The majority of online casinos out there don’t actually create their own games. Instead, they licence them from one of five main software developers. This means they can spend less time working on the programming side of things and more time creating great promotions and building their user interfaces.
There are five main software providers and they each have different strengths that will appeal to different types of players. It’s a good idea to understand the differences between them so you can find the online casino that will best suit your playing style and preferences.
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A reputable UK online casino will have games from at least one of the five main software companies. Many of the newer casinos offer games from multiple developers giving players a unique chance to play a variation of different games in the same place.
If you’re looking for longevity, Microgaming is about as experienced as it gets. One of the first software providers ever to start offering online casino games, Microgaming has a lot of years and plenty of expertise behind it.
When it comes to slots, Microgaming is the benchmark that other providers are compared to. With over 600 different slot titles on their catalogue including some of the most popular and innovative, they are especially well known for their progressive jackpots, which offer up huge payouts through a network of pooled games.
Like Microgaming, Playtech is an industry leader, especially when it comes to online poker and slot games. While they don’t have the same selection of high paying progressives as Microgaming, Playtech does have a few great jackpots on offer through its progressive slot Beach Life along with others.
Net Entertainment is a Swedish based software provider that’s been around since 1996. NetEnt consistently produces high quality games with excellent graphics and animation. A leader in mobile gaming, NetEnt was among the first to develop games specifically for playing on a smartphone or tablet and this is one area where they continue to excel.
Known for their great payouts and wide selection of games, especially slots, NetEnt is an excellent software provider.
Aristocrat is an Australian based provider of casino game software for both land based and online casinos. They started in the 1950s powering land-based casinos and are now available in more than 90 countries. With an extensive range of slots including the popular Mission Impossible and Queen of the Nile, as well as plenty of great table and card games, they have more than enough to keep even the biggest online casino tragics happy.
As another Australian gaming provider, NextGen Gaming makes the most of new and emerging technology to create its innovative selection of online casino games. NextGen Gaming has a particularly strong focus on mobile and social gaming and recently won an award from EGR Magazine for social gaming supplier of the year.
While they might not offer the same quantity as some of the other providers, one thing they pride themselves on is quality. NextGen gaming gives players the opportunity to play some truly innovative games they just won’t find anywhere else.
The modern online casino software model
Back in the early 90s when online casinos were just starting, it was common for each individual casino to develop its own software as well as managing the marketing and customer service side of things.
It soon became obvious that software development and customer service were two very different skillsets, which led in turn to some casinos focusing on game coding and development while others focused more on marketing and customer support, licencing the games from others.
Why should you pay attention to casino software?
Different software providers specialise in different games, and while the five we have listed are the most reputable, there are dozens of providers out there. Unfortunately they are not all trustworthy. When looking at a new online casino it’s always important to pay attention to the software they are using as this will have a direct impact on the quality of your experience, including whether you get ripped off or not.
Reputable software providers use random number generators that really are random, and they also have payouts at or above a certain level so you can be sure that you won’t be swindled. Always be wary if you are playing at a casino with games from a little known provider. Unless they are independently verified you might end up losing more money than you should.
If you have a particular online casino game that you love playing, you’ll probably find that some providers are better than others. For slots you’ll want to look for a good Microgaming casino, for online poker you may find Playtech more suitable for your needs.
In short, the casino software provider you choose to play at will have a huge impact on your overall experience, from your enjoyment of the games, to the size of your payout to how trustworthy the casino is.