Online Casino Options at Top Irish Gambling Sites
Here are some of the most popular gaming categories you can expect to find in the casino half of a top Irish gambling site. Before committing real money bets on these casino games, it’s a good idea to make use of the site’s free-to-play versions first. These games are often available alongside the real thing and give new players the chance to familiarise themselves with the rules before staking their own cash.
Most casino sites are dominated by online slots. As a result, the world’s leading software developers concentrate much of their creative energy on producing these games.
Online slots are incredibly malleable, taking inspiration from all corners of human history and culture; you could be shooting lightning bolts with Zeus in one moment, and searching for secret Incan cities in the next.
Although the core gameplay remains the same — players bet on whether a winning combination of symbols will land on the reels when they stop spinning — online slots are incredibly varied in terms of their mechanics. Titles are differentiated by characteristics such as return to player (RTP) percentages, paylines, variance, and a variety of exciting bonus features like cascading reels and expanding wilds.
With thousands of slot machines to choose from at the best online gambling sites, it’s helpful to break them down into a few key categories in order to find the best game for you.
We wouldn’t have online slots without the physical fruit machines of decades past. Classic slots pay homage to these fruities in both gameplay and appearance. These slots are simple, usually featuring three reels, 1–5 paylines, and no fancy bonus rounds. This simplicity makes classic slot games a good place to start if you’re new to online slots, but they also appeal to players looking for a slice of nostalgia.
Examples of classic slots include Irish Gold from Play’n GO and Blue Diamond from Red Tiger Gaming. Another classic slot is Mega Joker from NetEnt, which emulates a machine with two sets of reels.
While physical slot machines were once constrained to the hardware limits of the real world, video slots entirely rewrote the rule book by simulating the reels virtually. Developers could create games bounded only by their imagination, giving way to wackier themes and thrilling new gameplay mechanics.
Today, the lion’s share of online slots libraries are made up of video slots. Players are unlikely to get bored as they’ll find all manner of slots with free spin rounds, multipliers, wilds, scatters, and even thousands of paylines, with themes drawing from history, culture, hit TV shows, movies, and just about anything else.
Some of the most popular video slots include Starburst by NetEnt, the Rich Wilde series from Play’n GO, and Microgaming’s Immortal Romance.
Progressive Jackpot Slots
Fancy the possibility of an enormous payout? Progressive jackpot slots are a particular kind of slot game connected to a jackpot network. A small portion of each stake wagered on the slot is added to the progressive jackpot, which continues to increase until one lucky spinner takes the lot.
One of the most famous progressive slots is Mega Moolah, a Microgaming slot that once paid out a record €19 million. If progressive jackpots appeal to you, be sure to also look out for the Jackpot King feature on Blueprint Gaming titles and Daily Jackpots from Red Tiger Gaming.
The second-biggest category comprises casino games played against a dealer at the table, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, sic bo, and craps. These games are characterised by players competing against the house, represented by a dealer.
Table games all have their own long and fascinating histories, having migrated across the world and taken on additional variants as they’ve travelled. At the best sites, members will be able to enjoy great depth within these games through their many variations.
Also known as vingt-et-un, blackjack is a card game where players compete against the dealer to get a hand value closest to 21 by sticking, or twisting — receiving another card.
Phenomenally popular throughout the world, all the top casino developers offer some form of classic blackjack. You’ll also find many variations of the game at Irish gambling sites, like Atlantic City Blackjack Gold from Microgaming or Blackjack Perfect Pairs & 21+3 from IGT, along with alternate formats like speed blackjack and multi-hand blackjack.
Mention the word ‘casino’ and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t instantly think of roulette, a game in which players bet on where the ball will land on a spinning wheel.
Players can make many different bets, from single numbers, to groups like corners and streets, to almost half the wheel with red/black or odd/even. Most casinos offer European and American roulette as standard — the latter has two green 0 pockets and thus a larger house edge.
More esoteric variants of this classic game are also available. For example, Mini Roulette from NetEnt is played on a smaller 13-pocket wheel, while Multifire Roulette by Microgaming adds a 50–500x multiplier to three random pockets each round.
Although it can be intimidating to new players, craps is a game that offers some of the lowest house edges in the casino. In craps, players bet on the outcome of a dice roll performed by the ‘shooter’. There are many different wagers that can be made, and how the game progresses depends on the value of each dice roll.
Craps bets include line bets such as pass/don’t pass, multi-roll bets like place, buy, and lay, single-roll bets, and more. As this table game is quite complex, it’s a good idea to start with the demo mode or a casino bonus if you’re playing for the first time.
You might think of poker as just another table game at Irish casinos — but there are some key differences that set it apart. For one, you’ll be playing against real people like yourself, rather than the house. The aim is to win with the highest-ranking hand, making bets and calls along the way to outsmart your opponents and swipe the pot.
Poker isn’t just about chance. It’s true that other games like blackjack can be played with strategy to minimise the house edge, but skill weighs much more heavily on the outcome of a game of poker. Some players relish this aspect — the actions they take directly influence whether they win or lose rather than the result falling entirely to the luck of the draw. Many players spend years developing the insight and patience required to be competitive, which can be rewarding in itself.
At top online casinos with poker, you’ll find several variants. Texas hold’em is one of the most popular, but Omaha, stud, and draw poker are frequently found in games catalogues. Freeroll and sit-and-go tournaments are another exciting way to enjoy online poker — if you survive until the final round, you could net the top prize.
In the mid-2000s, live casino game development shook up the online gambling world. Software providers like Evolution Gaming carved a profitable niche by marrying real casino experiences with the convenience of online gambling. Live dealer casinos achieve this by livestreaming professional dealers in physical casino environments, and allowing players to access the games via their devices from the comfort of their own homes.
Live dealer games mimic the customs and pace of a brick-and-mortar casino, offering players a more personalised touch and a slightly less frenzied gambling experience. The best Irish online casinos will no doubt feature an abundance of live dealer action, covering all of the classic table games and their many variants, as well as the latest innovations from game developers.
At a limited number of casinos, this now includes titles making use of the latest virtual reality (VR) technology.