The first online gambling sites were all set up and operated by the big bookmakers we all know from their presence on our high streets, and initially concentrated solely on providing their customers with a huge variety of sports gambling options. It wasn’t long however before the site operators wanted to increase the returns on their investments in the technology and software needed to operate the sites, and they began to add a few of what we now call online casino games. The object of this move was originally to persuade the sports gambling fans to spend more time on the sites and hopefully therefore spend a bit more money, but what actually happened was that it founded a whole new popular online gambling activity and created what we now know as the online casino sector. In retrospect no one should have been particularly surprised that the idea of playing casino games online would prove to be so popular, because there were already at least two potential target groups who would almost certainly be attracted to playing games online. All our real casinos here in Ireland were well supported and although they were generally quite small and unable to offer much more choice than roulette and blackjack, these two casino games were both already popular among their members. An even bigger group of potential online casino enthusiasts were the large number of bingo fans who still regularly visited their local bingo club, and of course also those bingo fans who had stopped going to the clubs but still enjoyed the game. Of all the casino games introduced in the early days of online casinos the numbers games based on bingo had huge appeal for the thousands of bingo fans in the country. The introduction of many of the more traditional casino games which had not been generally available in our real casinos also proved to be a successful strategy and certainly attracted the attention of most of the regular casino visitors. Suddenly they were able to play casino games such as baccarat, backgammon and even craps, none of which were featured in most Irish casinos in spite of being extremely popular across the rest of Europe and of course in the United States. The traditional casino games and the numbers games all appealed to their existing fan base of course, but there is no doubt that the biggest attraction of the online casinos was the huge range of slots games and video slots which began to appear online. Very few of us have not enjoyed playing a slot machine at some time in our lives so again it was hardly surprising that the online slots games were an instant success and have since been the driving force behind the growth of the online casino sector across the world.
Since those early days the big multi-option online gambling sites operated by the bookmakers have expanded very rapidly indeed with more and more casino games being added at regular intervals so that most of the online casino sections of these sites now offer well over a hundred different casino games and some even feature more than two hundred different games. We have also seen more and more new specialist online casinos become available to Irish casino games fans, thereby increasing even further the range of casino games we can play online. Clearly the vast majority of these new online casino games are slots and video slots in various forms and based on a variety of different themes, but we should not ignore the more traditional casino games and their effect on the popularity of playing casino games online. As we have already commented on, the size of our real casinos here in Ireland do not allow the operators to offer the whole range of popular traditional casino games often found in the much bigger casinos in some other parts of Europe, so now being able to play games such as baccarat and backgammon online has proved very interesting. Many of our readers have been surprised at just how easy it is to play baccarat for example. The fact that we can now play baccarat at an online casino has dispelled some of the myths surrounding this particular game. For one reason or another many people thought that baccarat was a very complicated game played almost exclusively by high rollers, but in fact only the dealer needs to know the rules of the game. All the player needs to do is guess which of just two hands will win, so it is really not much more difficult than calling the toss of a coin. Backgammon on the other hand is one of the more interesting casino games that are now available for us to enjoy online, because it involves an element of skill as well as luck. Two dice are used to determine how many moves each player has to move their checkers around the board, but only skill and experience will help them to do that in the most efficient manner.
No discussion regarding the casino games we can now play at all of the many online casinos we can now access here in Ireland would be complete without commenting on the popularity of the other traditional casino game in which skill and experience plays an important role in winning or losing, the game of poker. Poker is probably the biggest success story as far as playing casino games online is concerned, and the number of people regularly playing poker at an online casino or at one of the growing number of specialist online poker platforms is growing all the time. Texas Hold’em poker in particular has become the casino game of choice for a huge number of online casino games fans, many of whom now even apply to play the game at the major poker tournaments around the world which used to be the preserve of professional poker players. Nowadays most poker tournaments are significantly oversubscribed because the professionals have been joined by increasing numbers of enthusiastic amateurs or semi-professionals as many of them now call themselves.