Casino games

As much as we love online blackjack games, they account for just a fraction of what’s on offer at the best gambling sites. Online casinos carry hundreds upon hundreds of diverse titles for real money play, covering everything from classic pokies to virtual roulette to instant win scratchies.


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Online pokies and progressive jackpots

Punters love the pokies (AKA the slots), and there is no better place to spin the reels than at a trusted online casino. Besides having an enormous range of titles right at your fingertips, playing over the Web also offers much better value than you will find at any pub or club. The house edges and the projected return rates are rather less lopsided on Internet slots, so you stand a much better chance of walking away with a big win.

Our top-ranked pokies sites stock literally hundreds of releases from industry-leading software developers such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment, BetSoft, Play’n Go and NextGen Gaming. Every type of slot machine is covered, from vintage three-reel pub fruities to advanced five-reel video slots loaded with special features, all-ways wins and interactive bonus games. There’s even something there for the VIPs, as popular games such as SugarPop, Go Bananas and South Park: Reel Chaos accept real cash bets of well over $100 per spin.

But if it’s the really big bucks you’re after, you cannot look past the many online progressive slots available. Every bet made on these special releases goes into a progressive jackpot network (PJN) – a global prize pool which can produce some truly extraordinary payouts. And they do actually pay out, too; Microgaming’s Mega Moolah progressive game consistently cough up over $5 million, while NetEnt’s Mega Fortune slot is responsible for a world-record online jackpot win of more than EUR €17 million.

You can also relive some of your favourite movies, TV shows, even comic books and video games, with kick-arse licensed pokies like these:

– Aliens (NetEnt)
– Battlestar Galactica (Microgaming)
– Game of Thrones (Microgaming)
– Green Lantern (NextGen)
– Hellboy (Microgaming)
– Hitman (Microgaming)
– The Invisible Man (NetEnt)
– Judge Dredd (NextGen)
– Jurassic Park (Microgaming)
– Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (Microgaming)
– Playboy Multiplayer (Microgaming)
– Scarface (NetEnt)
– Superman (NextGen)
– Terminator 2 (Microgaming)
– Wonder Woman (Next Gen)

Real money roulette

Roulette ranks second only to real money blackjack in popularity among casino table games. It requires no strategy or skill, so it’s easy as heck to learn, while the vast selection of bets means you can play as tight or as loose as you like. And there’s just something about the devil’s wheel and its unique layout that makes you feel like a million bucks, even when you’re only spending $5 per spin.

There are a few different forms of Internet roulette, but the core components are always the same: a horizontal wheel with 37 or 38 coloured pockets, numbered from zero to 36; and a large betting layout which allows you to wager on individual numbers as well as groups of numbers. The croupier spins the wheel and drops a ball onto it, and wherever that ball comes to rest determines the winning number or colour. Payouts range from 1 to 1 for outside bets to as much as 35 to 1 for wagers on single numbers.

Online roulette almost always gives the house a bigger advantage than a game of 21, and yet some versions are better value than others. American roulette, played on a double-zero layout, has a casino edge of 5.26 per cent; but European roulette, with a single-zero wheel, only favours the dealer by 2.70 per cent. This is because the house holds the zero pockets against even-money bets like black/red, evens/odds and high/low – so more zeroes is bad news for the player.

Unfortunately, most land based casino floors are now flooded with US-style tables, especially at lower betting limits. That’s why playing roulette online is such a good option; you don’t have to wade through the crap or overstretch your bankroll just to get the best roulette odds possible. Table limits are extremely flexible, sometimes ranging from $0.10 up to $1000 bets on the same game (as in NetEnt Roulette Advanced), while you can choose from a wide range of layouts and unique gameplay formats like these:

Multiwheel Roulette Gold – Microgaming’s most innovative roulette release features eight selectable wheels and a single Euro-style betting layout. You can gamble on as many or as few wheels as you like, meaning you can potentially win the same bet up to eight times per spin.

Immersive Roulette – This award-winning live dealer title from Evolution Gaming allows you to wager on real-time roulette via your computer, smart TV, or mobile device. With HD streaming, superb production and highly engaging croupiers, it’s pretty much the gold standard for all live casino games.

Playboy Live Roulette – Some live dealer roulette games are subtly sexy, while others are… not as subtle. This one falls squarely in the latter category, featuring smoking hot female croupiers kitted out in Playboy Bunny outfits.

Video poker

To the uninitiated, online video poker might appear more or less identical to real money pokies. But while pokie games are entirely random and require no skill whatsoever, VP is all about applying the correct strategy to keep the house edge as low as possible.

These games are simple enough to play. You start with five cards and can choose to hold or discard as many or as few of them as you like. After that, your final five-card hand is judged according to a fixed payout chart. The highest-paying hand is a royal flush, while the lowest is usually a high pair.

When you know the right moves, video poker machines rank right up there with online blackjack in terms of value for money. In fact, some electronic poker variants come with an even lower house edge than the most player-friendly 21 games out there. Microgaming’s All Aces Poker, for instance, gives a theoretical return rate of 99.92 per cent – higher than any other online casino game we know of.

We highly recommend Microgaming video poker casinos such as Jackpot City, All Slots and Royal Vegas, where you can play both the standard and multi-hand Power Poker versions of popular titles like these:

– Aces and Faces
– Aces and Eights
– All Aces
– All American
– Bonus Poker
– Deuces and Joker
– Deuces Wild
– Double Bonus
– Double Double Bonus
– Double Joker
– Jacks or Better
– Joker Poker
– Louisiana Double
– Tens or Better

Online table games and more

You can find all your favourite old-school casino games online. Most gaming sites carry multiple versions of punto banco baccarat, including live croupier tables where you can bet upwards of $1000 per hand for that real James Bond experience. Evolution Gaming sites also run live casino hold’em games, while there are myriad computerised versions of table poker titles like Caribbean stud, oasis poker, pai gow poker and three card poker available.

There are also a number of real cash games you wouldn’t normally find on the casino floor, such as digital bingo, virtual horse racing and live lottery draws. You can even buy instant scratch cards; top casino software brands like Microgaming, Net Entertainment and Play’n Go make heaps of different kinds, all offering random cash prizes on the spot.

Michael Maguire

About Michael Maguire

Michael is an experienced Web journalist and long-time blackjack enthusiast. Aside from complaining about recent developments at Crown Casino (read Blackjack Plus), he spends the rest of his time on music, sport and HBO.