Mastering Online Casino Games – Understand The Basic Rules & Strategies

16 minutes

Last Updated: March 30, 2024

If you like to put some money on the line and see how lady luck will treat you, you should understand the basic rules and strategies for each casino game. 

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about your favorite games.

That said, if you are looking to play a specific game, check our dedicated casino recommendations before diving deeper into the strategies:

Types of Online Casino Games

Online casinos have been around for over two decades, and there isn't a gambling game you can imagine that's not available in some of them. The most popular games are featured on hundreds of licensed and well-regulated sites.

To get started, let’s look at the different types of online casino games available and the advantages of each.

Video Slots – The most popular online casino games

slots online casino games

The most popular and versatile type of online casino game is the video slots, with literally thousands of different titles available in the casino lobbies out there.

Slot machines have been around for many decades, but the iGaming industry has allowed them to truly flourish, with modern slot games being absolute works of art.

Not only does each slot offer its unique audio-visual setting, but the best games out there allow us to immerse ourselves into the game’s world and enjoy it on a whole new level.

If you enjoy playing slots at your local casino, you will fall in love with what online casinos offer.

Best online casino slots provide gameplay systems, mechanics, and rewards that live slots simply cannot match.

Online casino lobbies are loaded with different types of slots, ranging from classic slots with just three paylines to modern slot machines with hundreds of paylines, lucrative bonus games, and exquisite animations.

Each new slot game you fire up will give you a new experience, with game themes covering nearly any topic you can imagine.

Whether you want to go back in time and visit ancient Rome or Egypt, travel to space and fight the aliens, or submerge yourself deep under the ocean's surface to explore its secrets, there is a video slot game that’s ideal for you.

In terms of payouts and prizes, slots range from highly volatile to very player-friendly. Some games come with massive jackpots and not too many small payouts, while others will pay you something on nearly every spin, allowing you to spin for hours on end with a limited bankroll.

Whatever type of gambler you may be, video slots can be your preferred game, as the variety of these games available in online casinos cannot be matched by any other type of gambling.

Slot guides for further learning:

Roulette – The best-known online casino game worldwide 

roulette gambling games

Often referred to as the devil’s wheel, online roulette may be the most popular single casino game, with many different variations available.

Roulette is an extremely exciting game, with every spin bringing new thrills and offering high rewards for the risk-takers when they get lucky.

The beauty of roulette is that you get to gamble in any way you like, with winning odds ranging from even money to 35/1.

There is more to roulette than meets the eye at first, and the true fans of the game understand the beauty and enjoyment of watching the ball spin around the wheel only to land in their favorite number.

Roulette is a game of ups and downs and one that online casinos feature prominently in their lobbies, with many different variations, including American, European, French, and others.

The iGaming industry has also revolutionized roulette by adding new variations like Lightning Roulette, Multi-Wheel Roulette, and Multi-Ball Roulette, all available exclusively online.

Roulette guides for further learning:

Blackjack – Fun game with low house edge

best online casino games blackjack

Made famous by Hollywood through movies like “21” and “Casino,” blackjack is one of the most popular casino games with cards in the world.

Played from the luxurious casinos of Monte Carlo to the local gambling halls of small American towns.

Blackjack is one of the easiest games to learn and one with a low house edge.

The low house advantage that comes with blackjack when played correctly according to blackjack rules makes the game a great choice for gamblers who like to have a say in what happens at the table.

Online casinos now offer many different versions of blackjack too, so you get to pick your own rules, stakes, and more.

Whether you want to play a version of roulette with surrender options available or look for the highest possible RTP, there is an online casino out there with the right game for you.

All you need to do is make sure you learn the optimal gameplay strategy for the exact version of blackjack you are playing, as anything else could end up costing you money.

Blackjack guides for further learning:

Baccarat – Casino game with the lowest house edge

casino game with lowest house edge

I said that blackjack is easy to learn, but that’s nothing compared to learning how to play baccarat. In fact, you don’t really need to do almost anything in this popular gambling game, as the dealer takes care of nearly all aspects of gameplay.

