Ever since the big bookmakers began to add a few games to their online sports gambling sites and creating what we now know as online casinos, we all tend to refer to all the games we can now play online as casino games. Clearly that is stretching a point because the vast majority of those online casino games are slots games in various forms most of which would never have been found in a real casino. Here in Ireland we have never had much choice in terms of gambling games of any description because what few casinos we have had in the past have always been relatively small and were notable to provide much choice. Many of our bigger towns and cities have of course always had a bingo club and most of our pubs and clubs have at least one slot machine, but that was about it as far as our gaming options were concerned. When we were first given access to online gambling the site operators were all big bookmakers so the sites were directed primarily towards their sports gambling customers, but even then there was a huge increase in their betting options with a much wider range of sports and sporting events being covered. The subsequent introduction of online casinos has however eclipsed that with an even bigger increase in our gambling options, with most online casino sites now offering well over two hundred different casino games for us to enjoy. We also now have more and more online casino sites to choose from and many of them offer an entirely different range of casino games from their rivals, so that our choice of casino games is actually still increasing as more online casinos come on stream. Again the biggest increase in choice comes in the form of the slots and video slots we can now play online, but we should not forget the more traditional casino games such as roulette and blackjack which were actually commonly available even in the smallest real casinos. Most online casinos feature several slightly different versions of roulette on their sites and there may also be variations on the standard form of blackjack. Both of these traditional casino games can now also be played live with real dealers on most sites, further enhancing the experience. Here in Ireland many of us will perhaps have had the opportunity to play roulette or blackjack before, but for most of us those two games were probably the only two traditional casino games we had ever played. That all changed when we were introduced to online casinos.
That traditional American casino game of craps for instance was suddenly an option, as was the game of baccarat which has always been a fixture in most casinos in Europe but never over here. Craps is of course played in a very similar way to roulette in terms of the multiple betting options available and the layout of the table, the only major difference being that the winning number is determined by the throw of two dice rather than the spin of the roulette wheel. Baccarat on the other hand is a very different type of casino game to anything most of us have ever played. Our only knowledge of baccarat may well have come through watching a Bond film in which our hero takes on his enemy in a high stakes game. That is probably also one of the reasons why the game of baccarat has become known as a very complicated game played only by high rollers. We now know of course that nothing could be further from the truth particularly when playing baccarat at an online casino. The rules of baccarat are a little complicated but we do not actually need to know them when playing online. There are only two hands in a game of baccarat and all we have to do is predict which of those two hands will win. It really is as simple as that. Another traditional casino game which is becoming increasingly popular as an online casino game is backgammon. The rules of backgammon are relatively easy to understand, but this is one of the traditional casino games where skill and experience is important and invariably does count in the long run. Although the number of moves each player has is determined by the throw of two dice, it is how the players choose to move their checkers around the board in accordance with those moves that defines the likely winner.
When we are discussing traditional casino games where skill and experience is a factor in winning or losing, we cannot ignore the game of poker. The game of poker is another traditional casino games which may have first come to our attention through watching films. Almost all the westerns we used to watch had a scene where groups of men were playing 5-card draw poker in the saloon, and there were also some films which featured professional gamblers who were also playing 5-card draw poker on the river boats. Nowadays of course the game of choice for most serious poker players is the Texas Hold’em format of the game rather than 5-card draw. Texas Hold’em poker entails each player being dealt two hole cards face down in front of them, after which five community cards are dealt one at a time face up into the middle of the table which are available to be used by all the players in forming their showdown hand. The major difference between Texas Hold’em poker and 5-card draw is that there is not only a betting round after the hole cards have been dealt, there are further betting rounds after each of the community cards have been dealt. These multiple betting rounds clearly increase the size of the winning pot substantially and is the main reason why the Texas Hold’em format of poker has become so popular in recent years. It is also the version of poker used in almost every major poker tournament around the world.