We often comment on how the advent of online gambling has greatly improved our choices, particularly when it comes to the range of casino games we can now access online. The idea of online casinos almost came about by accident when the leading bookmakers started to add a few games to their online sports gambling sites. It was only when it became apparent that there were a lot of people who were interested in playing casino games online, but not necessarily interested in gambling on sports that the operators really began to add more games and develop the online casino sections within their sports gambling sites. Since then of course the online casinos which form part of much bigger online gambling sites have been joined by a number of specialist online casinos concentrated solely on the range of casino games they are able to offer. This has in turn increased our options even more, particularly in the range and diversity of slots games we can play. The first games which were added to the sports gambling sites were generally targeted at existing groups of games fans such as regular visitors to our real casinos and bingo clubs, whereas the vast majority of the online casino games we can now play are of course slots games in various forms. One of the many reasons why the online casinos rapidly became so successful was that operating an online casino was far cheaper than running a real casino or bingo club, which meant that they could afford to significantly reduce the minimum stakes necessary to play their games. The online casino operators did not need to set up and maintain any buildings, nor did they initially need to employ front line staff such as dealers, all of which meant that they could even afford to go one step further and actually allow us to play some of their games totally free of charge for a period of time whilst we learnt how to play and got to know the graphics. This free online casino option became a very popular addition to the experience of playing casino games online, and was undoubtedly another reason why the online casino concept took off. Clearly we do not have that many real casinos in Ireland and there are many parts of the country where it is not really practical to travel to one for an evening’s entertainment. That meant that when some of the traditional casino games became available online there were many people who had never actually had the opportunity to play them before. The free online casino option represented an excellent chance to learn how to play without losing money in the process. It is not that most of these games are particularly difficult to learn, but even a simple game such as roulette is more interesting when you fully understand all the betting options that are available to you. Similarly with blackjack, which although based on the game of pontoon which many of us played as kids is a different game when played for money. Some of the traditional casino games which were introduced to us through the online casinos were of course never actually available in any of our real casinos, Baccarat and craps for instance are both popular casino games in other parts of the world, but the lack of floor space in most of the Irish casinos meant that we never had the opportunity to enjoy them. Neither of these games are difficult to learn either so just a few games in the free play mode would probably be more than adequate preparation for playing for real. Backgammon on the other hand does require a bit more practice to play successfully because there is a real skill in knowing how to move the checkers around the board. The other casino game which needs experience to play successfully is of course poker. Of all the traditional casino games this is the one which probably needs the free online casino option more than any other.
Now that online poker has become so popular and there is a growing band of really serious amateur players competing online and at the major tournaments, it is absolutely essential that anyone wanting to play poker on one of the growing number of specialist online poker platforms takes time to learn the game before playing for serious money. The free online casino option is a good starting point, and most online casinos offer a full range of different poker formats which can be played free or against the house for fixed odds. The standard 5-card draw version of poker is not that difficult, but once you start to play more modern versions of the game such as Texas Hold’em poker using community cards and multiple betting rounds, you quickly realise that experience is everything.
So far we have only discussed the importance of the free online casino feature in relation to the traditional casino games, but the complexity of some of the modern online slots games with up to five reels and any number of winning lines means that the option to have a few free spins is as welcome as it is for casino games such as poker. Many of the specialist online casinos now available to Irish casino games fans have recognised this, and some such as CasinoCasino, Casinoland and Instacasino have decided to make the free play option the default setting for many of their slots games. That means that players need to make a conscious decision to start playing for real money. The site operators have assumed that most of us enjoy playing casino games because of the excitement of risking our stake money in the hope of winning more. As more and more new casino games become available at our online casinos so the importance of the free online casino option will also increase. Even if you think you know how to play a particular game it is often still worth having a few free spins before taking the plunge.