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The Different Types of Casino Games 

To say that casinos - both the types that exist in your area and those that are operated exclusively online - are popular worldwide is something of an understatement. According to a study conducted by Washington University at St. Louis, it is estimated that 1.6 billion people all over the world play some type of casino game at some point during a given year.

An incredible 4.2 billion people worldwide admit to having played at least one casino game at some point in their lives. Thanks to the rate at which technology continues to advance and the prevalence of online casinos, those numbers have only grown since the study was conducted in 2005.

Part of the appeal comes from the fact that most casino games are every bit as much an art as they are a science. When you sit down to play a game like poker, for example, you need both luck and skill on your side to see the results you need when you need them the most. You can study the ins and outs of the game for years, learning every possible card combination and memorizing odds and percentages, but all the proactive effort in the world can't undo the effects of a run of bad luck - something that happens to everyone.

The Rise of Online Casinos

In many ways, online casinos and the Internet-based gaming industry have only made casino games more popular by making them more accessible than ever before. Now, you no longer have to get dressed up, drive to the nearest casino, pay to park and wander around the floor until you find the game you like.

You're only a few seconds away from playing any game like blackjack, roulette, craps or others right from the comfort of your own computer chair. One study estimates that in 2015, the online gaming market had a volume of roughly $37.91 billion USD per year - a number that is expected to increase to $59.79 billion by as soon as 2020.

The Many Different Types of Casino Games

Variety isn't just the spice of life - it also happens to be another one of the reason why casinos in general are so popular. At any given time there are dozens of games that one can engage in both online and at a brick-and-mortar casino depending on their tastes, their preferences or even their mood. In addition to the aforementioned poker, craps and blackjack, this also includes keno, baccarat, variations like pai gow poker, sic bo and even slot machines.

These games are traditionally separated into different categories like table games, slot games and others. The key to not only picking the game that is right for you, but also advancing your own skill to the point where you start winning in the way you've always wanted, involves knowing as much about offline and online casinos as possible.

The Different Table Games Available at Casinos and Online Casinos

In the context of casinos, "table games" are a category of games distinguished not only by the fact that they're played on a literal table, but that they're also operated by at least one (but possibly more) live dealers.

Aside from the games themselves, this is the major factor that separates them from other types of games like Video Poker that are played on a mechanical device. Depending on the area that the casino you're visiting is located in, they may only have slot machines and not table games specifically due to laws governing the presence of said live dealer.

If you want to put yourself in a better position to find the table game that is right for you at an online casino or at a casino in your neighborhood, learning as much as you can about each one is always recommended.

Poker: The World's Pastime

Poker is a popular card game that combines strategy, skill and a little bit of luck - all at the same time. A game begins with players making a forced bet, often referred to as the blind or ante, based on the rank they believe their hand of cards is worth.

Betting proceeds clockwise around the table and each player must either match the previous bet or fold, which will cause them to lose the amount of money they've bet so far. Players can also raise, or increase, the bet. At the end of a hand, the player with the highest combination of cards in their hand wins the money that has been bet so far.

The Art of Blackjack

Unlike with Poker, Blackjack is a card game where players at a table do not play against themselves - they play against a dealer. Players are issued cards in an attempt to either get 21 points on their own first two cards, reach a final score that his higher than the score of the dealer without going over 21, or letting the dealer continue to draw cards until their own hand goes over 21.

Players are dealt two cards, as is the dealer. One of the dealer's cards is usually exposed, while the other is not. Based on what the player thinks the dealer may have, they decide to either draw additional cards or stay with their current cards based on the aforementioned objectives.

Roulette: Breaking It Down

Roulette is much more of a luck-based table game than either of the other two options. Players simply choose to bet on either a single number, groupings of numbers, whether a number is odd or even, whether a number is low or high or the color red or black.

The croupier at a Roulette table spins a wheel in one direction and a small ball spins in another. Based on which slot that ball lands in - and what results the user actually bet on in the first place - the player will either win or lose.

