UK casinos often feature their big choice.

Live Casino

Live Dealer Casino allows players to make bets playing against a real-life dealer via webcam. Live Casino is a relatively new way to gamble online. The first-ever Live Casino featured only one table with one dealer against whom you could play blackjack. Modern Live Casinos normally feature dozens of tables and several games to play - blackjack, baccarat, roulette, super 6 and others. The most ambitious live dealers may offer tables with different betting ranges and slightly different rules, so the player can choose what kind of blackjack they want to play and how much they are ready to spend. The only minor disadvantage of Live Dealer is that you cannot play free casino games online in the Live Dealer lobby.

El Royale Gaming Portfolio

El Royale Casino features a wide portfolio of games that covers all popular online casino genres. Our casino features a world-famous provider onboard - RealTime Gaming (RTG). It has a long history of operating on the iGaming market and is known for the high quality of its products. All the instant play games like slots, card games, poker, roulette, bingo and scratchcards are provided by RTG. All the games are completely instant, which means that you do not need to install any additional software to launch them.

In order to reach the gaming lobby, you will need to create an account which is a fast and easy procedure - just click on the Sing Up sign in the upper right corner of the website and provide some of your personal data that is required. Once you have an account, you can play free gambling games in fun mode; once you have made the first deposit, you will be able to play them for real money. The gaming lobby features a filter that will help you choose games by their genres and properties. Altogether, there are more than 210 instant play games at El Royale. And now, let’s see what these games are.

Slots - There are more than 130 slots at El Royale. It would be pretty hard to point out which of them are suitable for a player who is not closely familiar with RTG products. However, El Royale added some practical filters to the slots section, so you can choose games by the number of lines, bonus features, properties and jackpot features. On the El Royale website, you will be able to play such top casino games by RTG like Aladdin’s Wishes, Dragon Orb, Eternal Love, Voodoo Magic, Secret Jungle and many others. You also get access to mind-blowing progressive jackpot games like Aztec’s Gold, Megasaur, and The Spirit of Inca.

Table Games - In this section, you will find all table and card games that are featured on El Royale. The lobby features multiple blackjack variations, baccarat, roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow Poker and many other known table games.

Video Poker - El Royale has prepared a truly worthy collection of video poker games that will probably satisfy even the most demanding players. Altogether, there are 56 poker games, including All American Poker, Double Jackpot Poker, Bonus Deuces Wild, Jacks or Better and pretty much any other video poker variation you can think about. Each game can be played either in a 1-hand mode or in a multi-hand mode. RTG video poker games support 3, 10, and 52-hand variations and all of them are present at our website.

Specialty Games - Just as it was mentioned before, this section normally features a medley of games that do not match any other category. Among specialties, you will find such games as Scratch Cards, Keno, Bingo, Craps, etc.

And there’s one last piece of advice you may find helpful. Since most of these games are based on Flash player, you may need to allow them to launch. If the game does not start and the screen says that the Flash player is not allowed, you will need to press on the small lock button that is located next to the web address line and enter the browser menu by clicking on it. When the menu is opened, just allow your browser to launch flash casino games, and everything will start working properly.

Real Money and Demo Modes

Most online providers design two playing modes for their games - real money mode and demo mode. For instance, you can play free online casino games online at the El Royale website if you want to - you only need to enter the “PLAY FOR FUN” mode when you sign up. When it comes to RTG products - you can enjoy free online gambling games as long as you want to!

Access to free online casino games is great for the promotion of games and casino itself because most of the players want to see what they are paying for before making a deposit, so its just smart and fair to offer an option like this. When you are launching casino demo games, you are instantly given a huge sum of virtual cash that you can spend the way you like - you can explore how the game reacts to the higher and lower stakes, is it practical to switch off some winning lines or what is the best strategy. Free play casino games may be very helpful, especially for less experienced players.

Mobile Gaming

Nowadays, the number of people who prefer to use their smartphones and tablets for playing mobile casino games is growing rapidly. The percent of people who prefer gadgets to desktop devices may vary between 30%-50% depending on the casino brand. There are 3 principal types of mobile casinos, and it will be good if you know more about them. As for El royale, it boasts both mobile and desktop versions of the website which makes it super user-friendly.

  • Casino with desktop-only design - This means that casino design is only oriented on adjusting to desktop devices. If you enter the website via your mobile device, it may not be easy to play because you will have to use Zoom up, play with miniature control buttons, and strain eyesight to see small details. Luckily, the El Royale website adjusts to any screen size and can be used on any device, be it PC, iOS, or Android.
  • Mobile application - Some casinos offer to download their mobile app that will allow playing comfortably via mobile and you will also get fast access to your account. Mobile apps like this are probably available for download via the casino website. As for El Royale, it doesn’t have a mobile app. which helps you to save precious space on your gadget.
  • Online casinos featuring responsive design - Casino websites that feature the responsive design automatically adjust to your mobile settings. No download casino games, no complicated finger touches on a small screen - just launch and play. In this case, the controls and gaming interface may look different to fit the smaller screen. This design is the most practical of all the listed. Want to know how these casinos work in real life? Just grab your smartphone and visit El Royale Casino, where you can enjoy all your favorite games from mobile or tablet. El Royale Casino website is compatible with any operating system: Android, iOS, etc.

The other peculiar thing about mobile gaming is that many old-school and nostalgic games look great on small screens because of their simplicity, while some of the latest online casino games like 3D slots may look a little bit messy, and it may be hard to distinguish some of the smaller detail.

Why Should You Play Gambling Games at El Royale Casino?

As you can clearly see, the gaming market made great progress since the first online casino was opened in 1996. Starting as a practical alternative to brick-and-mortar casinos, iGaming business manager to grow into an independent and self-sufficient sphere with its own client base, complex international policies, and gaming ethics. Every year iGaming developers and designers are inventing new fun ways to gamble, and passionate casino players are always ready to enjoy new online casino games.

We are happy to know that you have chosen El Royale online casino among others, and we promise that we always do our best to make sure you have the chance to enjoy the best online casino games and the best bonuses that you can find on the internet! So don’t hesitate and create an account at El Royale if you still don’t have one. The lavish welcome bonuses and an opportunity to play real money casino games are waiting for you!