Your only options are to bet on the player, the banker, or a tie, with the last option being an extremely unprofitable and ill-advised one.

In all other cases, you will be doing just fine and losing only small fractions of your bets in the long run, as baccarat is one of the casino games that come closest to complete fairness.

The fact that baccarat is an almost break-even game means that just a little luck is needed to beat your selected online casino out of a lot of money during a hot winning streak.

Baccarat is featured at practically every online casino out there, with those targeting Asian customers usually offering more versions of the game.

Baccarat guides for further learning:

Craps – One of the most exciting casino games

craps casino games

Slots, roulette, and card games are all quite cool, but there is a special thrill to playing games with dice, and craps are the absolute master of this category.

In Las Vegas casinos, it is the craps table that always attracts the biggest crowds of players and fans cheering the player shooting the dice.

The thrill of live craps isn’t exactly fully replicated by the virtual version of the game, but the game is still enjoyable when played on your computer or mobile phone screen.

Craps offers many different betting options and plenty of chances to gamble for a long time with a limited bankroll or go big and try to take down the house with a really hot streak of dice rolls.

Craps guides for further learning:

Video Poker – Legendary casino game

casino games online video poker

The first electronic games that popped up in casinos were not slots but rather video poker machines.

Today, video poker is a somewhat forgotten game, with most players preferring slots for their graphical allure and variety of themes.

Yet, plenty of old-school gamblers still enjoy playing video poker, and the game has some serious advantages over slot machines.

Even the most generous slot machines still take about 3% of all money you wager on them, while video poker machines actually offer a much better deal.

The best video poker games, when played properly, can give you back over 99% of all your wagers, making them a nearly break-even proposition over the long run.

In the short term, this means your winning chances are significantly increased, making video poker one of the best casino games you should definitely have on your repertoire if you enjoy gambling in either online or live casinos.

Video poker guides for further learning:

Instant Win Games – Casino games for players without extra time 

instant win casino games

Finally, for the most impatient of players, online casinos offer instant win games such as scratch cards and other modern variations of such games.

These games differ from all other forms of gambling in that there is no skill involved whatsoever and no decision to make either.

You simply get your scratch card, scratch it off, and reveal the prize.

Lucky players can win big, while everyone else walks away with nothing.

The thing to note with instant win games is that they often come with an extremely unfavorable RTP rate, which means you need to keep an eye out and not play games that are needlessly skinning your bankroll.

Guides for further learning:

Live Dealer – The new gold standard for casino games

live dealer casino games

Virtual casino games have gone a long way in replicating the thrill of casino gaming, but there is still something to be said for the personal touch of looking your dealer in the eye while playing.

This is where live dealer casino games come in, as online casino operators have recognized this need among their players and translated it into reality.

Today, you can find real money casino games with live dealers on nearly every site, with tables for roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, and more.

Live dealer games are streamed from studios that resemble brick and mortar casinos, where dealers take their shifts and deal the cards or spin the roulette wheel in real-time for your pleasure.

Gameplay is the same as in a live casino, but you get to enjoy the games from the comfort of your home, a park, or your mundane overnight job.

The biggest fans of table games usually play only live dealer tables these days. They provide much more immersive action and extra elements that aren’t a part of the virtual game experience.

Casino Software Providers

online casino games software

There is a common misconception among players that casino operators create and manipulate casino games in their favor.

This could not be any further from the truth, at least when it comes to any reputable and licensed online casinos worldwide.

Instead, all software solutions are left to software studios specializing in the programming and development of games for the iGaming sector.

These studios create games and distribute them to software operators who don't have any control over the source code of the games and thus cannot change their main parameters.

This is very important as the games are advertised with certain RTP percentages, and it is the software providers who guarantee that this number and all other parameters of the game are 100% real.

Now that you know this, you may be wondering what studios are in charge of the most popular casino games out there and why you should trust any of them to create fair and reliable games.

