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Difference between casino games and slot games?

Online Casinos are virtual version of real-life “brick and mortar” casinos, offering the gambler an array of gambling games (like Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat etc.) with the convenience of playing from anywhere in the world anytime of the day. Online Slots are, quite similarly, virtual slot machines – which generate a set of numbers from a given set randomly and depending on the sequence you can win as per the sequence obtained; they are usually of a three-reel (3 numbers in a sequence) or a five-reel (5 numbers in a sequence) variety.

Online casinos can be web-based (all you need is a browser; no downloads required – using emerging technologies like Flash, Java etc.) or software-based (you need to download a software and install it) but you need an internet connection in any case to deal with the ‘house’ when playing with ‘real’ money. Same is true for Online slots.

Both offer odds and payback percentages that are comparable to real-world casinos and slot machines. However, as per the payoff audit reports published by some big names in the business, the payback percentages are usually higher for the Online Slots than the other casino games.

Probability based table games, like Blackjack, have established a house edge due to obvious reasons (a player has digital analytical tools at his disposal while playing the game, which might not be possible in real casinos). Online slots is more “one-shot” and chance-driven, which explains the higher payoff percentage required to attract the gamblers towards it in the online versions.

The core issue that both Online Casinos and Slots face is that of reliability. Very often they ‘piggyback‘ , or get the authenticity of their random number generation algorithms (which lie at the very heart of these systems) and payoffs audited by well-known companies (CryptoLogic, Microgaming, Realtime Gaming to name a few). The bigger Online Casino sites usually boast of a larger network of trusted sources in this matter than the Slot sites.

Also, most online casinos require an initial signup and a seed-amount to start with. To attract people into registering, they offer a lot of signup bonuses, including non-cashable (“phantom” balances – a virtual capital that a player is given as seed money which cannot be encashed) and cashable offers (like comp points – points per win/wager which can be exchanged for further comp points, gifts or cash). Online slots are often offer free registration and virtual “trials” with virtual money to get people attracted towards the sites.

A burning concern in both cases is the presence of fraudulent sites, which hurt the image of genuine networks, as also payout problems. Active online casino games players communities exist to detect and report these sites and such behaviours.

From the player site, the online casinos stand at a higher degree of risk due to practices like “bonus gaming” in the casino games. Wage charges and membership fees can be structured accordingly to hedge this risk to a certain extent. Online Slots, being more random, face lower risk at this. They can also increase the odds (more so than a brick and mortar game – theoretically infinitely). A gamer needs to be careful about that too.

Finally, there are legal issues – these online sites are universally pervasive, whereas the casino games might not be legal in certain countries/states. Careful jurisdiction and IP discrimination needs to be taken into account, especially for Online slots as they are more regulated.

This article was written by Caroline.

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