Other Casino Table Games

Depending on the online casino you use or the in-person casino that you visit, other types of table cables will also likely be present. These include but are not limited to dice or tile-based games like Craps, Pai Gow or Sic Bo, other games based on random numbers like Big Six Wheel, or other card-based games like Casino War, Faro, Red Dog or even Trente et Quarante.

The Many Different Types of Online Slot Games That Players Need to Know About

One of the major reasons why online slots are so popular ultimately comes down to the thing that matters the most: the quality and the consistency of the experience they offer. While it's true that a game of online poker and one taking place in a brick-and-mortar casino are played the same way, to use just one example, the experience ultimately varies a great deal on the Internet. You don't have people sitting next to you, you're not engaged with a live dealer, etc.

The same isn't true with online slots, which offer a virtually identical experience to that of traditional slot machines right in the comfort of your own home. Thanks to the rate at which technology continues to advance, there are also a wide range of different types of online slot games for players to choose from depending on their needs and preferences.

3 Reel Games

3 Reel games are essentially the online version of the classic slot machines that you've probably been playing in your area for years. They're also by far the most straightforward as far as the rules are concerned.

In a 3 Reel slot, the game interface shows three distinct columns and three rows of symbols. The middle row, as always, is the pay line. After you bet and spin the reels, you win the amount of money stated based on whether or not any symbols on screen match up to a winning combination as listed in the pay table.

5 Reel Games

5 Reel slots, as their name suggests, take the gameplay rules and mechanics of 3 Reel machines and elevate them to the next level. 5 Reel slows can often have as many as 100 different pay lines, greatly increasing the odds that the player will win on each spin. They also come with pay tables that are far more detailed, as there are many more combinations of symbols that can generate a win for the player.

Beyond that, the actual rules are roughly the same. After placing a bet, the player spins the wheels and wins money based on whether or not the symbols on screen match a winning combination on the pay table.

Progressive Slot Games

Progressive slot games are largely an invention of the digital era, offering a unique way to replicate the communal feeling of a casino in one's own home. In a Progressive slot situation, every player that is playing the same game anywhere in the world is essentially competing for the same jackpot - which is also steadily increasing as more people play.

Though they each have their own individual game, the games are all linked together - meaning that as more people sign on, the jackpot grows larger and larger.

Once someone wins that jackpot, it resets and starts all over again. Progressive slot games are particularly popular online because of the massive payouts that they can sometimes offer.

Video slots

Video slots are definitely one of the most popular slot machines in the casino industry. Most of the gamblers tend to have a special connection with them because they have a wide range of gaming options. In fact, this is why almost all casinos offer their clients the video slots. You can easily choose any game, depending on your taste or level of your gaming skills. In most cases, experienced gamblers pick those slots that have sophisticated features or require some exceptional techniques.

Modern online video slots draw their inspiration from the traditional slot machines. In the past, gamblers operated these machines by inserting a coin before pulling a lever. Today, the modern interface gives you maximum convenience since you only need to touch a few buttons on your screen. Online video slots also give you the freedom to place bets ranging from 1 up to 243 pay lines. Of course, we can’t undermine the excellent graphics that come with online video slots.

All About Pokies - The Most Popular Online Casino Games in All of New Zealand

In many ways, pokies are more than just digital or online slot machines - they're also one of the most popular casino games anywhere in New Zealand today. This is with good reason, too - from a certain perspective, the history and unparalleled success of the pokie as a format is directly tied to the country itself.

The History of Pokies

Though pokies have become particularly popular over the course of the last decade or so, their history actually dates back farther than most people realize. They were first introduced during the late 1980s as digital versions of slot machines.

Because of the popularity of the slot machine in general, as well as the malleability of the format, pokies quickly began to appear in a wide range of different locations throughout the world. In addition to having prominent placement in many casinos, they are also often found in hotels, in clubs and bars, in restaurants and in many other areas.

Pokies became particularly popular in New Zealand, and with good reason. According to a study conducted by the Department of Internal Affairs, pokie turnover in 2008 hit $10.096 billion dollars. A full $9.158 billion of that money was returned to players in the form of prize money. During that year there were 19,479 pokie machines in more than 1,500 different venues across the country, all being operated by 384 different licensees.

