Characteristics of the Best Casino Sites
Best casino sites are often differentiated from the mediocre ones by details that only a trained eye can spot. Obviously, certain features, such as the diverse selection of games and generous promotional offers are essential, but these two factors are only fractions of a larger composition that constitutes a competitive gambling site. To be ranked as one of the best and earn a spot on the top performing online casinos list, the operator must meet a number of requirements, from the most noticeable ones mentioned above to the ones that are only revealed when you scratch beneath the surface – withdrawal policies, wagering requirements, contribution rates, dormancy policies, and consistency in applying the regulations. These, however, are all elements of more the general standards of evaluation, such as:
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This is usually the starting point of rating an online casino, as most of the players are not willing to compromise well-rounded gaming offer even if they are willing to give up a welcome bonus or around the clock customer support. For an assortment of games to be considered well put together, it must meet 3 conditions – diversity, quality, and versatility – each equally important and indispensable. So, unless you are interested in a casino site that’s designed for specific demographic, offering no more than one or two gaming categories (such as bingo sites), you will settle for no less than an operator that:
- Partners with the best developers in the industry: NetEnt, Quickspin, IGT, iSoftBet, Play’n GO
- Offers a vast number of games across multiple gaming categories (Live, Casino, Slots)
- Delivers a casino that can be loaded on all major platforms and operating systems
Best Software Providers
Out of hundreds of software developers in the industry, only a few managed to reach the very top. A player is less likely to register at an online casino that’s powered by obscure gaming content suppliers, and the ones listed below are anything but. NetEnt, Quickspin, IGT, iSoftBet, and Play’n GO are among the most highly acclaimed developers in the industry, known for innovation and a well-executed, sophisticated, and RNG tested software.
Founded in 1996, NetEnt offers an impressive gaming portfolio which can be found at more than 200 online casinos. Their offer includes branded slots, live tables, jackpot games and VR variants of their iconic releases, Gonzo’s Quest and Jack and the Beanstalk.
The company operates under several gaming licences: UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and Government of Gibraltar Gambling Commission. In the recent years, the company has been focused on breaking into new markets and acquiring gaming licences for operating within the USA territory (New Jersey and Pennsylvania).
Popular releases: Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst, Hall of Gods
Quickspin is a Swedish company founded in 2011 as a part of Playtech. In addition to producing video slots, Quickspin offers back-office solutions which enable the operators to maintain a full overview of their members’ activity. The company operates under the UK Gambling Commission and Alderney Gambling Control Commission licences, producing visually exceptional slots with innovative gaming features. In 2018, Quickspin released their first video slot with the Hi Roller mode, unlocking prizes of higher value on larger bets.
Popular releases: Sakura Fortune, King Colossus, Hidden Valley
IGT (International Game Technology)
IGT is one of the oldest gaming providers in the industry – it was established in 1975 in Nevada as a gaming cabinets manufacturer, evolving into one of the most influential online gaming software developers of today. In 2015, IGT was acquired by Gtech, an Italian gaming equipment manufacturer which adopted the name International Game Technology after the acquisition. The company currently operates from business units in London, Rome, Las Vegas, and Providence.
Popular releases: Cleopatra, Da Vinci Diamonds, Wolf Run
iSoftBet is a privately held software provider established in 2010, licenced by the UK Gambling Commission, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, Lotteries & Gaming Authority Belgium, Romanian National Gambling Office, and a few other gambling regulatory authorities in Europe. The developer’s GAP (Game Aggregation Platform) features over 2,000 games, supplied by Evolution Gaming, Betsoft, Playson, Pragmatic Play…
Popular releases: Chilli Chilli Bang Bang, Fortune Diamond, Book of Immortals
Play’n GO is an award-winning software provider that appeared in the market in 1997, becoming one of the leading developers with more than 150 releases under their belt. In addition to producing mobile compatible gaming software, designed according to the latest gambling industry standards, Play’n GO also offers the Casino Account Toolkit (short CAT), designed to facilitate account management.
Popular releases: Viking Runecraft, Sizzling Spins, Grim Muerto
Reviews of Software Providers
The more the merrier, especially when it comes to the number of games and categories that can be found in an online casino. Ideally, an online casino should offer at least 2 – 3 types of slots, along with separate sections for progressive jackpot releases, casino/table games, video poker, bingo, scratch cards, and live dealer tables.
The games should be further categorized according to the popularity, date of releases, structure, or, in some cases, hit frequency, theme, provider, payout potential, or other parameters. To sum up – a typical structure of the best casino sites would include the following:
- Slots: Video, Classic, and Progressive
- Table Games: Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat
- Video Poker: Joker Poker, Tens or Better, Jack or Better, Deuces Wild, Double Bonus, Joker’s Wild, Aces and Eights
- Live Casino Games: Live Baccarat, Live Roulette, Live Monopoly (new), Live Blackjack
- Others: Bingo, Keno, Scratch Cards, Specialty Games
Nowadays, launching a gambling site that’s not mobile-friendly is virtually unthinkable. To stay on top of the demand, a lot of operators include a mobile app which the players can download directly from the casino site. Ease of accessibility is not the only advantage of installing the casino on your smartphone or tablet home screen – a special set of bonuses is often reserved for those who register an account through the mobile casino app.
Live Dealer Casino Lobby
Generally, the most exciting area of an online casino, and available to depositing members only (other categories are usually offered in both demo-play and real money mode).
Evolution Gaming is one of the most popular choices when it comes to the selection of live dealer software provider. Once inside their lobby, you will be able to find multiple variants of a low, medium, or high-limit blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker games.
What is considered a norm today, was not so long ago, only a part of the very best online casino sites, whereas nowadays, not having live casino lobby is considered a major setback.
Welcome offer is another factor that can make or break a casino, going far beyond the amount of bonus cash or a number of free spins awarded on the first deposit. What makes an online casino better than good is not the offers itself, but rather the terms and conditions that surround it.
While decent online casinos offer generous bonuses, only the best ones will deliver them at the user-friendly terms, starting with the low minimum deposit. The average amount that the new member will need to deposit should not exceed £10, although some operators raise the limit to £20 for all those who would like to claim any of the bonuses. In other words, you will be required to submit a higher deposit before you are able to claim the bonus, which is generally frowned upon by a lot of players.
The wagering requirements attached to welcome bonuses and promotions are a necessary evil, with only a small number of operators that do not impose these types of restrictions. You are, however, more likely to find an online casino site with low playthrough requirements. In general, everything between x20 – x35 is acceptable, while x50 and up is quite high. One other thing that needs to be determined is which of the gaming categories contribute to the wagering requirements – the best casino will give you a chance to meet the wagering requirement by playing across all categories, instead of just the selected few.
A casino that aims at earning a place in the Best Casino Sites Hall of Fame must provide a variety of payment methods to their members – e-wallets, credit cards, debit cards, virtual cards, bank transfers.
More importantly, the transactions should be handled swiftly and without the transaction fee. Pending times should, of course, be separated from the settlement time, since the latter does not fall under the operators’ responsibilities. Online casinos that value their members’ time will strive to process all payout requests within 24 hours and make the entire process as smooth as possible, for both the players and the staff.
Some of the most popular payment methods that the casino should make available to their players are Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, Neteller, Skrill, PayPal, Trustly, Sofort, and Entercash.
There’s nothing more reassuring than well-trained casino representatives that at are your disposal 24/7, ready to address your every inquiry in multiple languages.
This is an important trait of the best ranked online casinos that usually provide their members will more than just one support channel – email, phone, and around the clock live chat support.