Reflection is key to gratitude, and hindsight sometimes generates powerful realisations and inspires innovative change. Let’s take stock of what technology and the brilliant developers in the igaming industry have given us since remote gambling first became available.
Modern punters probably take most of these innovations for granted, but the truth is the past two decades have brought about massive changes for online gambling. Gambling anywhere you find yourself is a very recent development and the level of entertainment available has improved unthinkably since the 90s.
Basic features like 3D graphics, animated characters, streaming, and many others are the norm in 2022, so let’s look at 8 advancements developers brought to the table since the inception of online gambling.
✓ 1. Innovations for Slot Mechanics
Video slots are by far the most popular choice for online gamblers and, thanks to the popularity of these games, software providers invest intensely in their innovations. The first feature is so common today that it is virtually unthinkable that it wasn’t always there. Free Spins, and other bonus features for that matter, were not always part of online slots. Original video slots were like one-arm-bandits where punters simply clicked spin and hoped for a line win.
This feature shows how far technology has brought us. From slots that have 1 line for a winning combination to Megaways that offer over 117,000 ways to win. This slot mechanic broke the mould and Big Time Gaming’s innovation ensured that the industry will never be the same again. Countless brands have since signed agreements with BTG to incorporate this popular concept into their video slots. The Megaways structure opened developers’ minds to what might be possible and this gave rise to plenty more payline innovations.
Thinking outside the paylines, developers soon introduced a Cluster Pay system, where lines no longer mattered. As long as matching symbols land next to each other in cluster formations, it awards a win. This feature led to other interesting developments, like uniquely shaped slot grids. Mega Clusters are the amped-up version of cluster pays presented by BTG and combine cluster pays with split symbols.
InfiniReels mechanics only recently arrived on the scene when NetEnt did what most only dreamed of. The brilliant design team developed a mechanic with infinite payways and the rules are rather straightforward. Every win generates a new reel to the right of the grid and this continues for an unlimited win sequence. ReelPlay has the same mechanic, called Infinity Reels.
Yggdrasil is another team of genius developers and they brought us massive icons to spice up the reels. Gigablox can drop in sizes of 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, and humongous 6x6, taking up most of the slot grid. These symbols make winning combinations more lucrative, and other developers have since unveiled their own versions. Yggdrasil also presented Splitz where one symbol splits in two for more winning potential.
With providers feeding off each other’s innovative ideas, we can go on with this list for a while, but it’s clear that slots are better than ever and players can spin their hearts out.
✓ 2. Progressive Jackpots
Something the internet does for us which we may take for granted is that it brings a level of connectedness that never existed. Linking the great big world like never before brought on the wonderful thing that gamblers love, called Progressive Jackpots. These eye-watering, life-changing prizes comprise the tally of wagers in a selected game throughout the provider’s network. The progressive nature of these pots means that the prize increases with each bet placed on that game.
These are not just limited to online slots and some exciting card and table games incorporate it too. The favourites include Mega Moolah, the Microgaming hit slot, Roulette Royale, and Caribbean Stud Poker.
✓ 3. Live Dealer Games
Another hint that we are indeed living in the golden age of online gambling is the fact that we no longer need to visit a land-based casino to experience the thrill of human interaction. Thanks to incredible internet speed and innovative providers, we can enjoy live dealer games streamed from casino studios. Evolution Gaming is a forerunner in the Live Dealer sphere of online gambling and their games are tremendously popular.
Interact with the croupier as they spin the roulette wheel, deal your hopeful 21, or flip the cards to reveal your Hold’em fate. Presenters dressed in colourful and themed attire spin the wheel of fortune for you, and punters have online social spaces to interact with peers.
Live dealer technology literally brings the casino to you and they fill casino libraries with interesting takes on traditional games as developers ensure their content is unique and exciting.
✓ 4. Tournaments and Multiplayer Games
If you feel you are ready to take your igaming to the next level, tournaments and multiplayer games should be on your list. Play with and against gamblers from all over the world in the best kind of social experience you will find in remote gambling. As mentioned, with live dealer games, you have the option of interacting with other players by chatting with them, but tournaments bring a more competitive edge to the table.
Casino Races is one form of a tournament where players opt-in to take part in free point-based competitions. These usually run for a set time and at the end of the race, the players with the most points win cash prizes. Games included in these tournaments are usually a collection of slots and table games. Most online casinos offer blackjack and poker tournaments to seasoned players and these winner-takes-all competitions can get really exciting.
✓ 5. Mobile Gambling and Omni-Channel
Gradually mobile phones became an appendix we never knew we needed but now can’t be without. The onset of HTML5 technology combined with fast internet made it possible for developers to adapt website interfaces to work seamlessly on mobile devices.
Software providers then introduced omnichannel technology that allows players to move between devices on a single user profile, which is partially the reason for the mobile gambling industry boom. Mobile gambling is now the most popular way to wager, and it is strange to think that a while ago, we needed individual profiles for each device we played on.
Smartphone technology allows punters to enjoy the immersive experience of live casinos, as some devices have better processors than computers, and the development of mobile gambling has made games of chance accessible to everyone.
One more advantage of mobile gambling is the security it offers with payment apps that link directly to the casino and cut out the need for you to link banking details. All around, mobile technology is a massive game-changer for gambling.
✓ 6. VR Technology
One of the most exciting advances in gaming is Virtual Reality and, with the looks of it, we have seen nothing yet when it comes to virtual entertainment. VR games transport players to worlds beyond our imagination and certain games will allow you to recreate yourself as an avatar. Enjoy the company of other players who take part with their virtual version of themselves and forget all about the world around you for a while.
Evolution gaming incorporated this technology into one of their live games, Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. This live game allows players to switch to VR mode, using a headset and controller, and experience the most immersive treasure hunt with the Spanish conquistador everyone loves.
✓ 7. Cryptocurrency
The unprecedented growth in the online gambling sector makes it an obvious target for chancers. Electronic transactions fill the money web while players and platforms need to find the most trustworthy manner of operating the process. Although many fiat currency processes exist that are highly secure and most punters use them, the undeniable security offered by blockchain has opened the industry’s mind to cryptocurrency.
Online casinos like 7Bit Casino focus solely on Bitcoin and offer remote gambling in cryptocurrency, and many top platforms encourage and reward punters for using crypto as their wagering currency of choice.
Advantages include guaranteed anonymity, ease of access, and super-fast processing. Cryptocurrency is not the easiest to come by and, for this reason, many avoid it. It is also a seriously volatile currency, and this is probably why many people still think it is too risky.
✓ 8. Provably Fair Blockchain Gambling
Apart from the security blockchain technology provides with payments in cryptocurrency, the node-driven tech presents a list of other advantages for igaming. A concern that some punters have is that the casino may cheat them by rigging the game software. Although it is highly unlikely for random number generator games to be rigged, provably fair blockchain technology is a lot more secure.
Some Bitcoin casinos now offer players the opportunity to verify the fairness of each round of the game if they want to. Because of the nature of blockchain technology, it is immutable, in other words unchangeable, and this grants unmatched transparency with the game’s randomness. If a casino has games built on blockchain, players will have the peace of mind that it is designed to be provably fair and they can check the data should they wish to.