There are thankfully still a few enjoyable leisure activities which do not cost any money, but most popular pastimes are not free and of course some cost a great deal of money and are therefore beyond the reach of most of us. When it comes to playing casino games at an online casino or gambling on your favourite sport however, what it costs depends almost entirely on luck and varies considerably from day to day. Clearly no one expects to be able to play roulette or blackjack in a real casino without placing a bet, nor would you expect to play bingo without buying a card but there is one gambling activity which does offer us the opportunity to play games for free and that is the free play option now available at most online casinos. This free online casino feature clearly serves two purposes as far as the online casino site operators are concerned. First and foremost it is a marketing strategy to encourage potential new customers to try playing casino games online, and mirrors similar offers such as the free bets offered by many of the big online sports gambling sites. This form of marketing is of course common in many business sectors to attract new customers or to encourage existing customers to spend a bit more, but when it comes to the online casino sector it also serves another useful purpose. The vast majority of the casino games we can now play at our online casinos are of course slots games in various forms, but most online casinos also feature a full range of the more traditional casino games some of which are not available in our real casinos here in Ireland and are therefore probably new to most online casino games even those who have played casino games at a real casino. The free online casino option therefore acts as a learning tool to enable us to acquaint ourselves with the rules of these games and to experience how they work in practice. Here at onlinecasino.ie we have published the rules of most of these traditional casino games on our individual games pages, but we all know that there is no better way to learn anything than trying it yourself. The free online casino option allows us to do that and therefore encourages us to try new games without having to risk losing money while we learn. It is in fact one of the great advantages that the online casinos have over their land based rivals, because the operating costs associated with running an online casino site are far less than operating a real casino and they can therefore afford to allow their customers to play the casino games for a period of time without risking any money. A real casino or any business which requires a building and staff to operate the business could not possibly afford to offer any product or service totally free of charge.
Most online casinos offer the free play option on both the traditional casino games and their slots games, but there are some still a number of people who consider the free online casino option to be something of a gimmick rather than serving any useful purpose. Here at onlinecasino.ie we can see both sides of that debate, but we do believe that the opportunity to try playing some of the traditional casino games such as baccarat and backgammon which have never been available in our real casinos, and to be able to play them without risking any money has got to be good. Baccarat and backgammon are of course at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of the skill levels required to play them successfully, although some people may doubt that statement because of the reputation that baccarat has acquired. Because many of us have never had the opportunity to play baccarat we were willing to believe that it was a very complicated game played mainly by high rollers for very high stakes. Now that we can play baccarat online however we have discovered that it is in fact one of the easiest online casino games to play. The game is totally controlled by the dealer so we don’t actually need to know the rules. All we have to do is predict which of just two hands will win. It really is as simple as that because although a tie is possible it is rare and hardly ever backed by serious players. Backgammon on the other hand does require some knowledge and experience to play successfully and the free play option is a very useful way to acquire that experience. As with almost every casino game there is clearly an element of luck involved in backgammon because the number of moves is determined by the throw of two dice, but the skill lies in how the player then uses those moves to position their checkers on the board.
Another traditional casino game which is very similar in terms of the combination of luck and skill is the game of poker, particularly the more recent versions of the game such as Texas Hold’em poker. Once again a successful player needs to be dealt some reasonably good hands, but an experienced player will usually come out on top in the long run. Most online casinos offer a wide range of different versions of poker, all of which can be played against the house for fixed odds and most can be played for a period of time in the free online casino mode so that new players can learn how the hands rank against each other without risking their money. The free online casino mode is available at every online casino on our recommended list as an option, but at least three of the newer specialist online casinos have decided that the free play mode should be their default condition when people log on to their site. CasinoCasino, CasinoLand and Instacasino have all decided that players will always quickly choose to play for money rather than continuing in the free play mode.