The gaming sector has grown with incredible rapidity over the past three to four years, and generates around £5.7 billion in annual revenue in the UK alone.
It’s easy to put that down to kids obsessed with the likes of Fortnite and FIFA, but in fact, gamers come in all ages.
For anyone born since the 1970s, gaming has always been a way of life. It’s just the games that have changed. Adult gamers want adult-oriented games, and that’s why the online casino sector has seen such remarkable growth. It’s come a long way since those first internet gambling sites of the 1990s, and today, there is a far higher degree of public trust in the sites, which are well regulated and controlled by the Gambling Commission.
Added realism through live gaming
Games come and go, particularly in the area of slots, but it is the classic table games that are consistently the most popular. Top of the list comes blackjack, a game that has just the right blend of simplicity, to make it accessible, but also strategy, so that success depends on more than blind luck.
Part of the fun of the blackjack table in the interaction with the dealer. After all, she (let’s face it, it’s nearly always a she) is the one you have to beat, so there’s usually some good natured chat and banter. This crucial ingredient is the one thing that’s lacking when you play online. At least, it was, until the advent of live gaming.
For anyone who’s missed it, live gaming is an innovative way of playing that bridges the gap between the real and virtual casino. There are a choice of sites where you can play live blackjack online, but check out www.liveblackjack.org.uk as a good example. When you log on, you are faced with a real, live dealer in a studio. You can interact with the dealer via a chat box in real time, whether it is to check on the rules or simply exchange pleasantries.
The great thing about blackjack is that everyone knows how to play. Sure, each casino might have subtle variations, but these generally constitute minor tweaks to the rules, for example relating to doubling, splitting, surrender and insurance. These might seem trivial, but just like in a physical casino, make sure you are absolutely clear on those “fine points” before you start. It’s particularly important to know, for example, whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17, as this affects both your strategy and the overall house edge.
Broadly speaking, though, blackjack is blackjack, and the gameplay is the same regardless of whether you are playing it in the virtual or real world.
The blend of skill and luck that underlies blackjack is something that has thrilled and intrigued players for centuries. It continues to do so today in cyberspace as it did in those far flung corners of the world where first it was played.
There are numerous online resources that will help you first to get around basic strategy and then make it a little more advanced. The great thing is that these rules are based on solid mathematics and statistical probability, so they “work” exactly the same whether you play online or in a land based casino.
In conclusion, then, there are more similarities than differences between live gaming and a real casino experience. The main difference is that if you play online, you’ll have to mix your own vodka martini – at least, for now. The way virtual reality is progressing, who knows what might be possible in another 10 or 20 years?