There is more to casino software providers than developing simple games. Most players never give a second thought to the software developers behind the inner workings of an online casino. However, the amount of effort and technology which goes into making a casino run is fascinating. In this article, we will delve into casino software and technology and look at the power behind our favourite online casino domains.
The Games We All Love
Software developers produce online casino games. Almost every member of a casino site knows this. From slots to table games, live dealer casino titles to progressive jackpot hits, right down to the simplest instant win and scratch card games; a lot of effort is put in by software providers to produce the types of games you like to play.
However, it is underneath the symbols and imagery that the magic really happens. There is where casino technology gets fascinating. Let’s look at five of the most renowned aspects of game tech involved in the casino world.
RNGs, Variance and Volatility
You may have heard the terms RNGs, variance and volatility bandied around, but may not really know what they are. Learning what each means can work wonders if you want to become a better slot player, or if you wish to identify which games are most likely to suit your gaming style or give you an edge.
RNGs (Random Number Generators) are algorithms which ensure that every spin on a slot or every card dealt in a table game is fair and random. These complex systems also ensure that players cannot cheat games. Software developers often have their RNGs vetted, tested, certified and authenticated to ensure that fair play standards are being met. The fairest online casinos are keen to point out that they are verified for fair gaming.
Variance and Volatility are, in many ways, the same thing. Both essentially determine how often a casino game will payout, and what size payout that could be. Games could be low, medium or high variance, and they break down like this:
- Low Variance: Games which payout frequently but tend to serve up smaller prizes. These are ideal for players on shoestring budgets.
- Medium Variance: An amalgamation of low variance and highly volatile games.
- Highly Volatile: Ideally suited for big spenders and high rollers. These games payout less frequently, but when a win comes along, it tends to be considerable in value.
You may also come across RTPs in the casino world. The RTP (return to player) rate in a casino game is the hypothetical amount of times a slot will pay out a prize when it is played over an infinite number of spins. It is all very theoretical but using complex equations; it is possible to work out the RTP of any game. Currently, most players like games with a high RTP rate.
Another piece of casino software and technology worth keeping an eye out for is a jackpot network. A progressive jackpot won’t just have its top prize available at a single casino. In most cases, these are networked games. This means that all casinos which offer the game will be on the “network” and that the progressive prize in a slot can be won by any player at any of the casinos associated with that network. When it is won, the prize disappears from all casinos supporting the game.
Getting your head around these simpler to grasp pieces of casino technology can help you understand more about the games you are playing.
Open Gaming Platforms
Casino software providers also do a lot more than just develop slots and table games. Being familiar with open gaming platforms can help you decide where is best to play. Younger software providers are often far too small to adequately provide a casino with an arsenal of games. As such, they are often partnered with the bigger fish in the industry. These games are then typically available together on a platform.
Microgaming’s Quickfire platform is an excellent example of this. Any casino which offers such platforms can often serve up a great array of titles from many different software providers, and this is worth noting if you’re on the hunt for a new place to play.
Another one of the many things that casino software can do is power internet betting sites. In some cases, software may be used by several providers. Any betting site which runs a sportsbook, for instance, will likely use a different software provider for that than the one which powers their casino. Known as back-office software, this type of technology is used to run almost everything at a betting site.
Some of the bigger software developers (such as Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt) develop both games and back-office software. Others, such as SoftSwiss and Nektan are renowned for their back-office tech, but their gaming library is a little on the short side. Of course, the best betting sites will feature a mixture of software from several providers, as mentioned.
Back-office software is used to run everything from the types of banking options which can be used, the languages which are available, the support options hosted, even (in some cases) the types of promotions available.
The Final Word
Experienced casino players will note that many online casinos are quite similar. They may even be owned and run by the same operator. Known as sister sites, these casinos can often provide similar games, promos, banking options, support and mobile platforms. Knowing which casinos operate in this manner is advantageous. If you don’t like the look of one domain, it is highly likely that there is another site run by the same operator who offers you a similar (although more advanced) service. For example, if you read a review on Leovegas casino, you will realize that they are a sister site to Royal Panda – both websites operate in India but have a slightly different product.
As you can see, software providers dish out much more to online casinos than simply games. Learning about what each can offer can unlock secrets, tips and tricks which you can use to your advantage when betting online.