While from the outside the online casino industry can seem fairly homogenous, once you dig a little deeper you will realise that there are actually a number of different services available and technologies at play.
Having an awareness of the different software options will help you to choose which operator to play with, so here is a quick overview of the main variations to bring you up to speed.
Platform compatibility considered
The first point of note is that different sites cater to different styles of play according to the compatibility of the software they provide.
For example, a reputable casino online will cover all the bases by offering software that runs in your web browser, which means you can effectively expect to play games no matter the platform you have at your disposal. These are typically powered by a cloud infrastructure and will therefore be resilient and reliable.
An operator that has a standalone mobile app available to download will also tick a lot of boxes, especially if you want to play on the move and are interested in getting the most consistent experience on your Android or iOS device.
A few sites also provide fully fledged programs that you can install on your PC for similar benefits to equivalent mobile apps. However, it may be easier in the age of HTML5 to simply stick to playing in your browser on a desktop or laptop PC, especially if hard drive space is limited.
The importance of randomness
The second significant aspect of casino software in the digital era is that regardless of the game that is being played or the provider of the service, randomness is an essential component of the experience.
It is not merely important for the outcome of everything from a hand of poker to the spin of the reels on a virtual slot machine to be entirely random from the player’s perspective to ensure fairness; it is also necessary so that the software adheres to regulations governing online casino software.
Random number generators (RNGs) are at the heart of contemporary casino services and complex algorithms power even the most seemingly simple games to keep everything above-board.
Of course you should still endeavour to play only with reputable online casino operators that are licensed and legitimate, since there is still the potential to get stung if you are not careful in this regard. Even so, with RNGs underpinning the software, you can expect that online casinos will be just as random and fair as land-based casinos.
The big names to look out for
The final noteworthy aspect of online casino software is that while there are hundreds of different sites which host slots, poker games, table games and the myriad other experiences available, there are actually only a few developers responsible for the individual games themselves.
While some sites develop the software in-house, most rely on third parties to create this, so you will likely find the same games cropping up across different casino services.
For example, companies including Playtech, Microgaming and NetEnt are found across the majority of market-leading casino sites.
Aside from mere brand recognition, the added advantage of well known developers being responsible for games that are played and enjoyed worldwide is that you can assume that there will be a minimum level of quality and consistency that is met by their products.
Of course the online casino market is very competitive and new developers are emerging fairly regularly, so as long as the site you are playing on is established, you should not worry about the specific team behind the slot you fire up. Keep your wits about you and remember to have fun.