Best Online Casino Games 2023
Online casino games are played on platforms permitted by regional laws, involving gambling on outcomes or combinations. Licensed online casinos provide a variety of games to attract players, and many have developed software compatible with Android, iOS, and other mobile devices.
This page presents information about the most popular game types, real money vs free money games, how to find good casino games and a list of popular game providers.
Remember that gambling can be addictive. Play responsibly!
Generally, online casino games are categorized into sections by the online operator. Some online casinos have branded or unique games, but this is not a common trend, and only a few online casinos have this feature. Categories normally include slots, table games, video poker, and specialty games.
Slots do not require the presence of casino staff, virtually or physically, as one person plays them at a time in front of a screen. Table games have dealers or croupiers representing the house or casino and a player or players competing against the house. Video poker has all the variations of poker games played on a screen similar to slots. Specialty games are games that do not necessarily fit into the other three categories like bingo, scratch cards, and craps.
There is no standard for categorizing online casino games, but we have broadly covered the most common types of games found on gambling platforms.
Classic Casino Games
A healthy debate has been ongoing for years as to whether slots are more popular than blackjack. What is not up for debate is that both forms of online gaming are hugely popular with thousands of players in New Zealand and across the world.
Slots have evolved over the years from a game played by pulling a lever to one played by pressing or clicking a button repeatedly and watching a screen. Most online casinos have hundreds of different slot games in their libraries. A vast majority of free online casino games are slots. Sound effects and graphics have made slots more alluring to players and gamblers as the years have gone by.
Classic slots are very easy to understand and play, even for beginners, hence their sustained popularity over many years. Bright colours, catchy symbols, and bonus features are the hallmarks of slots, while varying storylines have made them even more captivating. It is common for players to spend hours on the same slot game.
Blackjack is by far the most popular table game in casinos, land-based or online. There are many different versions of this casino game that have stood the test of time. The game usually has several players and a dealer. Cards two to 10 are taken at face value. Picture cards are worth 10, while the ace is worth one or 11.
An ace and a card worth 10 together are called “blackjack”; if a player has this while the dealer does not, the player wins. If the value of the player’s cards exceeds 21, then that player loses. A player wins when their cards have a higher value than the dealer but less than 21. The player also wins if the dealer’s cards exceed 21 while the player’s cards do not.
Roulette is a game of chance that has captured the imagination of gamblers for centuries. Online casinos have a variety of versions in their menus, and many have added live dealers to enhance the online casino games experience.
There are a variety of betting options on roulette. Players can bet on a single pocket, a range of pockets, the colour of the pocket, and if the ball will land on an odd or even number. Variations include having extra slots with a single or double zero.
Poker is hugely popular, mainly because it is set apart from gambling games by leaving little to luck. Players require strategy, skill, and mental strength to succeed at poker. The classic five-card draw is perhaps the most known variant of poker games and is rivalled in popularity by the Texas Hold ’em version. Each of the dozens of variations has its own betting options. Some versions of the poker cards game include progressive jackpot bets.
There are other variants of poker that include changes in the amount of cards one can have in their hands such as three card poker, and four card poker. Both of these games are still played with a 52 card deck and the objective is still to have the best hand at the end of the betting round.
Video poker is another option and has been designed to feel like you are playing the game in real life. Many online casinos have live dealer poker as part of their game selection.
Keno and Lotteries
Other popular games include keno and lotteries, which are both games of chance. In keno, players choose numbers off a grid in the hope of matching numbers the casino draws. Similarly, in a lottery players pick a set of numbers and wait to see if their numbers are drawn. If all numbers land, they may win huge prizes.
Baccarat is another classic casino game found on most online casino game lists due to its popularity. Rules can be slightly complex but the essential goal of this game is to make bets on which hand will win or will not. Yet another classic casino game is craps. In craps, the player predicts the outcomes of dice rolls or a sequence of rolls of two dice.
Bingo is a game of probability that relies totally on luck. Winning occurs when a player ticks off all the numbers on their card. The numbers are randomly called out, and the players cross or tick each number that matches those on their cards. After crossing or ticking off all the numbers on a card, the player yells, “bingo!” to signal a win. Despite its enormous popularity, some online casinos do not have bingo on their casino games list menu.
Other classic casino games found at online casinos include Wheel of Fortune, scratch cards, and even arcade games.
Game Shows (Live Shows)
Live game shows have quickly become their own sub-category at most online casinos. Only a few years ago, there were limited game show options, but now there are plenty of options for players who have always wanted to be part of a live game show.
Winning on live casino game shows boils down to luck. As a player, you must control your wagering so that your money lasts longer. Live game shows are presented on well-decorated stages with groomed presenters who keep players entertained as the show progresses. All the games are streamed in real-time with 3D graphics.
