Quality entertainment is the main selling point of any successful gambling establishment, and casino games are one of the pillars….
Quality entertainment is the main selling point of any successful gambling establishment, and casino games are one of the pillars supporting this type of business. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at slots, roulettes, dice, and other games as well as some other factors that help casinos outmatch their competition.
The beginning of casino games
One could argue that gambling is as old as recorded human history… and this could still be considered incorrect! Similarly to alcohol, most cultures have developed a form of gambling at some point. The earliest dice that were found come from Mesopotamia and Egypt, and date back to around 3000 BCE. However, it has been determined that they were based on a earlier concept dating much further back in history. Interestingly, The Metropolitan Museum of Art owns probably the oldest recovered 20-sided die, originating from Egypt, 304-30 BCE.
The first playing cards supposedly come from China, though different sources provide different time periods. Some go as far as the ancient times, while others point to either 9th or 12th century. The clear historical sources point to the 13th and 14th centuries as the time when card games appeared in Europe, and the modern card icons (hearts, spades, diamonds, clubs) are usually credited to the French (15th century). Poker is based on a Persian game from the 17th century.
What about slot machines? They are a relatively recent invention. The first casino game of this type appeared at the end of the 19th century and was invented by Charles Fey, a mechanic from San Francisco. In 1898, he created the “Liberty Bell Slot Machine” and placed several copies in the city’s saloons.
The first gambling oriented organizations were established in China during the Tang Dynasty (7th-10th century), while the first western establishment we could refer to as a casino was called Ridotto, and was opened in 1638 in Venice. The oldest casino in Las Vegas is the Golden Gate, which opened originally as Hotel Nevada in 1906.
When it comes to the creation of the first online casino games and online gambling establishments, the general consensus is that they began to appear in the mid 1990s.
Everything in an online casino
While casino games form the foundation upon which online gambling establishments are built, the key to success is the skillful combination of several elements that flawlessly work together.
The games themselves have to offer a good variety from the get-go. This usually means a combination of classics such as roulette, blackjack or dice with different, colorful slots. Also, an originally designed game will help make a visit to your casino unique. Place your bet on reliable game providers, known brands that will make sure the experience is smooth for both the players as well as those managing the platform.
However, when some issues do occur, it’s imperative to provide support as quickly as possible and a 24/7 support system is what most successful online casinos offer. Remember that in the era of social media, one dissatisfied player may, at best, put a dent in your platform’s reputation, at worst, strike a blow strong enough that will make others look for more reliable entertainment providers.
Speaking of players, the most dedicated ones should be rewarded in some way, and what online casinos most often do is create a VIP club or some other form of premium membership for the biggest spenders. What are the benefits? Different casinos will offer different options, for example, a number of free spins or free games once or each month, special offers just for premium members, custom exclusive gifts, access to the platform’s premium shop, VIP customer support, the payout of some premium currency whenever the user spends real money on games, special membership anniversary promotions, no expiry date on premium currency, and more.
Last, but not least, your online gambling platform needs a blog. Not only will it provide something to read for your users, but frequent updates will show that your platform is alive, and there is always a reason to come back to your online casino. Also, high quality articles will increase the website’s chances of ranking higher in Google search results pages, outrunning the competition, and making it easier for people to find the casino. What topics should be touched upon in the blog section? A combination of news from the platform and the gambling world in general may be a good choice – platform announcements regarding upcoming special deals, new casino games, tournaments, prizes and events, rankings of the highest winners (anonymous), news from the gambling world, rules for traditional casino games, etc. Share your articles through social media to further increase your reach.
Multiple payment options
There are two major subjects connected to casino games and payments, namely – the type of currency and payment gateways/providers.
When it comes to how players can pay for entertainment provided by a platform, most casinos offer standard currency, usually USD and/or EUR, with some also using platform-specific custom currency. The options might be limited by legal regulations.
When discussing casino game and platform accessibility, there are several crucial factors – desktop and mobile performance, dedicated apps, and adaptation to local legal regulations.
First, let’s briefly discuss optimization. Your casino games have to be perfectly playable on both personal computers as well as smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. Different devices have different screens, which means the resolution of the platform has to be flexible. Clickable elements have to be big enough so they are comfortable to use with touch screens. When people have desktop computers in big cities, their machines often have both the power as well as the internet speed to comfortably use online casinos. However, when we’re on the go or in remote areas and using mobile devices, the transfer of data has to be optimized and the use of less powerful hardware has to be taken into account. This means that your platform’s assets should be using optimized elements, for example, all images should be converted into WebP or AVIF instead of JPEG or PNG. Tools such as PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse greatly help to evaluate platform performance, and they are also SEO-oriented, so following the recommendations will not only make a platform “faster”, but it will also help improve its position in Google search results pages, helping the online casino attract more users.
