Online casinos, also known as virtual casinos or internet casinos, are online versions of traditional (“brick and mortar”) casinos. Online casinos enable gamblers to play and wager on casino games through the Internet.
Web-based online casinos
Web-based online casinos are websites where users may play casino games without downloading software to the local computer. Games are mainly represented in the browser plugins Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave, or Java and require browser support for these plugins. Also, bandwidth is needed since all graphics, sounds and animations are loaded through the web via the plugin. Some online casinos also allow gameplay through a plain HTML interface.
Download-based online casinos
Download-based online casinos require the download of the software client in order to play and wager on the casino games offered. The online casino software connects to the casino service provider and handles contact without browser support. Download-based online casinos generally run faster than web-based online casinos since the graphics and sound programs are located within the software client, rather than having to be loaded from the Internet. On the other hand, the initial download and installation of a download-based online casino client does take time.
Online casinos offer players signup bonuses as incentives to play. These are usually one-off bonuses for signing up to the casino and opening an account. The terms and conditions attached to each bonus vary but share two common features:
- Restricted games or bets.
- Wagering requirements.
Wagering requirements prevent players from withdrawing the bonus money immediately after receiving it. Before the bonus money can be withdrawn the player must wager a certain amount of money on unrestricted games. The wagering can be spread out over many bets. To meet a $2000 wagering requirement, a player could make 1000 $2 bets on blackjack, provided blackjack is not a restricted game. Games like blackjack and video poker have a low house advantage. The house advantage for blackjack is ~0.5%. So in the example above, by playing $2000 worth of blackjack with a house advantage of 0.5%, a player is, expected to lose $10 in total. But the expected value is an average value and may be less than the actual value. Risk of ruin is an important topic that comes into play. Assuming that the player only loses an amount close to the expected loss, and the bonus awarded to the player after meeting this wagering requirement is greater than $10 then the player profits. The process is mathematically calculated. Bad luck could cause a player to lose more than $10 playing blackjack in this situation. The run of luck is subject to variance and follows a normal distribution. If you’re lucky you could make a significant sum when playing casino games online.
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