Software developer Evolution is credited with coming up with the first big live casino game show, Dream Catcher. However, Monopoly Live is seen by many as the game-changer in the new category of online casino entertainment. Live game shows offer players unpredictably huge winnings on a grand stage. The list of live game shows keeps growing at almost all online casinos.
The three most common live game shows are the big wheel ones, the bingo-type ones, and the reality mixed slots games.
Dream Catcher is the original big wheel live game show. It was followed by, Mega Wheel, Monopoly Dream Catcher, Crazy Time, Adventures Beyond Wonderland, Money Drop Live, and Sweet Bonanza Candyland. Most of these involve players placing bets on where the wheel will stop with variations on the type of bets and multipliers on each bet.
Bingo-type live games have coloured, or numbered balls drawn, dropped, sucked, or pulled from a bingo machine to provide a series of results that players will have bet on beforehand. Evolution was again at the forefront with the launch of Mega Ball Live and Cash or Crash.
Playtech then took the popular TV show Deal or No Deal and put it into the laps and palms of online gaming enthusiasts worldwide with a live game called Deal or No Deal: The Big Draw.
Evolution’s Deal or No Deal Live is different from the Playtech version and falls into the reality slots mix category with Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt Live, which is based on the hugely popular slots game.
Live games have had varying levels of success since Dream Catcher burst onto the scene in 2017/2018. Some have failed to maintain the high levels of player engagement, while others are still going strong and are growing in popularity.
Other Casino Games
In the quest to attract more customers, online casinos have introduced lotto draws that take place within short spaces. BetGames offers a wide range of games that result every two, three, four, or five minutes, meaning there is a game to bet on every minute of every day. For those craving quick wins, this may just be the perfect game for you.
Some online casinos have created online casino games that can only be found on that particular platform and nowhere else. Naturally, if you take a liking to the game, you will likely return to that particular casino.
Real Money vs Free Games
Casino games for real money mean you must deposit and use real money to play, and you will either win or lose real money in the process. Whatever you win is yours to withdraw and spend on whatever you want in the real world.
Real money play involves depositing funds into your casino account to wager. Free games play uses free spins or virtual money to play games for fun or learning purposes.
Most free games are limited to a certain number of games or have a time limit and do not show the full game. No points are earned towards a loyalty program if the casino has one on offer. Players use free games to learn about the games before committing any cash. Players that are already members of a casino often use free games to test out new additions to the menu or as downtime from real money wagering.
Free online casino games rarely offer real or withdrawable winnings. If they do, it comes with conditions that must be met before you can withdraw real money. Most casinos put wagering requirements on any winnings that come from spinning for free. A player may be required to wager 10 or 30 times the amount of the winnings before it can be available as real cash. With the house always having the advantage, it is often difficult to keep your winnings long enough to withdraw them.
Playing with real money offers you the chance to win, participate in promotions and bonus offers, and advance in any loyalty programs on offer.
Playing casino games online sometimes require strategy and a little bit of skill. Playing for free at online casinos can help develop skills before taking the games head-on with real money.
Most online casinos offer free games without any registration or download requirements. As a beginner, you get to play for free straight away without any obligation to sign up.
To play for free at online casinos, you simply need to open the website of the casino operator in a region where it is legal and look for labels and buttons that show that the game can be played for free without registration. As mentioned, there is often no need to sign up and you typically will not need to download any software.
You just need to click on the play button and start spinning. The game will have instructions on how to play, and it will always show if there are any winnings as you play. Free games are limited to a certain number of games or a certain amount of time, so keep that in mind.
Advantages of Playing Free Casino Games
Playing casino games free of charge is a fun way to learn if it is worth risking your cash on that particular game. Regular gamblers can use free play to try out new games before wagering
When playing free casino games, there is often no need to divulge your private and personal details. The online casinos typically won’t make you sign up. You just press play and enjoy.
Playing free casino games saves space and data on your computer or mobile device as you do not have to download the casino’s software. You are also not tied down to any particular online platform or casino.
Free casino games mean that as a player, you can do as much window shopping as you see fit before registering with any online casino. It is also a great way to try out new games without the risk of losing any money.
Legitimate websites like ours spend hours researching and filtering through all the casinos and their libraries to ensure players are provided with great options. To find good casino games you want to go to casinos that get their games from top gaming provider’s such as Evolution or Microgaming. You also want to ensure the casino itself is reputable and has a licence since this is normally a good indication of the quality of games they provide.
Looking at the minimum bet is a great way to get a good casino game if you are on a budget. We recommend that you play the game with the lowest minimum bet so you can make your gameplay last longer with less risk.
Casino games with a low house edge are a good option if you are in for the long haul. There is a better chance of making a profit in the long-term if you stick it to casino games with a low house edge. Blackjack is a good example of a casino game with a low house edge.
