Casino Software

If you really wanted to be honest about it, you'd have to say that there is nothing more important to the process of online casino gaming than the software that is employed. It is absolutely critical to getting the job done as far as players accessing and playing the games. This is true whether it is a casino that has to be downloaded or one that can be played right through the browser. If it has to be operational, safe and secure, it takes a responsible and capable software company to make it happen.

As you probably know, the gaming space is a very competitive atmosphere, so there is a definite emphasis on innovation. That has brought a great benefit, as not only have the companies we're about to discuss been leaders in that area, but they are working every day to improve things. The player is the ultimate beneficiary of all this.

Different companies emphasize different features in their respective portfolios. But in order to survive, all of them have to be very strong in the areas of game design, game fairness, and safety and security, because they are a key player in the processing of transactions.

Let's take a look at some of these industry leaders:

Microgaming

This is the "big fish," so to speak. Microgaming was one of the true pioneers in this industry, having been established in 1994. They have consistently been right up near the top in all categories. It is clear that they place a great value upon the size of the overall suite of games that they offer to clients, and in turn, the end user. As a matter of fact, if you took into account the full selection of games that Microgaming had available, it would number over 500. That's a LOT of entertainment to offer the consumer.

When it comes to online slot games, nobody really approaches Microgaming in the area of sheer variety. They have well over 300 games to choose from, and they range anywhere from the classic slot games that most closely resemble the old-time one-armed bandits to some very space-age video slots. And Microgaming has an array of progressive slots that pay off time and again in the six figures.

One of the things they're also proud of at Microgaming is the "Gold Series" of games that offer a lot of selection and quality, serving the low-roller and high-roller alike. Blackjack aficionados will feel like they are in heaven, because there are two dozen different variations to choose from. The list of choices just goes on and on.

Playtech

What is so interesting about Playtech is that this is a company that has been in the business for many years, and they have really spread their wings when it comes to serving the online gaming community across the board. While Playtech is probably best known for its work in the field of casino gaming, it is just as likely that they will be involved with a poker room, an online bingo hall, an online sportsbook, or a mobile platform. They are clearly a "go-to" resource for a lot of things.

Playtech certainly doesn't lack in quantity, but folks tend to remark a great deal about the quality. This is a company that really knows what it is doing when it comes to the inclusion of exciting 3D graphics into its games, and when it comes to overall design, they could be at the top of the list.

How legitimate are these guys? Well, they have a well-known licensing and branding deal with Marvel Entertainment that has brought their signature "Marvel Slots" to the table, so when you see online slot games that carry themes that are built around Iron Man, X-Men, The Fantastic Four or The Incredible Hulk, you'll know that you have stumbled into a Playtech-powered casino.

Realtime Gaming

There is little question that Realtime Gaming is one of the favorite online casino software developers among players in the United States, for no other reason than the fact that they are set up to serve the U.S. customer. This is generally a policy decision made by each individual company, and in doing so, RTG (as it is known to most) has reaped the benefits of going after a market that some of its competitors have shied away from.

This is no Johnny-come-lately either; RTG has been in the gaming business since back in 1999, which, considering the relative youth of the industry, is like an eternity. Over the years it has developed a well-earned reputation for the quality of its offerings, and is known in particular for the "Real Series" of slot games, which in terms of quality is the equal of any selection available in the virtual world.

You certainly wouldn't compromise yourself when you play in an RTG casino, either. The company is known for being a leader in safety and security, and clearly there is transaction expertise because of its U.S. access. Player options on the games, especially slots, are plentiful, and you can play an RTG casino even if you don't want to download it, since the Flash version can be played right through the browser.

TopGame

This is truly one of the "young guns" of the online casino software industry, having been established only as recently as 2008. TopGame brings an added benefit to a lot of people in the United States, in that casinos who carry their software can accept activity from U.S. players. What they're getting is something that is very special.

What many people have noticed is that TopGame software downloads faster than just about any other software on the market today, and that is indeed something that they have taken a great deal of pride in. What they want to do is simulate an experience just as if a player was going through his or her browser, so the emphasis is on things running very, very smoothly.