Some platforms opt for a dedicated application to run their casino games on mobile devices. One of the advantages of this solution is the option to provide popup notifications to users who have the app installed. This will help maintain player interest and remind them there is something special to look out for at their favorite gambling platform. Having an app at the Google Play store or App Store will also increase the brand’s credibility… if the reviews are positive of course. As with most businesses, you usually get one shot to make things right, if the launch of an app is terrible, some brands will never recover, especially in such a sensitive niche as gambling where user trust is paramount to achieving success. Being able to access slot games from the comfort of a smartphone means that users will be able to enjoy gambling wherever they are, even during their daily commute to work. It’s easier to click an icon to launch an app than to use a smartphone’s browser to access casino games.
Lastly, accessibility also means the casino and its games need to conform to local regulations. Some games, or even entire platforms, may have to be blocked for specific regions. Sometimes, the laws are very strict, as is the case with Australia whose government institutions geo-block a lot of online gambling options for their citizens.
Bonuses and promotions
One of the best and most popular ways of attracting and maintaining player attention is through special deals. Every reputable online casino offers an attractive welcome package. It usually includes a certain number of funds to use on the platform – either in regular currency or in platform-specific tokens – to spend on games, a number of free spins for a specific game, etc.
Most regular casino players also expect some form of seasonal events. It is normal for gambling establishments to change their theme and offer special deals during Christmas, Chinese New Year, St. Patrick’s Day, etc. The fresh, seasonal coat of paint offers a break from the otherwise regular visuals the site usually has, and there are players who wait to play slot machine games on special occasions because they expect to get better offers. They are often willing to spend more too.
However, special deals should not be limited only to seasonal events. Regular promotions for specific games will encourage players to try something new and make them aware there is always something to try out. A popular recurring special deal is, e.g., the “game of the month”, which can offer discounts, free spins, or better multipliers for a specific title.
Tournaments and championships are another good example. They require more resources and organization than promotions for individual games, but they can help spread the word about your platform further.
Also, we already mentioned VIP memberships with benefits for the most dedicated players.
Types Of Casino Game Software and Systems
A successful online casino is more than a simple website. It’s a platform that successfully integrates a lot of different systems. Let’s have a look at those briefly:
- different game types – casino slots are just one type of popular casino entertainment, but there are many other. For example, card games will require completely different software and there are competitive games that require multiplayer functionalities or live streaming. Variety is important to gain the attention of as many players as possible, but it also means investing in a number of different game systems.
- different currencies – gambling establishments currently use standard currencies, such as USD or EUR, but also premium, platform-specific currencies, and sometimes crypto. All of these require different software, including special payment gateways.
- different languages – players like it when websites “speak” their language, but this means some resources need to be devoted to translation.
- different regions – legal regulations may require your platform to have different functionalities available to players depending on the regions they connect from. For example, some games may be prohibited in specific areas (Australia is very strict with its online gambling laws), or you may be unable to try a game for free without prior registration.
- updates – the way the platform is created should allow for easy updates.
- crypto – Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies can be one of many or the only payment method at a casino, but they need integration into the platform’s systems.
- VIP clubs/loyalty systems – as mentioned earlier, the most dedicated players that apply for membership in a casino’s VIP club should be rewarded. Special membership functionalities need to be integrated.
- tournaments – this is a major feature. Tournament systems will require functionalities related to participant enrollment, the organization of games with their descriptions and rules, the implementation of a ladder system, and more.
- application – many successful casinos have their mobile version of the platform, which is usually a major undertaking for the business and will also require post-release maintenance, updates, and support.
- shop – popular content management systems often feature dedicated plugins for shop functionalities that can be integrated into a platform, making it easier to introduce this feature.
- bonuses, special deals – these two will also need the right systems in place, especially if some promotions are to be automated.
- affiliate system – special software will be needed to enable an affiliate program that would pay partners, e.g., for every player they generated in the casino.
- live chat – this common website functionality is also popular at online casinos, providing a link between the platform and its players, especially in terms of support. Chat has to be implemented with special care – if done incorrectly, it can have a serious impact on site performance
- mailing and notification systems – whenever important information is supposed to reach the user, a suitable notification should appear on the platform. This requires a separate system covering the conditions for displaying a notification, automated notifications, text, visual and/or audio cues, etc.
