Top Casino Games
Online gambling sites offer a great range of casino games to suit all tastes and budgets, whether you want to try your luck on the table games or spin the reels on the slots. With so many excellent software providers at their disposal and no physical limitations, gambling sites often provide greater variety than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Check out some of the most popular casino games you can play online below.
Named after the French word for ‘little wheel’, roulette is a casino game dating back to the 18th century. In this game, the croupier spins the roulette wheel and players bet on where the ball will land. As well as betting on the exact number the ball will land on, players can place even money bets such as red/black and odd/even, or cover many numbers at once with split bets, corner bets, column bets, and more.
Casino gambling deals for roulette usually take the form of a matched deposit bonus, where you’ll receive some bonus credit when you add funds to your account. There will usually be wagering requirements attached, in addition to limits on your stakes and maximum wins.
Blackjack is another centuries-old game popular at land-based and online casinos. Players draw cards and compete against the dealer to get as close to 21 as possible without going bust. There is more strategy involved than roulette, as players decide whether to take another card (hit) or stick with what they have (stand) based on the cards the dealer has.
Like roulette, gambling offers for blackjack usually take the form of a deposit bonus. Once again, watch out for wagering requirements and caps on how much you can win.
Poker is an ideal game for players who enjoy strategy and skill — it’s played professionally in high-profile tournaments worldwide, but anyone can get involved online. Players compete against each other to form the best hands, betting and bluffing to try and take the pot from the competition. Hands include a flush, which is five cards of the same suit, and a straight, which is five consecutive numbers in a row.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular variant of the game, but there are plenty of others around for players who fancy trying something different. Five-card stud, for example, involves a mix of face up and down cards being dealt to each player. Caribbean stud, meanwhile, is another subgenre where you play against the house instead of other players.
Poker gambling deals are not very common due to the high level of skill involved. However, Paddy Power is known for having an excellent selection of poker bonuses and free roll tournaments to get you started.
Massively popular in Macau, baccarat comes in many variants. Punto banco is the most common one and is what you’ll find at most gambling sites. In punto banco baccarat, punters bet on whether the ‘player’ hand or the ‘banker’ hand will be closest to a value of nine. The number cards 2–9 are given their face value, while 10s and face cards are worth zero and aces are worth one point. Only the unit digit of the hand total is used, meaning a hand made up of 6 and 7 is worth 3 rather than 13.
A round of baccarat is called a coup, where each hand is dealt two cards and the values are compared — if either hand is worth 8 or 9, it’s a ‘natural’ and the winner is announced. Players can also bet on a draw, although the house edge is much higher, 4.85% for 8-to-1 payouts and 14.4% for 9-to-1 payouts. If neither hand wins after the first two cards, an extra card is dealt for the player hand and then the banker hand, according to a set of rules called the tableau. Both the banker and player win even money, although banker bets are subject to a 5% commission.
Other variants of the game include baccarat banque, chemin de fer, and mini baccarat, and there are often side bets that can be made too.
Craps is a dice game that originated in the United States, inspired by an older European game called Hazard. The game kicks off by rolling a number using two dice; this becomes the ‘point’, and from there the aim is to roll the point again before a seven is rolled. There are several different bets players can make during a game of craps, one of which is the pass line bet — here you’re betting that the roller will land a 7 or 11 on the first roll, and you’ll double your money if so. There are plenty of other bets you can make, and some other terms to learn to fully understand the game, but it’s great fun once you get the hang of it.
Most casino sites feature just a couple of craps games, and it’s unlikely to feature directly in gambling offers — however, if you pick up some bonus credit from a matched deposit offer, you may be able to try out craps for free.
If you’ve ever played bingo or the lottery, you’ll be in familiar territory with keno. The concept is simple: pick numbers — usually up to ten but sometimes more — between 1 and 80. Then, twenty numbers are drawn at random, and if yours come up, you win. The more numbers you match, the bigger the payout, just like the lottery.
There are 3.5 quintillion possible combinations of drawn numbers in this set-up, so your chances of snagging the jackpot are pretty slim, but you’ll still be rewarded for partial matches.
Keno requires no special skills or strategy to play. The outcome is entirely random, so it often appeals to slots fans. Games often come in lighthearted and zany themes, as in Monkey Keno and KenoLab.
Sic bo is a dice game originating in ancient China. The name translates to ‘precious dice’, and players will certainly be keeping their eyes on them — in fact, there are three, with players placing several bet types on the outcome of each roll.
Wagers are placed on a special board, which can look a little overwhelming to new players. The bets with the lowest house edge are:
- Big – total score 11–17 excluding triples
- Small – total score 4–10 excluding triples
- Odd – odd total score excluding triples
- Even – even total score excluding triples
Each of these bets comes with a house edge of 2.78% in UK sic bo, but other bets can run much higher. For example, specific doubles and triples have a house edge of 18.5% and 16.2% respectively, and specific double and single number combinations have a staggering 29.2% house edge — we’d suggest avoiding these bets if you’re looking for the best value.
A few variants of sic bo also exist, including the English game of Grand Hazard and the American game of chuck-a-luck or birdcage.
The best gambling sites offer a huge range of slots, often numbering in the thousands, so there’s lots of variety. They’re also the most common games featured in online gambling deals, meaning there are plenty of chances to give them a try for free before splashing any of your own cash.
The basic premise of a slot game involves spinning the reels and trying to land three or more identical symbols across a payline. Different games come with different symbols, in keeping with the theme of the game, and each symbol is worth a certain amount. The play will kick off in what’s known as the base game, and you can then trigger bonus rounds with multipliers and free spins up for grabs — some of which take the form of exciting mini games.
Thanks to the vast range of software providers in the slots industry, there’s a scintillating variety of themes ready for you to explore — from the Lucky Irish-themed Rainbow Riches series to branded games like Jurassic Park Gold and Kiss Reels of Rock.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
Progressive jackpot games are an exciting variety of slots that offer the largest jackpots on the market. With these slots, a portion of each player’s stake is added to a prize pool, which grows continuously until one player lands the mega prize. Microgaming’s Mega Moolah is the most well-known progressive game — one winner in 2021 bagged an incredible €19.4 million on the game. However, it’s worth noting that the RTP rate on the main part of these games tends to be lower than usual, as much of the game’s total payout comes from the jackpot.
Free Play Slots
Free play slots are exactly what they sound like. There’s no real money required to spin the reels and play, but there aren’t any cash prizes up for grabs. You’ll still enjoy all the same exciting features of the game and will collect coins when you land winning combinations. There are many reasons to check out free play slots — whether it’s to try out a game before playing the real thing, to practise playing slots for the first time, or to take a break from gambling.