How online casino games have changed over the years

Casino games generate more than $90 billion each year according to Statista. In Las Vegas, Macau and other gambling-friendly cities, casino gambling employs thousands of people and generates millions of dollars in revenue for local governments.

In this article, we will focus on online casino games and how they have evolved since their inception in the 1990s. For clarity, you can play most of the games we have mentioned below at online casino Lottomart games if you are over 18 and live in the UK. That said, let’s get started.

Reels, symbols and graphics

When slot machines came out in 1994, they were nothing like what they are today. For starters, the average game had simple graphics. The game’s characters and symbols looked grainy and unattractive.

But players didn’t have many options. In fact, most slot machines featured fruits as their symbols: cherries, melons, oranges, and pineapples, to name a few. Sometimes they featured horseshoes, bars, bells, and poker card symbols.

Yet online slot machines from the 1990s had almost the same types of symbols. Additionally, they usually featured three reels, a handful of paylines, and no bonus rounds, free spins, or multipliers.

Fast forward to 2022 and the video slots look ultra-realistic. Let’s start with the visuals. Modern casino games feature 3D graphics and support virtual reality, whether you want to play slots, roulette or poker.

When it comes to symbols, slot machines take on just about anything in the world: crime, politics, sports, TV shows, Norse gods, ancient Egypt, and video games. They also improved the reels – modern slots have 5-7 reels.

Payment rate

If there’s one thing you should be happy to change in casino games, it’s the payout rates. In the 90s and early 2000s, casino games brought in less than 90% of money wagered.

This would result in less winnings for players. Of course, this also meant that people weren’t very keen on playing online casino games. Over time, developers and casinos have improved payouts.

Not only do modern online casino games pay well, but they also pay out much better than physical casinos. Let’s start with the slot machines. The average online slot pays out 95% or more of the money wagered over time.

It is not uncommon to find 97%, 98% and 99% online slots. Take a look at these games:

  • Mega Wild—99%
  • 1429 Uncharted Seas—98%
  • Bloodsuckers—98%
  • Starmania—97%

In all honesty, not much has changed when it comes to the house edge of many table games. Blackjack has a house edge of 1%, just as it has since its invention. European roulette has a house edge of 2.7% while keno still holds the title of worst house edge at 40%.

Mobile support

At first, neither video games nor online casinos supported mobile games. If you wanted to have some online entertainment, you needed a PC or a console.

Today you can play all your favorite casino games through a portable mobile device. It could be an old iPhone or a cheap Android device. If it connects to the Internet and loads web pages on a browser, it can support casino games.

Now, not all online casino games work on smartphones. This is especially true for classic slot machines. Some of them have been designed to work entirely on PC computers. And they have never been updated to work on mobile devices.

That’s fine, though. Eight out of 10 online casino games work smoothly on mobile devices. As such, there are hundreds of games you can play on your smartphone.

Gameplay and mechanics

Slot machines have not changed much in their operation. You choose a game, place a bet and press play to spin the reels. If the reels stop spinning on a payline, you get paid accordingly.

Although the basics of slots have not changed, a lot has changed when it comes to mechanics. Previously, all you did was play and wait to find out if you won or lost.

Games these days are quite interactive. You need to adjust the bet size and the number of paylines. Then not only do you press play to spin the reels, but you may also have to choose a side or make moves that could influence what you win.

In other words, slot machines are more sophisticated in 2022 than they were in 2002. Some slot machines actually support skillful elements. Some games pay you more if you are accurate at hitting objects.

When it comes to tabletop games, the mechanics have remained largely the same. The rules of blackjack have not changed. The goal is to beat a dealer in a hand of 21. With roulette, the goal is always to predict where the wheel stops spinning.

Live Casino Games

Live casino games are one of the best things to happen to the industry. It completely changed the way people play roulette, blackjack, baccarat and other table games.

Think about it. In the best live casinos, you can play poker with your friends via a video link. You can see them and talk to them. You can trade jokes and even tip the dealer.

Essentially, live casino games are like playing in the best casinos in Las Vegas. It is a social activity often elevated using virtual reality. With this in mind, Evolution Gaming is the most popular provider of live casino games.

Game variants

Online casino games may not have changed so much in their basics, but they have spawned tons of variations. Almost every genre of casino game has multiple versions. This helps to spice up the gameplay.

Consider slot machines. As we mentioned before, you can play slots based on crime, sports, politics or ancient Egypt. With table games, variants have different rules than the original games.

Take blackjack as an example. The original blackjack pays 3:2 or 6:5 when you beat the dealer. Most variants serve similar purposes. However, the rules regarding splitting cards, standing, and taking insurance bets vary.

In light of this information, it is extremely important to read the rules of a game before playing it. Find out how Omaha differs from Texas Hold’em before you risk your money. Find out about jackpot rules, bonuses and anything that can influence how often and how much you win.


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Robert M. Brown