Qualities of Top Software Providers
Within the bracket of online casino software, there’s a lot for us to divulge in our reviews. Here are some of our considerations when looking into the developers represented in a casino’s games library – the best online casino software providers will perform well in most, if not all, of these areas.
First thing’s first: gameplay should be smooth, coherent and intuitive. In any gaming context, bugs and glitches are unwelcome, particularly when there’s money on the line. The best video slots develop storylines and plots alongside the spinning of the reels, which always adds value to the game. We favour developers of these types of casino games well in our reviews.
Audio and Visuals
One of the great things about computerized slot machines compared to mechanical ones is that the former can transport players anywhere they want to. Modern video slots take inspiration from stories of ancient civilizations, mythology, and familiar themes and figures from pop culture. Audio and visual excellence really elevates the quality of these games; even in a table game setting, these elements can bring a dose of tension and authenticity.
Are there any unique features of the software provider in question, such as bonus round and free spin innovations, returning characters, or two-way paylines? Elements like these help to develop the unique characteristics of a brand, and add the finishing touches to the overall quality of a software provider’s games offering.
Payout Rates, House Edge, and Volatility
Let’s start by defining these three terms. Payout rates are presented alongside all online casino games, and are given as a return to player (RTP) percentage. Standard RTP rates are around 95%, which means that, on average, players wagering $100 can expect to receive $95 back from the casino. However, RTP rates are calculated from huge data sets over an extended period of time – players should therefore avoid taking RTP figures at their face value, understanding that the payout rates of any one gambling session can deviate massively from the advertised RTP number.
House edge refers to the innate house advantage that all online casino software providers build into their games. The cliché that “the house always wins” is a fact: if you were to play any casino game for an infinite amount of time, you would inevitably run out of money. Some games have a more significant house edge than others, but all casino games have been designed to ensure that the house will eventually always come out on top.
Finally, a game’s volatility is an assessment of how often it pays out to its players, and the size of the prize when it does. If a game has high volatility, that means it dishes out infrequent but significant rewards; a low volatility game will do the reverse.
How players receive this information is down to a matter of personal preference, but we take a look at the numbers behind the games before we refer our users to a gambling site.
Just as we prefer online casinos with a variety of software providers, we also prefer software providers that develop a variety of casino games. In terms of video slots, this means taking inspiration from all kinds of stories, myths and movies, rather than churning out the same themes every time. Beyond the world of slots, the best software providers also provide virtual versions of much-loved table games.
Online casino players are now more or less evenly divided between desktop and mobile gameplay. This means that software developers must also provide mobile-optimized versions of their games so that players can access them on their mobile device anytime, anywhere.
Regulators such as eCOGRA are responsible for the vetting and auditing of online casino games. Its job is to ensure that games are properly regulated, and that payout rates and other advertised features are as they say they are. The eCOGRA stamp of approval on online casino games gives players the confidence that they’re being treated fairly and legally – this makes up a critical part of our reviewing process.