Online gambling is a massive industry, both for those who play and those who create. Naturally, when it comes to the creative process, a lot of importance is put on the software used; after all, the software of a site typically determines how successfully a brand will be received. Seeing as we put a lot of emphasis on how a site runs, looks, navigates, etc, it makes sense that, over time, a hierarchy of software developers has been created.
In addition to the above, there’s also more specific uses of software, chiefly for helping identify the fairness of the games. As odd as it may sound, the software utilised has a direct impact on the playability of the activities and how fairly they pay out. This is why the age old idea that the games are rigged is actually inaccurate. The reason for this is because most software uses Random Number Generators (RNGs) to ensure fairness. Furthermore, casino owners tend to use third party software rather than their own, just to further ensure the fairness of the brand.
How does this help players, besides the obvious fairness factor? Quite simply, it means you’ll be able to play the games across multiple iGaming sites rather than just the one, which is arguably why third party software is favoured — it benefits everyone involved.
Casino Software Types Explained
Before we go into detail about the most common, and most recommended, of software developers currently available, we’d like to briefly discuss the types of software. This isn’t necessarily important to your success/enjoyment of the games, but it does impact on accessibility and how easily the activities play.
- Instant Play:
First off, we have instant play software, which is arguably the most commonly found online nowadays. This is when you can load up the website and begin playing without having to download any specialist software onto your devices. What is more, due to how accessible this type of software is, you’re usually able to access the games while playing on your portable devices. If you’ve played at a casino that uses Adobe Player, than you’re familiar with instant play software.
As the name suggests, this is software that needs downloading onto your device before you’re able to play it. This used to be the norm for iGaming, but since its steady development, this type of software is becoming less common. That being said, there are still some casinos that give you the option to download the software, should you wish for an even more fluid experience of the games. Nonetheless, it also means you have to login to the software every time in order to access the games.
Once again, the name says it all — this type of software is usually used for mobile only casinos, ones that have been designed to be played via a branded app, etc. Often, we find that mobile software and instant play have been combined to create the ultimate iGaming experience for players.
Choosing the Right Software
Now that we’re more familiar with a few of the basics about casino software, the next question we often ask ourselves is which brand do you choose?
As we’ve already touched upon, fairness transparency is one of the main factors to take into account, however it isn’t the only one. Another factor you need to consider is the stability of the software itself, e.g. how smooth your playthrough will be. It goes without saying that if software lags, fails to load, crashes, etc, it makes for a very unsatisfying playthrough, even more so when you can’t save your progress. This is why stability becomes a vital component. In addition to this, there’s also the graphics of the site to take into consideration. Given the nature of this, for a lot of people, graphics of any software is a matter of personal preference, however that doesn’t make it any less important to take into account.
Specifically looking at the activities that use the software, other features we need to keep an eye on are banking and payout percentage. Of course, the way a game does either of these things does depend on the casino you’re playing with, but generally they will function in the same way no matter which casino you play with. The same can’t be said for the software developers. They can vary greatly from one another, for example, slot machines have a much higher payout than poker, with the slot average being 90%.
When it comes to making your choice, we suggest you look at all the key pointers from above to make your informed decision. What is more, we also need to make sure we check reviews from multiple sources to ensure that what we think we’re seeing is actually what we receive. For example, if you see a casino that looks good and runs well, you don’t want to just assume it runs without issue. This is where guides/reviews like this one come in. For those new to iGaming, the best rule of thumb is to only play with software recommended, at least until you feel more comfortable with what to look out for.
Which are The Best Software Providers for Safe Casino Playing?
Assuming you’ve taken a look into casino software for yourselves already, it goes without saying that there’s a lot of competition out there. In fact, there’s so much in the way of iGaming brands that it fast becomes overwhelming for players to make a choice, especially when having never had to previously.
Due to the volume of developers available, we won’t be able to go through every single one of them, ranking from good to bad. However, what we can do is give you our top three software recommendations. Although this may sound small, three good, reliable software developers is a hugely beneficial starting point, one of which you’ll find will lead you to many respected casinos. In our experience, new slot sites that use these top three software providers are the ones that offer consistent support, good banking, tested fairness, and so forth.
If you’re ever in doubt however, please make sure to read a casino review in addition to this software guide, as it’ll help you even further in feeling at ease and comfortable with iGaming in general.
We doubt that many of you have played online and not come across Net Entertainment, also known as NetEnt. The reason we feel so sure of this is because of how popular this brand is; having been established over 20 years ago, they’ve been at the fore of a lot of iGaming advancements. Consequently, they are seen as one of the iGaming giants that all other software developers try to emulate. Not sure you recognise them?
Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst. These are two of the most played games across a wide array of casinos and they come from NetEnt. More often than not, when you see a welcome bonus that delivers free spins, it’ll say that they’re for Starburst; we have NetEnt to thank for that. When iGaming sites can use the software as part of its bonuses, and given how long NetEnt has been around, it makes sense that the developer is regarded as one of the best to play with.
In addition to their range of games, NetEnt also has a series of its own casinos, thus demonstrating the versatility of the brand as a whole. They’re seen as pioneers.
Next on our list is another “old timer”, but by no means lacking in originality and innovation due to its age. Play’n GO has been around since 2004, and since that time they’ve easily made a name for themselves. In a similar fashion to NetEnt, Play’n GO have built themselves into a powerhouse by delivering a diverse collection of activities that have subsequently turned into popular titles, with some of them even turning into a franchise. We’re sure you’ve heard of the Hugo franchise — it’s comical, fun to play, and a natural winner of hearts.
Besides their list of games, another reason we offer our recommendation for Play’n GO is simply because of how many awards they’ve won. There’s quite a few to go over, far too many for us to list right now, but among their recent nominations is the IGA Awards, and the Women in Gaming Awards, in which they had eight nominations!
The youngest of our list is Quickspin, a brand that was launched in 2011, arguably after a lot of iGaming innovations had come to pass and so they were at an advantage. However, regardless of being able to begin their journey with a lot of iGaming kinks already ironed out, Quickspin wouldn’t have been able to survive this long without being worth its salt. This has a lot to do with its founding members, three of whom have come from extensive iGaming backgrounds, thus making their transition to Quickspin an easy one.
Alongside them being the makers of some of the best, more engaging titles around, they too have a collection of awards that showcases their credentials, such as a win in the 2013 Rising Star Award. Compared to the other aforementioned brands, Quickspin hasn’t gained as much prestigious, awards wise, just yet, but their wins have certainly helped put them on the map. As for the games you might recognise, the Big Bad Wolf slot is one of the main that a lot of gamers, even newbies, are familiar with.
Time to Play
There you have it, these are the three main software developers we recommend at this time. However, that isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of others to explore, also worthy of note are Microgaming, Big Time Gaming, and Yggdrasil.
As the industry continues to develop, we suspect that the software that’s recommended could end up changing, especially when needing to include newer brands. Nonetheless, while newcomers may join the ranks, we anticipate NetEnt, Play’n GO, and Quickspin staying the course and maintaining their top spots for years to come.
If you’re ever in doubt about which software to play with, make sure to refer back to our checklist of factors, such as security, fairness, graphics, accessibility, and the various other facets. What is more, make sure to check out other reviews when you’re unfamiliar with not just the software but the casino brand as well.