It is a good idea to look for games with jackpots, as this will provide you with the potential (however small) to strike it big.
Return to player, or RTP is pretty much a theoretical percentage that is created from calculating the percentage of a wager a player can expect to win back over an extremely extended period of time or number of rounds played. Though an interesting numeric tool, it is important to remember that this number is taken from calculating results over the course of millions of spins/rounds of a game, and so results will likely still vary at the individual level.
Casino Games With Highest RTP
Blackjack has the highest RTP of all online casino games, with a value of between 99% and 99.5% depending on the variant. The value can be as high as 99.8% RTP in extremely rare cases.
Craps RTP range from 98.59% for the pass line to 99.64% on the don’t come bets. .
French Roulette comes with 98.65% RTP and European Roulette with 97.30% RTP. These offers are a more respectable value than their cousin American Roulette at 94.74% RTP.
Video poker variations have RTP values above 99%, with All Aces hitting 99.92% RTP. But in games like poker results will obviously depend on individual decisions as there is more direct skill and strategy possible than in most other casino games.
Most licensed online casinos partner with trusted, reliable casino game software providers. New Zealand online casinos use but are not limited to the following game providers:
- NetEnt Software
- Ash Gaming
- NextGen Gaming
- Play’n Go
- Bede Gaming
- Rabcat Gambling
- ELK Studios
- Big Time Gaming
- Blueprint Gaming
- Booming Games
- Nolimit City
- Relax Gaming
- Push Gaming
- Pragmatic Play
- Red Tiger
- High 5 Games
- Rival Gaming
- Hacksaw Gaming
Key Facts About Casino Games
- There is a wide variety of casino games available at nearly all reputable online casino sites.
- Poker, blackjack, roulette, and slots are some of the most popular casino games worldwide.
- It is normal to find casinos offering various bonuses and promotions as a means to attract new players.
- The operating hours of most casinos are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- You will find most casinos near hotels or tourist areas if they are not solely online.
- Local laws regulate casinos and what kinds of games are legal in different regions throughout the world. In some places, gambling may be banned entirely.
- 21 years is the age requirement for most casinos, though local laws in regard to gambling ages for certain games may apply in different regions.
- Gambling in New Zealand is regulated by the New Zealand Gambling Commission, which was formed in 2003 as part of the Gambling Act.
- By 2023 the worldwide gambling industry is expected to reach revenues of over $525 billion. This would be a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of approximately 4% from 2017 to 2023.
- Studies show that in the aftermath of the pandemic and lockdowns online gambling usage has soared worldwide.
Here are some frequently asked questions about casino games, and how they function. The subject matter is vast, and not everything is covered here.
How do online casino games work?
Most casino games are based on luck and when played online use RNGs (Random number generators) to ensure results cannot be predicted. But a few games like poker also require skill. The most popular casino games are slots, blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette. Slots are the easiest games to play. You just spin the reels and hope that you hit a winning combination. Games like blackjack and roulette are a little more complicated but still easy to learn and, broadly speaking, often have rules around the types of bets you can make (in the case of roulette or craps) or how the cards function (in the case of blackjack and poker).
How do casinos make money from casino games?
Most casinos make money from casino games by receiving a percentage of the money that is bet by gamblers. This is called the “house edge.” The house edge ensures that the casino will in the long run, generally make more money off their games than the players who are gambling on them. For example, if a casino has a house edge of 5%, that means that for every $100 that is bet, the casino will eventually make about $5. The other $95 will typically end up back with the player over time.
Who creates casino games?
The answer to this question is quite complex, as many different people and entities are involved in creating casino games. First and foremost, the game designers come up with the initial concepts for the games and create the rules and mechanics. Then there are the software developers, who turn those concepts into actual playable games.
What are the most popular casino games?
There are a variety of casino games that are popular among gamblers. Some of the most popular casino games include slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat. Slots are one of the most popular casino games worldwide because they are easy to play, and there is often a chance to win a large jackpot. Blackjack is also popular because it is easy to learn and has a low house edge.
What are the most common mistakes made while playing casino games?
One of the most common mistakes with card-based games is playing too many hands. Many players get impatient and want to play as many hands as possible, but this is often a losing strategy. It is important to be selective and only play the hands with the highest chance of winning. Another common mistake with chance-based games involves chasing losses.
What are the house edge percentages for casino games?
It depends on the specific game and casino in question. However, in general, the house edge is the percentage of each bet that the casino expects to keep over the long run. For example, if the house edge is 5%, then for every $100 bet, the casino will keep $5 on average. The house edge can vary greatly from game to game.
Wayne has been writing about iGaming news and sites for several years, with a particular focus on New Zealand casinos. His background includes being an English teacher, and a professionally-published writer/editor for over ten years.More Articles From The Author