A Guide to the World’s Most Popular Online Casino Games

What is an Online Casino Game?

A Casino Game is different from Online Poker or Sports betting. A random number generator (RNG) is used to create an outcome on a video slot machine, virtual roulette wheel or other game. Before that RNG is triggered, the player and the casino, no other players or 3rd parties, agree to stakes and odds/payout ratios. Depending only on the outcome of the RNG, the player wins, or the casino wins.

What are the most popular?

  • Slots

The one-armed bandit was invented by Charles Fey in the 1890s, so it’s young for a casino game, but now it’s the most popular game at both brick-and-mortar and online casinos. Video Poker is a kind of slot. Online slots and video poker became possible thanks to RNG technology that was developed in the 1990s.

The reason it’s so popular is that it’s simple for beginners, easy to play, odds are well posted and it’s possible to play a lot very cheaply online with small bets.

The simplest slot machines pay out pretty high – the highest returns are in video poker because you can impact the outcome by returning cards – but some online slots run at 96%+ RTP.

  • Blackjack

Since the middle ages, people have played with the idea behind Blackjack. For those who don’t know, this card game is all about getting a total as close to 21 as possible without going over, or ‘bust’. Variations of this theme have been recorded as early as the 1300s, and in Miguel Cervantes’ epic Don Quixote de la Mancha, the first modern European novel, there is reference to veintiuna, a card game called ‘21’. The name ’Black Jack’ arrived in the 20th Century in America. After being one of the few states to break gambling prohibition, Nevada saw new casino owners marketing their gaming palaces. To do that, they invented new names and rules for their games – massive payouts for making 21 with a Black Jack (of spades or clubs) were one such marketing strategy. The bonuses aren’t available anymore, but the name stayed.

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games to play at home, at a casino or in an online casino. All you need is a deck of cards, and all you need to have a strategy is to be able to add up to 21! The dealer and the player each get 2 cards, and have the chance to get another card to add to their total (Twist), or play on with just the cards they have in their hand (stick). If your total is over 21, you’ve gone bust! If it’s under 21, then the players’ total is compared to the dealer, and bets pay out accordingly. With such simple and straightforward rules, it’s no wonder blackjack is one of the world’s most popular casino games.

Once you’ve learnt the rules and stick to your strategy, blackjack has a very high RTP%, with some variations of a perfect strategy paying out 99% or more! That being said, the payouts are rarely more than 2-1 on any one hand, so you need to go on a real hot streak to get as far ahead as a lucky win on slots or roulette.

  • Roulette

Roulette has its roots in Paris. Blaise Pascal is said to have invented the Roulette Wheel, if not the rules of the game, in 1655 while searching for a perpetual motion machine. Though the laws of physics don’t allow for such a machine, dealers and casino owners have been spinning the Roulette Wheel pretty much constantly since 1796, which is when the first records of people playing Roulette in Paris’s casinos come from.

Like anything old and French, there is a certain romance to Roulette. It’s the classic of the casino – most of us have a deck of cards somewhere in our homes, but very few people have their own Roulette wheel! It’s also one of the more transparent games in both real life and online casinos, which is why it’s so popular. Roulette is all about predicting where the little white ball will land when the wheel stops spinning. Players can bet on individual numbers (35-1), red or black, even or odd (2-1) or on the area of the wheel the ball will land. The casino wins if the ball lands in the ‘0’ or ‘00’.

In theory, the RTP of roulette is 97.3% (if you’re playing European Roulette, with only 1 green ‘0’). This is very high! If you manage to go on a quick run with single number bets which pay 35-1, you can get out very far ahead. However very few players do this! Even though the general rule is that you should get back 97% of your stake, over time at the table, players keep playing and end up losing a few times that! But isn’t that stickiness what you’ve got to expect from the world’s most popular online casino games?

  • Baccarat

One of the original casino games, with its roots in Revolutionary France, Baccarat has long been a favourite of high-rollers and VIPs. The original Casino Royale has Bond playing Baccarat, not poker.

Online casinos offer regular players the chance to play games that are roped off for high-rollers in regular casinos. This is one reason why Online Baccarat is so popular! It’s a game of player vs dealer to get a hand that scores as close to 9 as possible. Totals higher than 9 disregard the first digit (so 9+9=18, a total value of 8, not 9). Betting is more about who will win – the dealer or the player? The dealer has a positional advantage, so bets on the dealer pay 95%, whereas bets on the player, pay back even money. Ties happen around 9% of the time, but pay 8-1 odds.

If you always bet on the banker, Baccarat returns 98.9% of your money, but bets on the Player pay slightly less, and the biggest better on ‘Player’ gets to be the actual player at the table – so that’s how high rollers do it, and that’s why casinos like to let them!

The great thing about online casino games is that there is so much variety, but hopefully, now you have an idea about the 4 most popular online casino games and what it is that makes them so popular. We have more in-depth guides to playing these games here and here!