How do online casinos work? Detailed overview

Home » How do online casinos work? Detailed overview

Today, online gaming and gambling are experiencing rampant growth, thanks to the popularity it has gained in recent (and growing) years. Every day hundreds of gamblers are looking to join the world of gambling, yet many are unaware of how online casinos work.

Casinos seem simple, but they are quite complex, from the software that allows them to operate to the licenses that make them legal.

In addition, something as simple as the payment methods available speaks volumes about how an online casino works.

The first gambling sites appeared on the Internet in the mid-1990s. It was then that the basic principles of online casinos were established, which are still in force today. Operators use digital technology to determine random winning combinations, accept bets, payout prizes, and hold draws. But this approach requires clear rules, only if they are followed can you count on the fairness of the gambling process.

An online casino is basically a virtual representation of a land-based casino, i.e. online casinos offer the same offer as any other casino.

In fact, virtual casinos have a more varied offer, as they have to adapt to the demands of gamblers from all over the world and although they offer popular games such as poker, blackjack, roulette, and many more, each game has different variants.

The most interesting thing about these casinos is that the jackpots and/or jackpots are considerably higher. In addition, it is possible to play from anywhere in the world, as long as the casino is legal for that country.

What is RTP?

Return to Player Ratio is the casino industry’s term for the amount of money a slot machine returns to players. It is expressed as a percentage and is calculated over a longer duration of the slot’s operation. Basically, the RTP share is the calculation at the opposite pole of the house edge.

Street and online casinos approach this aspect of RTP slightly differently, which is a detail to consider when choosing where to play. Physical slots in real casinos always have a higher RTP than online slots. This changes player preferences, especially if you look at the RTP rating of the most popular online slots.

How RTP is calculated

In theory, calculating the RTP is simple, for each individual game, with a clear formula. The total amount returned to the player is divided by the total amount wagered by the players in a specific time frame.

RTP calculation is done by certain specialized companies and games frequently go through such tests to validate their correctness. Each game has an actual and a theoretical RTP.

Theoretical RTP – the expected rate of return over a very large number of game rounds.

Actual RTP – the percentage resulting from periodic tests, which certify the correct functioning of the game, remaining constant at the same rate of return to the player.

As a result, if your favourite game has an RTP of 97%, this means that 97% of the total bet recorded is returned to the player.

This game payout ratio works differently from one type of game to another. For example, unlike Blackjack or other table games, slots pay out less but offer considerably higher payouts. That’s why progressive jackpot slots are among the most popular.

In principle, the highest RTP is found in slots, with a slightly lower RTP in classic table games such as roulette. Other games pose problems in terms of calculating the RTP odds, due to the complexity of the possible bets, in which case the RTP changes exponentially.

How RTP works in online casino gambling

RTP is the central element around which the best online casinos revolve.

And this is highlighted by the way the game gets in front of punters, with the RTP set. As online gambling runs on various software and algorithms, these are regularly tested so that the online casino can then receive all the necessary certifications and approvals to operate. This way, players know that they are having a safe and fair gaming session with equal chances of winning for all.

Unlike offline casinos, which cost more and have lower RTP odds to balance the profit, online casinos stand out. They can afford to promote higher RTP slots. For example, the RTP values found for slots in an offline casino range from 70% to 85%, while online slots payout at 90 – 99%.

What is RNG?

The software used in Online Casinos works with a Random Number Generator (RNG) or as they are commonly known (RNG). These algorithms are constantly producing random strings of numbers, with no predictable pattern, and the software communicates with them to produce results such as which card is dealt next or which symbols appear after a spin on a slot machine.

Algorithms for generating uniformly distributed values are present in all programming languages, and are usually based on numerical congruences of the type:

What makes the value generators of a random variable actually work properly depends on the choice of the four parameters initially involved in the above expression.

An important thing to emphasize is that most online casinos do not work with their own software, this system is usually provided by external companies specialized in this technology. This makes for greater confidence among users, knowing that there are the same possibilities of winning on different websites, and the only thing that makes the difference in each one is the service they offer and the variety of games that each one has.

Types of Online Casino Software

Currently, there are three types of software that are used in online casinos, or in other words, there are three platforms on which these systems are run: downloadable PC games, mobile games, and finally games accessible from the browser.

The live casino revolution

Live casino games have the particularity of creating an experience similar to that of a casino, as it is possible to play with live dealers in games such as:

  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Roulette

Also, users can bet alongside other players and the betting limits are low, standard, and high, so they are games that suit both novice gamblers and high rollers.

