When the first online casino was launched in 1994, the first thing that attracted players were the games. Because it was a very new concept, players were not spoilt for choice but were happy that they could play (and win) from the comfort of their own home. Today, more than 20 years later, players can choose from a whole range of different games, with a variety of table games, pokies and other games, as well as different themes for each game.
Back in the day players could sign up at a casino and play 3-reel pokies, some 5-reel pokies and table players could also play blackjack, roulette or craps. The first online casino that offered online casino games were Gaming Club, and even though the casino evolved with the times, it wasn’t until casinos like River Belle came along when online casinos literally started to up their games. River Belle was launched in 1997 and offers more than 500 different casino games today.
First there are the classic pokies – these 3-reel pokies have been in operation since the beginning of time and are still popular at both online casinos as well as land based casinos. They are easy to play and generally only have 1 payline, which makes them simple to understand as well. How have these games changed over the years? Keeping to the theme of simplicity, online casinos like River Belle have subtly added some extra features. Not only does River Belle offer more than 70 different games, but they also have an option of classic 3-reel pokies available: there are the regular pokies games that players are used to, but there are also pokies with bonus features, so when you’ve landed a certain combination you will launch a special interactive bonus screen where you can win even more money.
The most popular games by far are however the video pokies – although these were very limited in the beginning, software providers like Microgaming have seen a gap in the market and players quickly caught on to these fun 5-reel pokies games. Different themed games, with some offering free spins and some offering bonus features, are what you can expect to find at any online casino. River Belle Casino has also received the rights to launch games based on movies and TV series, which has seen a whole new generation of players starting to play online.
Table games have certainly advanced since the first online casino was launched. While players could play and win on games like blackjack and roulette in the beginning, they are certainly spoilt for choice today. There are single- and multi-hand blackjack tables to choose from and players can decide whether they want to play European, French or US roulette. Additional table games also include craps, baccarat, sic bo and pai gow poker. And that’s not even the best part – in the last few years River Belle has also added a Live Dealer section. This advancement in technology allows games to be streamed onto your PC via a live feed, so players will have real croupiers at a variety of table games. River Belle casino has also recently clinched a deal with Evolution Gaming, a company that specialises in Live Dealer games – this will bring online players as close as possible to playing table games at a land based casino.
More game varieties have launched as well since 1994, which were never available to players before. These include the following:
* Scratchies: Online casinos like River Belle have discovered that players also need some time-out, even though they may not want to stop playing. This is why they created some fun, relaxing scratchies to take some of the pressure off players looking for that big win. While winning amounts are relatively smaller, scratchies are still entertainment at its best.
* Pokies tournaments: Where online casinos used to accept players only from a few countries in the past, the reality is that almost everyone from around the world can play at an online casino these days, with a few exceptions of course. Pokies tournaments provide the perfect opportunity for players to compete against each other for a share of winnings in a guaranteed prize pool.
* Progressive jackpots: When online casinos first started, jackpot amounts were relatively low compared to today’s winnings. These days there are progressive jackpot games, like Mega Moolah, that start at a guaranteed 1 Million. In fact, the largest jackpot payout happened on the Mega Moolah pokies game when a player won €17,879,645 spinning at Betway Casino.
One of the biggest advancements in online casino games over the years is mobile play. With the launch of the first online casino, the mobile industry was also still very new, and of course players were just excited to play online casino games from home. This behaviour changed over the years as players wanted to win away from home as well, without going to a land based casino. Enter the world of mobile casinos – these days players can play and win wherever they want as they play casino games on any compatible mobile device. And almost every casino that’s available on PC or laptop, also has a mobile version, so players won’t miss out on games at their favourite casinos. In fact, it’s becoming so popular that it wouldn’t come as a surprise if land based casinos move in that direction as well – they are already starting to create online casinos of land based versions.
Be that as it may, online casino games have certainly changed and adapted over the years and will most likely continue to do so for years to come.