When it comes to internet gambling, traditional online casino games are almost as popular as online pokies. Like their reel-spinning counterparts, they’ve successfully made the leap from bricks-and-mortar establishments to modern web browsers. We have improved coding techniques and more robust gaming platforms to thank for that.
Although we place great emphasis on pokies at Inside Casino, over the coming months we’ll be adding more reviews of cherished online casino games such as blackjack, roulette and baccarat. These games have captivated the imagination of punters the world-over so it makes perfect sense to extend our coverage to include what for many are the best casino games of all.
Top Online Casino Games
What follows is a drill-down of the most celebrated table games that you’ll currently find on our site. Use the links under each description to access the game’s dedicated page where we go into more depth about the history of each table game while offering more detailed appraisals of rules and etiquette.
Blackjack graces the floors of many land-based establishments, not to mention the game lobbies of most big-time operators. Although fairly easy to pick up, its relatively simple rules belie the sophisticated, strategic nature of this celebrated gambling game.
Basic Rules of Blackjack
Up to seven players can participate in games of blackjack. The goal is to beat the dealer by hitting 21 or as close a possible through the sum total of two cards. Wins are also possible by attaining a higher score than the dealer that doesn’t go over 21, or if the dealer continues to draw cards that eventually exceed 21.
The cards can be dealt either face up or face down depending on the variant being played, with participants permitted to draw extra cards to improve their hand. The dealer is allowed to draw his hand once all players have received theirs. In most blackjack versions, he must achieve a minimum score of 17.
As with most comparing card games, scores are calculated according to the actual card values which run of course from 2 to 10. The picture/face cards are worth ten while aces can be valued at one or eleven. To achieve a blackjack, a player must hold a picture card and ace.
Blackjack Casino Games Variants
There exist multiple versions of online blackjack. Here are some of the most well-known variants.
Classic Blackjack Online
As the name suggests, classic blackjack is heavily based on the version found in most land-based casinos. Using a single deck, two face-up cards are dealt to the players while one of the dealer’s cards is hidden. The dealer also has to stand on a soft 17.
European blackjack closely follows its traditional off-line counterpart. It’s available as both a single and multi-hand game and comprises at least two decks of 52 cards with the usual goal of getting a better score than the dealer without exceeding 21.
Double Deck Blackjack
Featuring the same rules as it counterparts, Double Deck Blackjack is played using two decks. Although the rules remain pretty much the same, this particular version features a slightly higher house edge. This is slightly offset in certain double deck variants which require the dealer to stand on all 17s.
Premium Online Blackjack
A maximum of four decks are used in games of premium blackjack which also feature the ‘perfect pairs’ side-game. This version requires more sophisticate strategies and a stronger degree of expertise. If you’re a newbie to blackjack, you should probably try your hand at games with fewer decks first.
Live blackjack is offered by an extensive range of online casinos and can usually be found in live dealer suites as part of a wider portfolio of casino games. These days, live blackjack offers the kind of ambience and excitement you could expect when playing at a land-based establishment. Professional croupiers and crisp HD streaming help (in most cases) contribute to an authentic, immersive casino gaming experience.
Poker is a family of casino card games that has seen a massive increase in popularity over the past twenty years or so. Originally a mainstay of bricks-and-mortar casinos as well as private gatherings, the game became an online international phenomenon thanks to the multi-table tournaments introduced by Party Poker and Pokerstars in 2001.
Variations include Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, Razz and Five-Card Draw. However, Texas Hold ’em is by far the most popular and can be played at an extensive array of online casinos.
Basic Rules of Poker (Hold’em)
In games of Hold’em, players are dealt two cards which are known as ‘hole cards’. Once all cards have been dealt, a round of betting takes place known as the ‘pre-flop’ in which participants can either check (defer betting rights), bet or fold (give up hand).
The decisions made at this stage of the game are based on the values of a given hand and are a crucial part of the game. After the pre-flop is completed, three shared/community cards are dealt face up (the flop) and another round of betting takes place.
Then, a fourth card is dealt which is known as the turn, followed once again by a betting round. A final shared card (the river) is then dealt followed by a final round of betting.
Players can rely on the values of their two hole cards. In most cases however, winning hands are derived from both hole and community cards. Scores are calculated according to individual card values.
Poker Casino Games Variants
As already mentioned, the poker family consists of numerous variations available to play online. Here’s a brief description of each.
Second only to Texas Hold’em in terms of popularity, Omaha poker has a few key differences. Instead of two cards, the player is dealt four. He must also use at least two of them to form a poker hand. Additionally, one of the cards must be dealt face-up.