Generally, casinos need special licenses and permits to offer this type of game. Therefore, just like classic games, a live casino guarantees security and winnings (if luck is on your side).

Games available

As mentioned at the beginning, online casinos offer the same games as a land-based casino, but with more variations.

The most popular games are:

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Poker
  • Baccarat
  • Slot machines
  • Craps
  • Bingo

All these games are the classics offered by any casino, but thanks to the internet revolution and technology, the games now have different styles that adapt to the demands of each gambler.

Even for bingo and poker, there is a game mode called video poker/video bingo.

Another interesting point about how these online casino works are that in some countries, such as Mexico, the games have special themes that focus on the culture of the country.

Bonuses and promotions

One advantage online casinos have is that they offer special bonuses and promotions in order to encourage players to play and risk more.

For example, the welcome bonus is a great ally to multiply the first balance reload and is usually accompanied by free spins for roulette or slot machines.

Finally, online casinos operate in much the same way as land-based casinos but have access to special games such as video poker/bingo and jackpots and live casino.

These games are the ideal choice for those who love the fun of playing against other gamblers and to top it off, the stakes are considerably smaller.

Finally, these casinos have a room with a wide variety of game versions to meet the demands of all users.

Remember! Before you choose a casino to try your luck, make sure it has all the necessary permits to operate, so that you get your winnings and fun without any hassle.

Security of payment

We have come to another important part of online casinos, security. These websites handle sensitive information, personal details, credit cards, etc. And it is only logical that users are concerned that this information is handled carefully.

The ability to pay online has been around longer than online casinos, but the principles of online payments have changed with their appearance. All funds are stored in the customer’s account and payments are made both ways: the player makes deposits and the casino pays out winnings. An account is similar to a bank account, linked to a specific customer, and must be secure. Data is stored on servers, access to which is open to a restricted group of specialists and is monitored for security.

For the convenience of players connect new payment systems, expanding the list of payment methods and withdrawal of earnings.

For transactions use special platforms that are designed with a maximum degree of protection against fraud. After all, it is important for the gambling establishment to protect customers’ money and their own funds.

Requirements for operators regarding the protection of personal information are taken into account in a number of laws. For example, in 2018 a European Union regulation came into force, which regulates the gambling business.

Detailed licensing information

Licensing in the gambling market can be divided into three major groups:

  • A total ban on online gambling In Canada, the United States, Estonia, and Japan, it is illegal to organize and conduct gambling on the Internet. Any facts are punishable by large fines for the operator and sometimes for the player who decided to gamble.
  • Restricted licenses France, Germany, and Italy have passed laws that severely restrict the development of online gambling. Such service providers offer a small selection of games, there is also strict control over the customers of such clubs.
  • Full licensing Jurisdictions in the UK, Malta, Gibraltar, Costa Rica, and other countries issue a full licensing package for online gambling operators. The laws do not have strict restrictions on the regulation of gambling establishments.

The development of the Internet gambling industry was made possible by changes in the legislation of different countries and the emergence of information technology.

Operators are not only using the most innovative methods but also driving progress with their own requirements for virtual gambling, payment and protection of customers’ personal data, software checks, and the creation of new services.

Control of the operation

The operation of sites is regulated by the laws of the country under whose jurisdiction the operator is registered. Most often, licenses are issued by the gaming commissions of Curacao, Malta, and the United Kingdom. These organizations monitor the company’s compliance with the laws and protect the interests of the players. The regulators strictly monitor the operation of online casinos, and if violations or complaints are found, they can issue a warning, fine or revoke the license.

Honest casinos operate strictly within the laws and only use licensed software. Trusted providers release licensed software with valid certificates.

All licensed software must undergo regular checks. A certificate is an important confirmation of an operator’s honesty and reliability. The most reputable software auditors are eCOGRA and iTechLabs Information about the audits is usually contained on the casino website and on the pages of the technical labs.


In short, an Online Casino is divided into three pillars. The operator; betting website that you see to play, Software Provider; company dedicated to making the systems that give life to the virtual games of betting, and finally, Security; security protocols used for the encryption of information.

Before you start playing on a gambling site take into account these three aspects, verify that the site is reliable, that it is backed by good software development companies so that you are sure you will have a fair game, and lastly, verify that the security of the site is good, that it uses the security protocols mentioned above.

We hope this information has been useful to clear up any doubts you may have about how these sites work. If you have any questions, please use the comment box below and we will be happy to discuss them with you.

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