Thanks to modern technology and the internet, playing casino games is not just enjoyed in traditional brick-and-mortar establishments but also virtually anywhere and everywhere – and thus the continued rise in popularity of online casinos.
But are online casinos better than real casinos? What are some of the online casino’s advantages? Here are the things you need to know.
Online Casinos vs. Real Casinos
For the most part, UK gambling sites, US online casino sites, and their physical counterparts offer the same basic elements:
- a set of games you can play, and
- the promise of a chance to win money.
Both also have their proprietary software systems that ensure each game is played in a manner that is fair to all players and the house. Online and real casinos have their own payment systems and processes. They also have their own given odds of winning and the house edge. On the other hand, both are real money gambling establishments where you can stake and win actual cash.
Still, several differences can make or break the choice for a player.
Payouts: Real Casinos
When you play in a physical, real casino, you usually have two payment options: cash or card. You usually purchase chips or tokens you can use within the premises, with an equivalent value in fiat money.
When you’re ready to cash out, the payout is usually only in cash. Most of the time, the casino would issue a ticket a player can claim for cash at a separate counter. In some rare cases, some casinos may offer either a check or a wire transfer. But more often than not, cash is what flows in a real casino.
On the other hand, online casinos have a wide range of payment options. For a deposit (or for funding your in-app or site wallet), options usually include credit or debit card, supported e-wallets (such as PayPal or any other popular local services), bank transfer, and sometimes even cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Players would buy amounts of in-game credits using their preferred payment methods. Credits for online casinos are usually converted to a 1:1 ratio.
For payouts, the options usually remain the same. However, winnings are usually paid to the player’s in-game wallet first. After that, the player decides when they want to cash it out. In the case of cryptocurrencies, they can either wait and “grow” their money or cash out now and then, regardless of the amount. This is due to the volatility of most crypto coins.
Games: Online Casinos
When it comes to the type of games that a real casino and an online casino, the variety of games remain fairly the same. You can find:
- table games like dice and roulette,
- card games like poker and blackjack,
- lottery games like bingo,
- and many other RNG instant games.
However, the range of games offered makes both drastically different in their offering.
In a physical casino, the number of games offered depends on how big and spacious the establishment is. A bigger physical casino can hold more game machines and can accommodate more tables and thus more players. A smaller can, in turn, only hold a limited number of games and players.
In an online casino, however, the number of games that can be included in one’s portfolio is virtually unlimited. Since everything is through the internet, the casino can have hundreds to thousands of options in games. This is thanks to the casino software platform an operator uses for their website. A platform includes games from various software providers such as NetEnt. Casino platforms also have components to run a gambling site, such as a payment processor. It is also important to note that the games and other betting opportunities are the only way for online casinos to make money.
Time is also a major difference between real casinos and online casinos. Brick-and-mortar establishments usually have limited operating hours, and players would not be able to play during closing hours.
On the other hand, an online casino does not depend on any business hours. Being based on the internet, an online casino technically operates 24/7. If a player with an internet connection wants to play, they can – regardless if it’s the break of dawn or the most ungodly hours of the night.
Odds of Winning: Online Casinos and Real Casinos
In a traditional, physical casino, the odds of winning are usually determined by real-life chances. For example, in a blackjack game, the odds of a player getting a certain card comes down to the shuffling of the card and the number of cards already dealt. In a gem of roulette, the odds rely on how a ball is thrown and the spinning of the wheel. These things are all completely random and thus give everyone a fair chance of winning their respective bets.
In an online casino, on the other hand, the “fair” element is determined by an entirely different process. Since games are digital and all run through a computer program over the internet, an algorithm is responsible for making sure that all results exhibit the same randomness as that of a real casino. This is called the Random Number Generator or RNG.
In the simplest way of putting it, RNG assigns a random string of numbers and codes that determine the result of a game, emulating the randomness that a real casino has. IN this way, games in online casinos are kept fair and square for everyone, too.
Bonuses and Perks: Real Casinos
In a physical, real casino, bonuses and perks come in several forms and manners: some establishments offer free food and unlimited drinks for a minimum chip buy-in amount. Some establishments may offer celebrity and/or musician performances that patrons can enjoy while playing. Some may even offer a free hotel room with easy access to the casino.
Be careful, however, as most of their “freebies” and “perks” are often given to lure patrons into playing more and even recklessly. Alcohol, for example, could be promoted to patrons as “free-flowing” or unlimited – which may sound very enticing and very nice for many people – but it’s only a trick to dull your judgment and makes you spend more.
An online casino, however, gives bonuses and perks in the form of free plays and free credits. Usually, this is given out to attract new players and retain existing customers.
Convenience and Expenses: Online Casinos
There are several expenses you should consider if you are planning to drop by your favorite casino downtown or in another state. First of all, the money: to make a trip to a casino worth it, one would usually bring a larger amount of money – just taking $50 won’t cut it. Then comes expenses for transportation, food, and accommodation if you will travel. Add to that the fact that playing in a casino would probably eat up your entire night at the least, or maybe even up to days or weeks.
On the other hand, expenses for an online casino include any account you wish to bet with (from $1 to how big or small you want to roll), a computer or smartphone (which you probably already have), and an internet connection (which you also probably already have, too). Finally, no travel is needed to play in an online casino. When it comes to convenience, online casino wins over real ones by a mile.
So, are online casinos better than real casinos? There are a lot of advantages to going online, which makes it the better option for a lot of people. On the other hand, there is no replacing the “authentic” in-person experience of going to a brick-and-mortar casino, too.