When the leading bookmakers began to introduce online sports gambling sites they were initially targeting their existing customers, most of whom were used to being restricted to gambling on horse racing, greyhound racing or football. Those customers suddenly had easy access to a whole new range of sports and sporting events from all over the world, any of which they could place their bets on with the click of a mouse. When the site operators then decided to add a few casino games to their sports gambling sites, starting what we now call the online casino sector the increase in choice provided by internet gambling sites was even more remarkable. There were of course a lot of people already playing casino games at a real casino and probably even more regularly enjoying a visit to their local bingo club. Most of us had also enjoyed playing a few slot machines at an arcade or in the local pub at some time in our lives, but none of those previous experiences of playing gambling games could come close to the huge number of options we could suddenly access on any of the new online casino sites. Along with a rapidly increasing choice of new casino games came a number of other welcome developments initiated by the online casino operators and the casino software designers, one of which was the free online casino option. With an increasing number of new casino games suddenly becoming available, including many traditional casino games which had never been accessible in our real casinos here in Ireland, it was clear some of us probably needed a little help. That is the main reason why the free online casino option was so important particularly during the early development of online casinos. The option to play casino games without needing to risk any money is obviously not something that our real casinos or bingo clubs could afford to do, but the online casino operators have much lower overheads than their land based rivals and are therefore able to significantly reduce the minimum stakes on most of their casino games and of course allow us to play free of charge at least for a short time. Both of the free play option and the reduced stakes form a significant part of the marketing strategy of the online casino operators in attracting new players to their sites, and combined with the huge range of games they are able to feature online have proved extremely successful. Here at onlinecasino.ie we think the free play option is most welcome when it comes to learning some of the more traditional casino games which we were not able to play unless we visited a casino when we were on holiday in other parts of Europe or the States. We had all heard of the casino game of baccarat for example, and even seen it being played in Bond films amongst others, but our real casinos were usually so limited for floor space that baccarat was never featured. We probably also had a false impression of baccarat as a difficult game primarily restricted to high rollers playing for very big stakes. Playing baccarat online however could not be easier because we don’t even need to know the rules. The game is totally controlled by the dealer or the house, and all we need to do as players is to predict which of just two hands will win. A tie is possible but rarely backed by serious players, so playing baccarat online is not much more complicated than calling the toss of a coin. In the case of the traditional casino games of baccarat therefore the free online casino option is not particularly necessary, but when it comes to learning a game like backgammon the option to play for free is very welcome indeed.
In common with most other casino games backgammon is still a game of chance because the moves are decided by the throw of two dice, but winning or losing is also very dependent on the skill and experience of the player in how they move the checkers around the board. It is generally accepted that the experienced backgammon player will usually have the edge in the long run. That statement is also thought to be true of another traditional casino game, the game of poker. Poker is probably now one of the most popular casino games played online, but some poker formats definitely need skill as well as luck to play successfully. Serious poker players nowadays tend to play the Texas Hold’em version of poker because this is the poker format used in most of the major tournaments and on all the specialist online poker platforms where players can compete with other poker fans. Online poker is becoming more and more popular, but new players need to be careful to ensure that they fully understand the version of poker they are playing before risking any significant money. Poker formats such as Texas Hold’em can be particularly expensive to learn because of the use of community cards and the resulting multiple betting rounds for every hand. It would be easy to argue that the free play option is only significant when it comes to learning how to play the casino games which require a certain amount of skill, but we don’t necessarily think that is true. The vast majority of the casino games featured by the online casinos are slots games in various forms, but many of these games are unrecognisable from the games we used to play in the seaside arcades or even in our pubs and clubs. Some of the slots games we can now play online have as many as five reels and multiple winning lines for every spin. They also have a variety of additional gambling options which it is very easy to overuse or miss out on. The free play option can be just as useful when starting to play some of the online slots games as it is for the traditional casino games.