The characteristics that are most memorable about games that are powered by TopGame are very rich 3D graphics and sound effects that really make you feel like you are in a Las Vegas casino. Truth be told, there is not the variety that you'll find from some of the other software providers, but TopGame can still put out multiple versions of a lot of games, including blackjack. There is also a mechanism by which a player can participate in ten different games simultaneously. You can't beat that kind of thing for real action, can you? 

Rival Gaming

This company is not to be confused with the other "Rival Gaming" which creates online games that are not related to casinos. THIS Rival Gaming has been making a very good name in its own right for the quality and innovation it brings to the table.

Rival is a relative newcomer to the field, compared to some of its competitors, as it was established in 2006. This is not to say there wasn't years of research and development that went into the offerings before the launch. There are now a number of clients around the world, and a lot of satisfied customers who can play games at a Rival casino that they can't play anywhere else.

The roster includes over 100 games, and of course among them are all the old favorites, such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and video poker. There is a healthy slot selection, but the real highlight is the "i-Slot," an interactive slot machine experience that really brings the player into a storyline and actually creates situations where skill can come into play through bonus rounds. Players have reacted with such enthusiasm toward the i-Slot that Rival has expanded its menu to twenty games in just a few years.

Wager Works

Wager Works is a company that had some marquee clients as a developer of online casino games, and was valuable enough that it was purchased by the prestigious International Game Technology (IGT) for $90 million in 2005.

Wager Works numbered UK-based Paddy Power and William Hill among its clientele, but the union with IGT, which is the leading manufacturer of slot games for land-based casinos, added a whole new dimension. IGT wanted Wager Works for its expertise in the online market, and it immediately gave them a presence in this new area. Now the emphasis is on symbiosis that encompasses the social media world as well.

Wager Works is very meticulous when it comes to graphics, and they also have some juice in the sphere of popular culture, as they feature games that are based on game shows like Wheel of Fortune and The Price Is Right. You can get great player options with Wager Works games. For example, you can do extensive tracking of past results, if you are the type of person who feels that will help you predict what is going to happen in the future. Any imaginable game is included, and of course, this company has some of the best slot games in the world. They're part of a powerful team!

WMS Gaming

WMS Gaming is a company that has a rather unique spot among all the outfits that supply online casino software. For one thing, they have probably been in business the longest. It was all the way back in 1943 that WMS began business under its founder, Harry Williams (hence the "WMS" label). What it specialized in at the time were pinball machines. And then the company evolved from there.

It was a forerunner in the area of video games, and started to service the land-based casino industry with its slot products. The move into online casino gaming was a deliberate one for the company, and it didn't take place until 2010. However, WMS Gaming did not go online to primarily serve as the designer for casino websites around the world, but to establish its own website, known as JackpotParty.com. They really put their wares on display there. In effect, that is an online casino website that is making use of proprietary software.

They've got some great branded slot games, which include Monopoly, Star Trek and The Wizard of Oz. They have some table games available as well, but the emphasis is clearly on slots. And even though the selection is not tremendous, it is of the highest quality for certain.

Cryptologic

This is one of the pioneer companies, having gone into business back in 1996. As such, they were one of the first to design and internet casino and the software that goes with it. They have serviced some pretty classy brands, among them Victor Chandler, Virgin, Bet365 and the Irish gaming giant, Paddy Power. The first internet casino that made a real mark in the industry, InterCasino, utilized software from Cryptologic. One of the key elements to its success has been the ability to adapt to different languages and currencies almost seamlessly. And that "translates" into a pleasurable experience for the end user.

These guys do not skimp on the games either; in fact, you will find that when the whole roster is rolled out, there are over 300 games available. There are great table games to be had, but a lot of observers point to the slot offerings as a real highlight. Cryptologic has branded slot games like Batman, Captain America, King Kong, Spider Man, Superman, Thor, X-Men and Conan the Barbarian. The video poker collection is healthy, with all the possible variations available. They have great progressive games too; in fact, one of their progressive slot jackpots actually paid off at $8 million!

The Best Online Casinos

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Rank Online Casinos   Bonus USA? Software  
1. Golden Riviera Casino Golden Riviera Casino $/€/£ 1400 No Microgaming Download | Review
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3. Club World Casino Club World Casino $ 3000 Yes Realtime Gaming Download | Review
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5. InterCasino InterCasino $/€/£ 250 No Cryptologic Download | Review