Guide to Popular Online Casino Game Types

Information about popular online casino game types including slots, blackjack, video poker and more.

The range of online casino games is essentially the same as that of land casino games. However, you will find that online casino games offer greater variety. There are many innovative variants of these games at online casinos that you will not find at land casinos. The basic difference between these two types of games is that online casino games are simulated using software. The random number generator in the software performs the function of creating random events like the spinning of the roulette wheel or dealing cards from a shuffled shoe of decks. As mentioned in our casino reviews, the software has been independently tested and certified as fair.

Slots

Slot machines make up about 70% of online casino games. There are different types of slot machines, video slots being most popular. These are characterized by five reels and nine or more paylines. The latest video slots also have amazing audio visual effects. The biggest attractions video slots offer are the bonus features. They enable you to win additional amounts without your having to place additional wagers. The most common types of bonus features are free spins and pick an object type games. The online casinos that we have recommended offer branded video slots that are based on popular movies and television shows.

The earliest slot machines at online casinos were three reels slots. These were fashioned after the electro mechanical land based slot machines. Most such slot machines do not offer any bonus features. Generally they are less volatile than video slots. Three reels slots have a niche market of the older and more conservative online casino players.

Progressive jackpot slots can be of both the video slots type and the three reels slots type. The top payout in these slot machines is not fixed. A portion of every wager goes towards this jackpot payout which keeps on increasing. When the trigger occurs, the entire amount of the jackpot is paid to the player. The trigger may be a specified combination of symbols or it may occur randomly after any spin. At our recommended online casinos there are progressive jackpot slots that pay in excess of millions of Rands.

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Blackjack

Blackjack is a popular game at land casinos. Several variants of this game can be played at our recommended online casinos. These include the standard variants like European Blackjack and Vegas Strip Blackjack. You will also find some exclusive online variants with exciting side bets and progressive jackpots. Online blackjack can fetch you average returns of over 99%. But for this you must play with the optimum strategy. Most of our recommended casinos include a strategy card within the game to help you.

Blackjack is played against the casino with both player and dealer being dealt hands according to the rules. You must get a hand of higher value than the dealer up without busting. The cards from 2 to 9 have their face value. Aces can be valued at 1 or 11. All other cards are valued at 10. A blackjack is a two card hand with an ace and a 10 value card, which beats all other hands. A normal win pays even money and a win with blackjack pays 3 to 2.

The most common moves in blackjack are hit and stand. Stand indicates that you do not want another card. Hit indicates that you want another card dealt to you. If you hit and your hand value goes over 21 then you bust and lose your wager. If you are dealt two like cards upfront then you can split your hand into two by placing another equal wager. If your hand is very good you can double down by placing another wager, but then you will be dealt one and only one more card.

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Video Poker

Video poker is a casino game based on poker hand rankings. There are different video poker variants each having their own payout table. Your objective is to get a five card poker hand that matches one of the hand rankings in the payout table. The higher the hand ranking is, the larger will be the payout.

You start the online video poker game by placing a bet. You have to select the coin size and the number of coins. You should always select the maximum number of coins because this gives you an advantage in the payouts. You will be dealt five cards. You have the option of replacing as many of these cards as you want. You click on the cards that you want to retain and these will be marked as ‘Hold’. Then the remaining cards will be replaced. Only one standard deck is used in the game so you will not get the cards that you have discarded. Your final five card hand will be compared against the payout table of that video poker variant. If your hand does not match with any of the hand rankings then you lose the bet. Otherwise you are paid as indicated in the payout table.

Our recommended online casinos offer a large number of video poker variants. The most common of these is Jacks or Better. Other popular video poker variants are Deuces Wild and Joker Poker. Online video poker games can be played in single hand and in multi hand formats.

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Roulette

Roulette is one of the most glamorous games in land casinos. Our recommended online casinos use special graphics and tools to try and capture this glamour. Online roulette is played exactly in the same manner as the land casino variant. The roulette layout has numbers 1 to 36 arranged in a 3x12 matrix. You place your bets to cover one or more of these numbers in set patterns. The roulette wheel is then spun and the ball comes to rest on a particular number. If your bet does not cover this number then you lose. Otherwise you receive a payout that is based on the type of the bet.

There are two broad types of bets. In the inner bets, the chips are placed on the numbers within the layout. The single bet covers only one number. If that number is called you receive a payout of 35 to 1 otherwise you lose the bet. You can also cover two adjacent numbers with the same bet. If either of the numbers is called then you win. The payout is 17 to 1. Other inner bets cover three, four or six numbers. In the outer bets the chips are placed outside the layout. One such bet covers 12 numbers in a vertical column. It pays 2 to 1. The most popular bets in roulette are the even money bets red and black.

All our recommended online casinos offer European Roulette and American Roulette. The European version is preferred because it has a higher average return. French Roulette has certain advanced bets.

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Baccarat

The most exciting and complex variant of baccarat at land casinos is Chemin de Fer, which you must have seen in many 007 movies. Online baccarat is, however, an exceedingly simple game, but one that offers extremely high average returns with a strategy that is easy to learn.

In online baccarat you do not actually play. The game is played between designated Player and Banker and you have to bet on who will win. The cards are dealt to each hand according to prescribed rules. It is not necessary to know these rules because the whole process is controlled by the software. The hand with the higher value wins. The cards from 2 to 9 are valued at their face value. 10s and the face cards have a value of 0. Aces have a value of 1. The hand value is computed by adding the values of all the cards and then dropping the tens digit. If you have placed a winning bet on the Banker, then you are paid even money with a 5% commission deducted from your winnings. If you have placed a winning bet on the Player, then you are paid even money. You can also bet on both hands being tied. The Tie bet usually pays 8 to 1.

The Player bet offers an average return of 98.76%. The Banker bet offers an average return of 98.94%. Therefore despite the commission being deducted, the Banker bet is the one to go for. The Tie bet offers an average return of 85.66% and is best avoided.

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Keno

Keno is popular amongst a section of online casino players because it is a fast paced game that has the potential to deliver large payouts. You should be aware that keno is a volatile game and that the large payouts are not likely to occur frequently.

You first place your wager. 80 numbers will be displayed in a grid and you usually have to select up to 15 of them. You can select numbers you think are lucky for you, or according to set pattern or totally randomly. You can even leave the selection to the software. The payout table for the number of spots selected will be displayed. It will show the payouts for the different hits that can be achieved. When the game is activated 20 numbers are randomly drawn. If a drawn number corresponds to a selected number then it is considered to be a hit. You receive a payout according to the number of hits you have made.

An important decision in online keno is the number of spots that you mark on the screen. You have to mark the minimum number that yield a payout. How many more you want to mark depends on how much risk you are willing to take. As you mark more numbers you will get higher payouts, but with lower probability of occurrence. You can play keno for free at the online casinos recommended by us and try out various options. Once you are settled with what you want you can switch to real money play.

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