Online casinos have boomed in popularity over the past couple of decades and the trend looks set to continue for the foreseeable future.
Advancements in technology have been the driving force behind the industry’s growth, helping operators develop immersive websites that keep players entertained for hours on end.
Whether you are a fan of free slots or high-rolling table games, the software that powers everything behind the scenes is undoubtedly crucial to your enjoyment.
With that in mind, we take a look some of the leading software companies in the online casino industry and assess how the different types of games are created.
Who develops the software?
There are a plethora of firms who develop exciting games, each of which have their own unique portfolio of titles they supply to online casino operators.
Companies such as International Game Technology (IGT) and SG Digital are massive organisations, employing thousands of people around the world.
Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming and Evolution Gaming are other respected companies who have made a huge impact in the casino sector.
All the firms use teams of developers who use sophisticated programming techniques to create the casino games you see across the internet.
How do online slots work?
The concept of slot machines have progressed a long way since the earliest mechanical games were first created more than 100 years ago.
The launch of the internet completely transformed slots, allowing developers to leverage technology to create thousands of multi-level and feature rich games.
All slots are powered by a random number generator (RNG), which ensures that each of the games are run fairly and cannot be manipulated by the casino.
The RNG is a program that randomises every spin, with the outcome calculated at the precise point the player presses the ‘start’ or ‘play’ button.
Slots also have a secondary feature called the return to player (RTP) percentage, which determines how much a player can expect to win on average when playing the game.
The RTP effectively provides the casino with a profit, but also ensures that players can make a profit if they play the game at the right time.
How are table games made?
As previously mentioned, one of the most important elements of any online casino game is the random number generator.
To adhere to licensing and regulatory requirements in their particular jurisdiction, operators must ensure that the outcome of all games is totally random.
The theory also applies to table games such as roulette, with the RNG determining where the ball will land on the wheel.
This guarantees that the outcome cannot be manipulated, thus giving players peace of mind that they are playing in a fair environment.
It is a similar story for other popular games such as blackjack, poker and craps, with the RNG the ‘engine’ that produces the outcome.
The random nature of the games means that strategies such as card counting are defunct as the pack is ‘shuffled’ by the RNG after each hand.
Are live dealer games the same?
It is fair to say that one of the best innovations in online casinos in recent years has been the introduction of live dealer games.
These replicate the thrill and experience of playing in a land-based venue, allowing players to interact with real-life dealers and croupiers via their chosen device.
The most important element of any live casino are the cameras, which record every detail in the gaming room to ensure fairness.
Optical camera recognition technology is used to stream the games to players via a video link, with each table generally needing three cameras to cover every angle.
All the tables also have a Game Control Unit (GCU) attached to them, which encodes the video that is broadcast to the players.
Other technology such as built-in sensors, electronic monitors and messaging software are used to mirror the experience of playing in a brick-and-mortar casino.
What about mobile casinos?
With people now spending an average of more than four hours per day on their smartphones, online casinos have had to rethink their operations a little.
Mobile technology has allowed software developers to create games that are fully optimised to work on mobile, either via a browser or app.
The development of the mark-up language HTML5 has been one of the main contributory factors behind the creation of mobile casino games.
By manipulating the software, developers are able to make games that work seamlessly on browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, Edge and Safari.
With regards to apps, many developers use platforms such as Appy Pie to create immersive casino games that can be played on mobile.
The tool does not require any specific knowledge of code, making it one of the simplest ways to build superb mobile casino games.