- CMS – one of the most important decisions to make is the selection of the most suitable content management system. The choice will determine many other functionalities and how they will be implemented on the platform.
- desktop and mobile versions – proper resolution adaptation, optimization for less powerful hardware, a good UI for mouse and keyboard as well as touch-screen users – these and many other factors have to be considered and developed to provide a smooth experience for all devices
Most Popular Casino Games
It would be hard to point out the single most popular entertainment form at gambling establishments. Casino slots games may seem the obvious choice, but then again you’ve got other classics such as poker, blackjack, roulette and many other games as well. Instead of trying to say which one is at the top of the list, let’s have a look at a few of the popular names.
In traditional gambling establishments, they are as much a game as they are a decoration. In online casinos, slots often fill up most of the available gaming portfolio. This is proof of their popularity among players, their huge variety, and the ease of implementation. After all, they don’t traditionally feature a competitive element, so there is no need for multiplayer functionalities, nor do they need any special LIVE features.
If you ask anyone, most people that play offline games would probably say they enjoy rolling dice, regardless of whether we talk about board games, tabletop games, or the ones we usually see in casinos. One of the most popular gambling games that uses dice is called craps and is several centuries old. However, dice can be traced much further back in time, the oldest 20-sided die ever found dates back to 4th-1st BCE and is from ancient Egypt. It is now kept in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The true origin of dice games is not known, but they have been used since before recorded history.
This card game is particularly popular in bars and pubs across the UK. It is known to have many variations, and whether or not gambling is involved and how it looks depends on a particular establishment.
A simple card game to understand, but a difficult one to actually win. In offline casinos, it involves one player and the dealer, but in online versions, the dealer isn’t usually present. In general, the aim of the player is to guess whether the next card that is dealt is higher or lower. That’s basically it, meaning that it is very easy to get into, especially for new players.
One of the great classics, the most widely played casino banking game in the world, present at most respectable casinos. This card game involves more than one player, but each participant competes with the dealer, not against other players, and it is a popular casino tournament game. Alongside baccarat, blackjack is one of the most common casino games for tournaments. Blackjack belongs to a group of traditional family games played throughout the world, and it has many variants, some of which are not designed for casinos.
The famous spinning wheel of roulette is recognized worldwide. In this game, the player chooses where he wants to place his bet, e.g., on a specific number or a combination of numbers, one of the two colors, even or odd, or on a range of numbers. Roulette is frequently played online, frequently through a live stream with a croupier.
Casino game development process
In many ways, the development of casino games is similar to building other types of software, but there are some differences as well. Let’s have a look.
Deciding the game genre
It starts with the basic idea. Several questions need to be answered, e.g., “what type of game are we going to create?”, “what setting/atmosphere/theme should it have?”, “what is currently popular?”. There was a time when the Egyptian theme was very popular, and one could see it dominating many online casinos, but trends change.
If we have the general theme for the game, we have to think about all of its assets, including the number and type of animations, all the elements that constitute a positive user experience, and any distinguishing factors, e.g., free spins, unorthodox arrangement or movement of elements, any unusual features for a popular title, etc. For example, free spins are a popular feature these days, often offering different game behavior after a certain pattern is arranged on the screen.
Game design and game development
Once the general business decisions are made, the development starts. We create a demo showing how the game behaves, mockup versions to have a general idea of the direction of the product. A decision has to be made regarding the licenses of the game, and the regions where it is supposed to be available. We have to know the backend elements it is supposed to be integrated with. It’s one thing to sell a game and someone else is to integrate it into a specific system, and it’s a different situation when all games are present on our own platform. And of course, there is the more “routine” part that simply involves coding, testing, and more coding, followed by post-release support and reaction to reported issues.
QA for casino games is not an easy process due to the randomness of results. It is impossible to test sometimes millions of possible outcomes. The process usually starts with typical manual testing, going step by step through the game as with any app. Then QA specialists try to “break” the game, cheat the system, etc. One example would be to open the game in two separate windows and dry up the funds in one window and then try to play in the second one to see if the game knows you are out of credit. There are also performance tests, trying to overload the game with a large number of users playing simultaneously. The website and its games have to be tested on different hardware with different screen resolutions to make sure it works as intended on as many devices as possible. Automatic tests for casino games are the most problematic type, again, due to the randomness and many possible outcomes.
How we can help you in developing casino games
With over 5 years on the entertainment market, more than 10 casino brands in our portfolio, and nearly 2 decades providing software development and digital marketing services, we have everything you need to create your own slot machines and other casino games. See what we can do for you and contact us using your preferred method. We will be happy to answer any questions.