Casinos for you
Trying to keep up with the times, the online gambling industry has been doing its best to implement the latest technologies and give players what they want and expect.
Virtual reality casinos and casino games, although still in their early stages, are one of the greatest products of these efforts.
A little over two decades ago saw the very first online casino roll onto our desktop screens. The convenience of being able to play casino games from the luxury of your own home soon caught on amongst modern gamblers, spearheading the beginning of a ‘juggernaut’ of an industry, around the world. A decade later saw the first mobile casino hit the World Wide Web, offering twice as much convenience through its ‘Play on the Go’ philosophy.
While these two advances in gambling technology are still firmly enjoyed to this day, there is a relative newcomer to the market, that is set to blow open a whole new world of casino entertainment action. This latest technological bump up comes to us by way of ‘Virtual Reality’ casino gaming.
“Not as new as we might think: Though VR is a relatively new introduction to the online gambling world, the traces of the first primitive forms of virtual reality are said to stem back to the 1860’s, though the first recognised attempt at modern VR was explored in the early 1960’s through a machine called ‘Sensorama’”
What Does This Even Mean?
Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer technology that simulates a projected three-dimensional environment, in which one is able to experience an alternate virtual reality. This is made possible through wearing VR headsets and various other controller paraphernalia.
What this means for the casino industry, is that players are now able to wear headsets and enter a virtual casino floor, where they are able to interact with other players and take seats at virtually rendered casino tables, to enjoy games.
In the past, the best answer to getting the land-based casino vibe from home, was for players to engage in ‘Live Dealer’ games. Though this form of gaming answered the wants and desires for real interaction with players and dealers, it feels more like you are livestreaming the sessions, rather than fully engaging them. VR is now able to make your home-based casino experience feel even more like you are actually walking the carpet at your favourite terrestrial game floor.
Gain That VR Advantage
There are numerous advantages of VR casinos. Below is a list of just a few of the pros:
- The social aspect of VR is very strong. Interaction is not only limited to typing messages to one another, but through various other gestures now, too.
- Some casinos have ‘Live Chat’ available to interact with other parties.
- There is a decent library of games available, with an ever-growing portfolio.
- The VR experience can become a form of escapism to relieve players from stress and other influences of the outside world.
Due to the immersive environment offered by VR gambling, the experience can prove to be more addictive, which means that more stringent gambling control must be exercised by players. Certain ‘cons’ may be experienced and must be monitored:
- More time is likely to be spent at such casinos, because players become oblivious to what is happening around them.
- Gamblers are likely to spend more because of the time spent engaging on this level.
Entertainment and Interaction
The classic casino entertainment value is continued into this genre of online gambling. In fact in the gaming sense, although there is not a massive portfolio, the entertainment and interaction value is increased.
Throne of Games
There is a decent array of casino games available to play at various Virtual Reality Casinos. Many of these titles can be played in free mode before attempting to use your own funds. We suggest that you get used to the experience in this mode before staking your hard-earned money on something you are not used to.
They are at this moment primarily available in three sub-genres, but the rate of growth in the industry will soon see many more categories added to the list. Currently there are games available in:
- VR Slots: Slots are among the more popular played casino games, so you can expect to find a larger array of these games than any other. Despite the heavy ‘house edge’ involved in slot play, the colours and special features are always a treat. In VR these features gain life and the entertainment factor increases substantially.
- VR Blackjack: Here, you can experience a fully immersive experience of sitting at the half round table with a virtual dealer in front of you. You can reach out and place your chips on the table and touch the cards being dealt.
- VR Roulette: Place your chips in place on the table grid as if you were in the casino. Listen to the spin of the wheel and gather your winnings if you are so lucky.
Because VR is in its infancy, the games may seem a little dated in style, but with constant advancements in technology, it won’t be long before CGI styled graphical renderings find their way into your virtual casino.
Racking Up Bonuses
One of the more frequently asked questions by gamblers, is – “Will I still be able to use casino bonuses at a VR casino?” The simple answer is, yes. In fact, there are very often exclusive bonuses offered to VR players. As always, bonuses are a great way to introduce yourself to the unfamiliar world of ‘Virtual Reality Casino’ gaming because you need not spend so much of your own money to get familiar with the games on offer.
Your VR Adventure Checklist
There are a several things that you will need in place prior to placing your first bet.
1. THE CORRECT HARDWARE
Computer: Before adding hardware extensions to your PC, you will need to make sure that your current computer can cut it in the world of VR. Virtual reality games need seven times the processing power of normal games. Standard computers can only render 60 frames per second on the graphics front, where virtual reality requires the machine to be able to handle 90 frames per second to avoid any lag at all. Minimum recommended requirements are:
- GeForce GTX 970 graphics card, or greater
- A head mounted display
- PC should have USB 3.0 support (3 ports needed)
- HDMI 1.3 port
- CPU: Intel Core i5 – 4590 or better
- 8GB RAM or greater
- Windows 7SP1 or newer
Goggles: If you want the full virtual reality experience of being able to reach out and virtually touch the reels, it is generally required that you wear VR goggles. If you opt not to use goggles, it does not mean that you cannot play the game, you will just experience the play in standard 3D rendering instead of fully immersive ‘first person interaction’.
Headphones: This will enable you to block off the outside world, audibly, and hear every spin and coin drop.
Sensors: These communicate directly with the headset and headphones, to render the stage of the casino layout etc.
Controllers: These are optional, as you can use your keyboard or standard games controller. For enhanced play a ‘Data Glove’ provides true to life type interaction.
A number of products to look at, when considering VR casino gaming, would be:
- Oculus Rift
- Sony PlayStation VR
- HTC Vive
“Did you know? In 2013 Oculus were involved in in creating a technological breakthrough that introduced lag free and smear free VR content. They were bought out by Facebook a year later for $2 Billion.”
2. REGISTER AN ACCOUNT
Before being able to play at any casino for real money you will need to register an account and make a first deposit. This is a simple 5 step operation:
- Proceed to Sign-Up on the home page of the casino site (You must be 18 years or older)
- Follow the prompts. You will be required to:
- Choose a Username and Avatar
- Enter a valid email address
- Enter a password to protect your account
- Choose a banking method
- Verify your account via a link sent to you by email
- Make your first deposit
3. DOWNLOAD THE VR APPLICATION SOFTWARE
Normal online games can be played from your internet browser, but if you are wanting to play VR games, you will need to download the ‘Virtual Reality’ casino app, available on the site. This enhances the gameplay for your computer.
Step into Your Virtual Life
There are only a few VR casinos around. You will be able to compare competitive bonus offers easily as well as take a look at the array of games that each have available, with minimal fuss. Do a bit of homework first and engage in some ‘free play’ before choosing your VR home.
What Lies Ahead?
The social side of online entertainment is what people are after. Mark Zuckerberg understood this when he acquired Oculus in 2014 and Alex Tomic of Slot Millions seems to be on the same page. Virtual Reality will, no doubt, embrace the desire that people have to interact with other people. We can therefore conclude that social gaming will hold a big part in the development of these casinos in the future.
FAQWhat are virtual reality casinos?Virtual reality casinos offer fully immersive games and gaming environments, virtually taking players inside the casino.Are there any VR casinos out there?While there aren't any "full" virtual reality casinos in the wider sense, there are online casinos which have been experimenting with virtual reality technologies with areas where players can experience the casino in VR. One of the pioneers in this area is SlotsMillion Casino.What do I need to experience virtual reality gambling?You’ll need popular VR devices such as Oculus Rift, Google Daydream, or HTC Vive. You can also enjoy some of the augmented reality casino games using just your mobile phone.
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