If you don’t spend any time at online casinos yourself, you may look at them as something separate from the rest of modern gaming. Online casinos originally emerged as simple, digital alternatives to brick-and-mortar establishments. As such, they catered largely to casino enthusiasts and did occupy a sort of niche of their own.
Over time, however, online casinos have changed. They’ve developed better games and more widespread appeal, well beyond pure casino enthusiasts. To give you a better sense of how the category has evolved though, we’re going to take a brief look at the different types of games people enjoy at online casinos today.
As tends to be the case in live casinos, slot machines — or their digital counterparts, rather — are the main draws. For years now, online slot collections have been expanding and improving, to the point that they would barely be recognizable to players from the earlier days of online casinos. While most games retain the basic format of a traditional slot machine, they are now built up with vivid graphics, underlying characters and stories, and in many cases direct references to pop culture. They are also particularly well suited to mobile gaming, which has itself become more adept at showcasing atmosphere in games. As was noted in our ‘Summary of the Highlights of Gaming Phones in 2020’, mobile phones today thrive on stronger performance and more realistic pictures — both of which help them to bring today’s beautiful online slots to life for gamers.
Just behind slots, online poker is also a major draw to internet casinos. It’s been available to much of the world for decades now, proving to be reliably popular among players and profitable for gaming companies. Online poker is so successful in fact, that the the CEO of MGM Resorts (which operates casino properties around the world) has supported further online casino legalization in the United States on the grounds that online poker has demonstrated revenue potential. That is to say, a major brick-and-mortar casino operator is pushing for more online competition because legal internet poker has proven to be a good business opportunity! The bottom line is that online poker gives players incredibly convenient ways to engage with one of the most popular games in the world any way they’d like. People can play against AI, friends, or strangers, in single matches or tournaments, and or real money or for free.
Bingo may be a surprise inclusion to some, but as is the case with slots, it’s actually a game that many enjoy more online. Foxy Bingo outlines in a piece about why people play online bingo that this is largely thanks to game variety and the opportunity for people to play the way they like. At a real casino or standalone bingo hall, players essentially have to participate in whatever game is being offered. At online casinos, bingo rooms take on different styles of gameplay, different themes, and different crowds. You can play a 30-ball bingo game with an underlying techno beat; you can hop into a bingo room based on the TV show Friends; you can even play a hybrid game filling out a bingo card by spinning a slot reel. In short, there’s a lot of variety, and it turns bingo gaming into a whole new experience.
Virtual Table Games
It’s a broad category, but virtual table games also play a big role in the appeal of modern online casinos. Full-fledged VR gaming has begun to grow at a significant rate — as much as 30% over the course of 2020, according to RoadToVR. This is indicative of growing interest among gamers, and while most online casinos haven’t made a full leap into actual VR, they do present similarly engaging virtual experiences. Most reputable sites today offer some combination of blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and other table games in various virtual formats — often with live dealers orchestrating the games. These experiences emerged a few years ago almost as early forms of pseudo-VR, and they’ve become very popular among players.
Altogether, these games and categories represent what people enjoy at online casinos today, and why this corner of the gaming world has grown so popular.