If there’s one thing you can say about casinos, it’s this: you’ll never run out of stuff to do. There’s no shortage of games to play. And new games are coming out all the time.
This is great if you play online, because with just a few clicks of your mouse, you could be playing a different, unique, or brand new game – one of hundreds (if not thousands) available at any ONE casino.
The question we have for you now is this: do you know all the casino games that are available to you? All the variations you can play? If not, then start with this brief guide. We’ll fill you in on all the types of casino games you can find and play online and at land-based venues.
Overview of Casino Game Types
Let’s start with an overview of the games you’ll usually find at a casino.
But before we list the games, we want to quickly explain how an online casino might list them on their website. That way, you know exactly where to find the games you’re most interested in if playing online.
Each casino will list their games differently. Here’s an example.
Slots – This includes all variations, like 3D or progressives.
Table Games – This includes all card games, like blackjack, baccarat, and pai gow poker. It also sometimes includes dice games like craps, as well as roulette.
Video Poker – This includes all poker games played on a machine similar to slots.
Specialty Games – This includes anything that doesn’t fit in the categories above, such as keno, scratch tickets, lottery games, and bingo. It may also include roulette or craps.
Some casinos also have an arcade or games section. Others list bingo or scratch card games separately. Some might have their own, unique categories.
Generally speaking, though, what we’ve listed here broadly covers all the main types of casino games.
Variations of Popular Casino Games
Many popular casino games come in several variations. These variations sometimes come with just minor differences, while others have more significant differences.
Let’s take a look at some of the main variations of the most popular casino games. Many of these are available at both online casinos and land-based venues, while some are only available at one or the other.
3, 5, 7 reel machines
Single and multiple payline slots
There are more, too. And then there are the various features that you’ll find with some slot games but not others. These included multipliers, free spins, cascading reels, and bonus rounds.
You could even add licensed slot titles to the list. This would expand to cover licensed movie, video game, celebrity, and board game slots. In short, slot games come in MANY variations.
Super Fun 21
Atlantic City Blackjack
These are just a few examples, and there are several other blackjack variants. You’ll also find payout variations such as 6:5 or 3:2 for a natural blackjack.
Bonus Deuces Wild
Bonus Poker Deluxe
Double Jackpot Poker
Jacks or Better
Again, these are just a few examples. In many land-based casinos, especially the large ones in Las Vegas, you might find dozens of different video poker games. Most of the online casinos we’ve reviewed have at least ten or so, and many of them have a lot more.
Some common video poker variations you’ll find everywhere, while others are exclusive to a specific online casino or software provider. Other variations also include progressive and multi-hand video poker machines.
Live Dealer Roulette (online only)
Almost hard to believe a simple game like roulette could have so many variations, huh?
Anyway, these casino games have the most variations. Most other games either don’t have variations, don’t have nearly this many variations, or don’t have variations you’ll find at more than one or two casinos.
Other than what’s listed above, here are the most popular casino games you can play today.
Pai Gow Poker
Let Em Ride
Three Card Poker
Vegas Three Card Rummy
One of the biggest variations you’ll find with these games (the table games, at least) will be side bets. They’re often exclusive to brick-and-mortar casinos, but you will find side bets for these games at some online casinos. In terms of value for money, they’re hit or miss.
Other than side bets, other types of variations or twists to casino games you’ll find include the following
Live Dealer – Available online. A real person deals and the action is streamed live. Read more here.
Progressive – Every (max) bet contributes a small portion to a single jackpot that can be won at random by someone making the max bet.
The options you have will vary from casino to casino. Online, the variations depends on the software provider(s) being used.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some games will have a different name due to licensing and/or copyrights. For example, tri-card poker is identical (or nearly identical) to 3-card poker.
Skill Games vs. Games of Chance
When reading or talking about casino games, you might hear someone refer to them as skill games or games of chance. For example, blackjack is considered a skill game. Slots are a game of chance.
The difference between skill games and games of chance is there’s more or less a right and wrong way to play games of skill, and if not right or wrong, then definitely optimal and not optimal. You can learn these by studying various books and websites, then practice what you learned at the casino.
But games of chance? These are totally random. There’s not anything you can really do outside of cheating to gain an edge playing those.
That all said, skill games are only skill games if you yourself become skilled at them. Otherwise, they might as well be games of chance.
On top of that, few games can truly be beaten for a profit. Blackjack is one of those games. Some video poker variations can be, too.
Other games, such baccarat, pai gow poker, or craps, have strategies or optimal plays or optimal bets you can make to get the house edge down. Add in some bonuses, and you might turn a slight profit. But you shouldn’t count on it.
We point that out because unless you choose a game that can be beaten for a profit – and you’re willing to put in dozens or maybe even hundreds of hours learning it, and hundreds or probably more like thousands of dollars practicing it live – you’re unlikely to become skilled enough to beat the house for a profit.
Our point? We just recommend that you don’t choose a game for any other reason than that you like to play it. Because you’re most likely going to lose while playing it – at least in the long run.
Finding and Playing Casino Games Online
Let’s talk a minute about finding casino games online.
Most casinos will have the same options – blackjack, various table games, video poker, and slots. There are few exceptions.
Those exceptions include variations, like live table games, 3D slots, or something “rare” like multi-wheel or multi-ball roulette.
It also includes exclusive games or titles. Since many casinos work with different and/or multiple software companies, you’re likely to find a different selection of casino games at every casino you join.
This will also affect game rules, payouts, and odds – but on a much lower scale.
And it’ll affect the number of games you can play. Some casinos only have a few dozen games. Others have hundreds. Some more than a thousand. Seriously.
Then you’ll have casinos that offer full-blown mobile casino apps (for smartphones and tablets), while with others you might be lucky to have five or ten mobile friendly games. Some casinos – if you can believe it – won’t have any.
The point of all this is that you’ll have to do some research if there’s a specific game or variation you want to play. One of the best things you can do is join a casino that works with several software companies.
That way you have a wide variety of games to choose from.
Conclusion: Where Will You Start?
There are so many types of casino games you can play. It can be overwhelming.
If you already know what games you like to play, and want to play online, we highly suggest looking for software companies that have them. From there, find out which casinos work with those software companies. Then read our casino reviews.
For everyone else?. Find a casino with LOTS of games to play. Then get busy. You’ll find the type of casino game you like to play in no time. Here are some of our recommended casinos that have a great selection of games, and they all offer bonuses too new customers, too.