Because pokies are so popular, the New Zealand government in particular has enacted a number of rules designed to make sure the machines are capable of being responsibly played at all times. Since 2009, for example, all pokie machines in New Zealand are required to have what are referred to as PIDs, or Player Information Displays.

This informational boxes tell people how long they have been playing a particular game, how much money they've spent so far and also remind them to occasionally get up and take a walk for the benefit of their health and wellness.

Online Pokies vs. Traditional Pokies: The Evolution of a Format

The popularity of pokies in New Zealand really took off, however, when online pokies grew in prominence. The major difference between online pokies and traditional pokies ultimately comes down to one word: convenience.

Instead of planning your entire evening around going to a location with your favorite pokie machine, paying for parking, possibly paying to get in and more, you can enjoy all of your favorite games right from the comfort of your own home. What's more, many pokies are also available for mobile formats like smartphone and tablets - meaning that you can take the format with you on-the-go as well.

But the true strength of online pokies rests in terms of versatility. New games are being released all the time, many of which feature branded content from shows like "Game of Thrones" or films like "Jurassic Park."

 The games themselves also change quite frequently, making attractive features like progressive jackpots or dramatic new gameplay rules - both of which would be largely unthinkable in a traditional setting - easier than ever for game developers.

The Most Popular Pokies From Microgaming

Microgaming is more than just an online gaming providers - they're also one of the leading providers of online pokies operating anywhere in the world today. As previously discussed, the pokie format is popular because of the variety that it offers and the huge jackpots that the games themselves are normally associated with. In terms of the most popular pokies from Microgaming, there are a few key titles in particular that keep people coming back again and again.

Mega Moolah

Mega Moolah is arguably the most popular Microgaming pokie for a very simple reason - jackpots tend to be so large that players have given it the nickname "The Millionaire Maker." The Mega Moolah Jackpot Wheel offers one of four different jackpots to choose from depending on preferences - Mini, Minor, Major and Mega.

The Mega jackpot is famous because it has a minimum payout of one million Pound Sterling (!). One player in New Zealand even won £13 million, which was recognized by Guinness World Records as the largest online slot jackpot of all time.

Game of Thrones

"Game of Thrones" is one of those television shows that is less a show and more a pop culture phenomenon. With the final season quickly approach, it's captured the attention of countless people worldwide - which is why you should not be surprised that it is also one of the most popular pokies from Microgaming, too.

"Game of Thrones" is undoubtedly popular because there are almost as many ways to win as there are characters on the show. There are two versions of the game to choose from - one a 243 line and the other a 15 line variety.

You can also choose from four different features depending on your preferences. Choosing House Stark, for example, gives you 14 games with a win multiplier of x3 plus stacks of five stark symbols that can be used to win a random prize of up to 100 times your bet.

Jurassic Park

If you had to make a list of some of the most beloved films of all time, Steven Spielberg's 1993 opus "Jurassic Park" would undoubtedly be right at the top. Based on the success it has enjoyed in the decades since, it also makes sense that the "Jurassic Park" pokie is and will likely always be one of the most popular games from Microgaming across the board.

Players love this pokie for the same reason they love the movie - there's just something about dinosaurs that demand your attention and admiration. Beyond standard pokie rules, "Jurassic Park" is a fun pokie because of the dinosaur-themed special features that it offers.

If a Brachiosaurus appears on the board, for example, you get free spins with mystery multipliers. If you're lucky enough to spot a Velociraptor, you get free spins with a multiplier and split wilds.

Cash Splash

Last but not least we have Cash Splash, a pokie that is famous less for its use of branded content and more for the type of money that players can win - all while having a large amount of fun at the same time.

As a 15 line progressive pokie from Microgaming, Cash Splash has a beginning jackpot of $5,000 on a maximum bet of just $3. If players get five wild "Cash Splash" logos on line 15, they win the progressive jackpot just like that. Cash Splash is also available to play on both mobile platforms as well as on Windows and Mac computers, adding to the popularity it has enjoyed over the years.