Since their inception, casinos have used the latest technology. Once upon a time, this meant the newfangled roulette wheel and the evolving game of blackjack, but a little over a century ago, the birth of slots heralded a new age for casinos. Yet nothing can quite compete with the game-changing impact of digitization on casino gaming, as betting sites were freed from the shackles of a physical establishment and could house an enormous array of games. And, as an unexpected but major benefit, online casinos proved all but bulletproof when pandemic lockdowns arrived.
Transformative Effect of Digitization on Casinos
Perhaps the single starkest indicator of how big the difference digitization has made to casinos was seen during the last years when land-based casinos were forced to suspend operations immediately and were among the last businesses to escape lockdown restrictions. Online casinos, by contrast, carried on as if nothing was happening and even saw a boost in activity as players who normally preferred brick-and-mortar casinos tried playing online. Initially, many players were skeptical about the safety of online gambling. However, they have since overcome these concerns and embraced the secure nature of the activity.
The lack of a physical footprint has numerous benefits for a casino. Lower overheads are one of the most obvious, as neither rent nor space limitations apply to an online betting site as they do to physical casinos. And this has knock-on benefits, with lower overheads yielding higher profit margins and allowing casinos to have a lower overall house edge, meaning players stand a slightly better chance of winning playing digitally than in person. Likewise, smartphone fans can play from pretty much anywhere with a signal, as games and casinos are designed to work flawlessly on mobile platforms.
The Enduring Popularity of Modern Technology in the Casino Industry
Some pastimes have been popular for centuries, such as chess and draughts, while many fall out of favor (bloodsports, for most people and places today), and new ones (AI art, video games) are constantly being created. The longevity of casino games is impressive, with blackjack and roulette dating back centuries, and part of this is due to the fusion of classic entertainment with modern technology. When it comes to finding the best places to play, Top10Casinos’s research applies, providing an extensive list of the best online casinos. The selection includes the latest cutting-edge slots, as well as classic old-school card games, ensuring a blend of innovation and nostalgia. Putting together streaming technology with blackjack and roulette combines the best of both worlds and shows how casino games can perfectly dovetail old and new to take the best parts of both. Similarly, virtual sports categories (mostly racing variations and soccer) allow betting without being chained to a sporting calendar.
History of Blackjack
The origins of the first games still played in casinos today are so distant that there needs to be more clarity about their creation. Blackjack is thought to have initially come about in Spain, and our first recorded mention of Vingt-Un (the predecessor version, known as veintiuna in Spanish) was made by a gambler and author Miguel de Cervantes over four hundred years ago. Further historical appearances came in Britain during the late 18th and France during the late 19th centuries. Today, it’s the single biggest game in the world of casinos. Besides, the game is easy to learn, part of this popularity, but subtle enough that mastering it is challenging, were books published in the 1950s and 1960s seeking the perfect way to play. Many players memorize the right call in any situation (basic strategy). This and counting cards are entirely legal in most places in the world, though casinos that suspect players of doing so may put an end to a gaming session.
Roulette was created in France more recently, in the 18th century. This is perhaps obvious given one of the two biggest online casino variations is French (sometimes called European. The American alternative has a double zero). The zero situation is slightly ironic as the single zero is a 19th-century German innovation to get an edge on the competition (as a single zero wheel has a lower house edge and, therefore, a better chance for the player to finish ahead). While some early roulette wheels had flaws due to imperfect manufacture (which could be exploited by those with a good eye or memory who noticed numbers coming up more frequently than random chance would imply), modern roulette games have a higher precision standard, removing this potential exploit. Naturally, online versions use algorithms and RNG (random number generation) to ensure a random result.
Genesis of Slots
Many online casinos offer hundreds or even thousands of slot games to play, and huge rows can still be found in real-world establishments. Known variously as one-armed bandits, fruit machines, or pokies, popularity in the real world is dominated by Australia. In the land down under, pokies, as they are locally called, are available far more widely than in other countries. Regarding online casinos, slots are almost always the biggest gaming category by quite a large margin. The first ancestor of modern slots was made in New York in 1891. Based on poker, later iterations of the machine simplified things.
More improvements were made over the years, with one milestone coming in 1963 when Bally created Money Honey. This more advanced machine could award the correct prizes automatically without human assistance. In 1976 the first video slot was developed. But the biggest digitization step was taken by Microgaming in 1994 when the first online casino software was developed. Ten years later, another great step occurred with the first mobile casino software (also made by Microgaming). Since then, themes, styles, and gameplay mechanics have increased to such an extent there are dozens of top developers and thousands of online slots at the best-rated sites.
Most Demanded Casino Game Category According to Experts
Regarding casinos today, it’s intriguing to note that the most popular types of games are both the oldest and newest. The single biggest game category at every top casino list is slots, with new games always coming out and some of the biggest hits maintaining popularity for decades. The sheer number has themes to appeal to every player, from sci-fi adventures to delve into Egyptian tombs. These vary from the progressive jackpot giants that offer huge prizes, such as Mega Moolah, to games with a tempting RTP (return to player). On that note, blackjack and roulette remain among the top casino games today, which is interesting, given how long they’ve been around.
These old table games come in regular (player versus software) and live dealer (players versus a real dealer via live streaming) formats. They also have some of the lowest house edges, likely because they were conceived before big casinos, let alone the internet, existed. Rule variations can increase the house edge (such as double zero in roulette).
Casino gaming has been transformed by digitization, and the tech train is not stopping anytime soon, with VR and AI on the horizon.