Here is a quick rundown of the top software developers in the iGaming industry that you should know about:

  • NetEnt: Registered in Sweden since 1996, NetEnt has been one of the most influential companies in the iGaming industry and the name behind many big breakthroughs and impactful changes to how online casinos operate.
  • Microgaming: Founded in 1994, Microgaming was the software developer providing the entire platform for years for many of the biggest casino sites. Today, Microgaming hosts a family of smaller studios and develops some of the most innovative casino games out there.
  • Play’n GO: Another Swedish company that went global, Play’n GO is the name behind some of the most quirky and innovative slot games ever created. Play’n GO continues coming out with exciting new titles every month, leaving players in awe with every new gameplay mechanic they invent and the bonus system they put into play.
  • IGT: Originally operating out of the UK, IGT now has offices in the US, Europe, and other parts of the world. IGT is one of the biggest and most versatile software developers in the casino world, with hundreds of games and unique gaming platforms to its name.
  • Novomatic: A company that still provides slot machines for many of Europe’s live casinos, Novomatic also has departments dedicated to creating titles for online casinos. The operator's games are some of the most iconic slots, like Book of Ra and Lucky Lady's Charm, which have become the stuff of legends in the gambling circles.
  • Pragmatic Play: A fairly new name in the industry, Pragmatic Play came up in the industry in 2015 and quickly established itself as one of the top dogs. The studio has been coming out with some exceptionally entertaining titles for years, winning many industry awards in the process.
  • Yggdrasil: On top of developing some of the most beautiful and fun casino games over the years, Yggdrasil has also been the driving power behind development in the industry in general, providing tools like BOOST, iSENSE, and BRAG, which have helped casinos operate their platforms in a major way.
  • Evolution Gaming: When talking about live dealer games, there is no company whose products come close to Evolution Gaming. The developer runs a virtual monopoly on live dealer games and provides by far the best experience in this segment of online casino gaming.

These are only a few of the top software development companies in the iGaming industry, with dozens of others competing and creating amazing content consistently.

What ties all of these companies is that they are all highly regulated and licensed in multiple legal jurisdictions by local regulators, so you will find them even in regulated US online casinos.

This means all games developed by these companies are verified as random and safe for you to play, and they all provide exactly what’s advertised.

You will find several thousand different casino games among these top software providers, including slots, table games, video poker machines, scratch cards, and more.

Here are the most popular slots to try:

Free Play vs. Real Money Casino Games

free vs real money casino games

One of the major differences between online and live casinos is that players can play games in online casinos for real money or in practice mode without any risk.

Free play casino games bring the same experience and thrill as real money casino games, only without the monetary element.

Instead of playing with real cash, players are awarded play chips, which can be used to run the games identical to the real money versions.

It is worth noting that the games run on the exact same RNG software when played for real or play money, despite the common myth that free play games are more generous with payouts.

Of course, brick-and-mortar casinos cannot afford to let players take up their machines and seats at the tables playing for free, but online casinos don't have any problem with this.

Some of the main perks of playing free play casino games include:

  • Practice games before playing for real money
  • Explore new titles without any risk
  • Enjoy the same audio-visual spectacle you would for real cash
  • Adjust your bet sizes to the game volatility levels
  • Explore chances of winning a jackpot

On the other hand, real money casino games are preferable for players looking to test their luck and build up a deposit into a substantial win.

To play real money casino games, one must deposit with the selected casino or claim a no deposit bonus offer from the operator.

While there is risk involved with playing for real money, there are also plenty of advantages of taking this approach, such as:

  • Claim casino bonuses and play with bonus money
  • Take part in casino promotions
  • Get VIP rewards from the loyalty programs
  • Have a chance at winning major jackpots
  • Enjoy the full thrill of online gambling

You should know that online gambling can be extremely exciting, but I urge caution when playing real money casino games.

Gambling can be addictive, which is why it’s very important you check yourself and make sure you are only playing with the money you can afford to lose.

These days, online casinos allow you to self-exclude yourself from play or limit your deposits and playing levels if you need to, so make sure to use these features if you feel things are getting out of hand.

FAQ – Find The Best Online Casino Games

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