Five Card Stud
Five-Card Stud is the oldest poker version of all and is often seen in US westerns. Players are initially dealt two cards, one face-down the other face-up. A series of betting rounds then take place with participants receiving an additional three cards. The best five-card hand wins the pot.
This classic version of poker is played with seven hole cards with the aim of forming the best five-card hand. As with Hold’em there are five community cards with players allowed to exchange as many of their own cards as they wish.
The objective of Razz Poker is to create the lowest hand possible from five cards. Featuring the same dealing method as seven-card stud, it is usually played with a maximum of eight participants. Betting amounts are also fixed for each round.
In keeping with some of the best casino games, roulette features easy-to-pick-up rules but also a strategic depth that’s both addictive and occasionally frustrating!
Basic Rules of Roulette
As you probably know, a single ball (most of the time), is dropped into large revolving wheel featuring numbered pockets which are colored either red or black. Before the wheel is spun, players can bet on the number, the number range or color in which they think the ball will land.
The bets placed on numbers are known as ‘inside bets’ while wagers on colors and number ranges are known as ‘outside bets’. Outside bets cab offer better odds than inside bets for fairly obvious reasons. Amazingly, this is lost on many novices.
European and American roulette are the most popular variants and are extremely similar – the only differences between the two games are the order of numbers on the roulette wheels and the extra double zero pocket of the American version. Because of these variations, European roulette offers slightly more favourable odds of winning.
Roulette wagers are placed on a special table which comprises three columns of betting areas. These signify number ranges and are labelled: 1 to 34, 2 to 25 and 3 to 36. There are additional boxes in which outside bets can be placed. They’re marked: 1st 12, 2nd 12, 3rd 12, 1 – 18, 19-36, Even, black, red.
Roulette Casino Game Variants
As well as European and American Roulette, there a few variations that have started to proliferate online. Some of the best ones are as follows.
Double Ball Roulette
Using the same double-zero wheel utilised in American roulette, this double-ball variant offers improved odds of winning and a double-ball jackpot. One of the best online versions was developed by Evolution Gaming which still offers the game as part of its live dealer suite.
Mini roulette is a trimmed-down version of the traditional game comprising a 13-pocket wheel. While not as popular as other variants, it’s often available at casinos running Microgaming software.
Baccarat is a tad more sophisticated than your typical online casino game. And like the others mentioned above, its appeal is enormous. It features six, eight or nine decks of cards with the objective to get as near to 9 points as is possible.
Basic Rules of Baccarat
Points directly correspond to the card’s values, save for face cards which, unlike games of poker or blackjack, are worth zero while aces are 1 point. Before cards are dealt, participants can bet on either the player or banker winning the round or a tie.
Most baccarat tables comprise similar markings. There are usually two areas labelled ‘bank/banker’ and ‘player’. From these boxes extend widening segments that can comprise additional banker and player boxes along with numbers which correspond to the player positions.
Full-size tables have two semi circles that can seat up to 15 participants – these are connected by a narrower section that accommodates two dealers and a croupier (caller). Mini baccarat has just one semi-circle and is thus intended for a smaller number of players.
Baccarat Casino Games Variants
The popularity of online baccarat has spawned a small collection of variants that aren’t usually offered by land-based establishments. Instead, they can be found in many online casino game lobbies.
Single Player Baccarat
This particular version is not available at bricks-and-mortar casinos. Despite its name, an unlimited number of players can take part, but using the same hand. Following standard baccarat rules, it makes use of either six or eight decks and offers a variety of additional side-bets.
This version is a fast and furious take on classical Baccarat featuring the same rules. However, players only have ten seconds to place their bets, which makes for frantic, high-adrenaline game-play – not for the faint-hearted or novices.
Mini baccarat is a low-stakes version of standard baccarat with a smaller table and a few rule variations. As opposed to the traditional game, the players are not allowed to touch the cards and the dealer always acts as the banker. Online versions, developed by the likes of Play N’Go are available at numerous online casinos.
Looking for more information about other online casino games such as pokies? Then head over to our pokie game section where we offer reviews for some of the most acclaimed titles currently available.
Casino Game Developers
But what about the casino games developers? Well, we offer background information about these too. As well as looking at their game portfolios, we profile each company so you can get a better idea of their modus operandi and the approach they take in the development of online casino games.
Bonuses and Promotions
Bonuses and promotions are huge factors when it comes to choosing an online casino. They’re also a bid deal for developers as well, given how competitive the industry has become. While there are plenty of exciting promotions out there, there are plenty of things to keep in mind before parting with your cash. To help you make sense of the many incentives and allurements panhandled by operators, we offer advice about how to choose the best offers while highlighting some of the many pitfalls to avoid.