It is now getting on for twenty years since some of the big bookmakers began to add a few casino games to their relatively new online sports gambling sites, thereby beginning what we now refer to as the online casino sector. Since those early beginnings the online casinos have changed out of all recognition. As we have already said the early online casinos were all just part of much bigger internet sports gambling sites, but the idea of offering us the chance to play a few casino games as well proved so successful that the bookmakers operating those sites quickly began to add more and more games so that the online casino sections of their sites became bigger and bigger. Since then we have also seen the introduction of a number of new specialist online casinos with no sports gambling facilities and targeted solely at casino games enthusiasts, further increasing the number and variety of online casino games we can play. We have also seen the development of other innovations such as the live online casino option as well as huge improvements in the quality of the graphics, both of which have definitely enhanced the experience of playing casino games online. The live online casino option is a particularly interesting development because it was originally conceived in response to early customer concerns relating to the fairness of online casino games, particularly the game of roulette. Transferring traditional casino games or slot machine games onto an internet site means that almost every online casino game uses a Random Number Generator or RNG to determine the winning number or sequence. Using an RNG in this way proved to be perfectly acceptable for almost every traditional casino game, and as far as the slots games were concerned it even improved the variety of games which could be offered online. There was however one very important exception and that was the game of roulette. Before the introduction of online casinos Irish casino games fans had been generally restricted to playing either roulette or blackjack, because our real casinos were relatively small and therefore had restricted floor space. Roulette and blackjack were therefore the two traditional casino games they were used to playing and were clearly the two casino games they were most likely to play when the new online casinos came on stream.
The problem was that the casino software developers were unable to satisfactorily illustrate the movement of the ball on the roulette wheel graphics as it moved to the number selected by the RNG. We have to remember that the only previous experience most of us had ever had of the use of an RNG was the machine called ERNIE which selected winning Premium Bonds. It was not surprising therefore that there was an element of mistrust in the fairness of the RNG’s being used by the online casino site operators, particularly when it came to the apparently inexplicable movement of the ball on the roulette graphics. Online casinos were of course in their infancy so it was essential that the new online casino games players trusted that the games were fair and that they were not being ripped off. The online casino operators and the casino software companies had to find a solution and do it quickly. The answer was of course what we now call the live online casino option, an option which is now commonly available on almost every online casino site. The eventual solution was relatively simple in concept although not so easy to put into practice, and meant that the site operators needed to set up remote studios from which they could stream the game of roulette to our screens using a real wheel and real dealers. Clearly having invested in setting up these studios it made sense to add a few more games to the live online casino option, so that many online casinos now also include games such as baccarat and backgammon being played live with real dealers. The live online casino option resolved the problems relating to the appearance of the game of roulette on our screens, and has proved popular with some online casino games enthusiasts particularly now that it has been developed further to include the option to communicate with the dealers. It is not however universally popular for a variety of reasons. Clearly streaming casino games from a remote studio with real dealers is more expensive than simply operating an internet site, therefore some online casinos have increased the minimum table stake for games played in the live online casino mode. This obviously goes against one of the fundamental advantages of playing casino games online as opposed to a real casino, bingo club or slot machine arcade, namely the opportunity to play for very small stakes. Another advantage of playing casino games such as roulette at an online casino is that you have as much time as you like to choose where to place your bets. Playing roulette in the live online casino mode however does not allow all that time. The dealers cannot see the players and therefore have to manage the game to a strict time schedule, which means that there is a limited time in which to place your bets before the wheel is spun again. Those of us who began playing roulette in a real casino will of course be used to having a time limit on placing our bets, but most new online casino customers may have never been to a real casino and may therefore enjoy taking their time. In spite of these disadvantages there is no doubt that the live online casino option has proved to be a worthwhile development and has improved the online casino experience for many people. A few online casinos have even taken the idea one step further and actually stream casino games such as roulette and baccarat from a real casino in real time. If you are looking to experience the atmosphere of a real casino even when playing at home, give it a try.