Best Mobile Casinos & Apps
Rapid advancements in technology in recent years have led to increasing numbers of people enjoying casino games on their mobile devices. With more and more customers living their lives on the move, it’s much more accessible if games of pokies, blackjack and roulette can be played by simply tapping a screen to load them up.
The benefits of mobile casino gaming for both players and operators are clear – the player gets to enjoy their favourite games no matter where they are, and operators get to bring in more customers who can play more frequently.
It’s my role as Professor of Casinos to make sure all my readers know all the essential information about mobile casino gaming, so I’ve ensured every casino review includes a thorough briefing on what the mobile offering includes. Additionally, I’ll now go on to explain the basics, from the history of mobile gaming to a step by step guide on how to play the most popular games from your mobile device.
What is mobile gaming?
Essentially, mobile gaming is what the term suggests – playing a game on your mobile. In general, mobile gaming is a huge and rapidly growing industry, with many companies now operating with a ‘mobile first’ strategy to ensure their products will be optimised for portable devices before desktop. Online casino sites saw the potential for translating their games to mobile, and once this process had begun, players were able to log into their accounts on the go and enjoy most, if not all, of the functions they would be able to access on their desktop laptops or computers.
History of mobile gaming
While it’s only in recent years that processing power and connection speeds have allowed for truly immersive and high quality games to be released for portable devices, mobile casino platforms have been around for over a decade now. Playtech was one of the first platforms to develop software for mobile casino gaming. The provider has been around since 2005 and enjoys a reputation of being dependable and user friendly. They offer products across casino, poker, bingo, fixed odds, live and sports betting. In 2005, Microgaming entered the mobile casino gaming market, and their product started out under the Spin3 brand. Classics such as Thunderstruck 2 and the Game of Thrones pokie are available on mobile, with the latter being developed so it was already mobile and tablet ready upon release.
Many of us will remember the first mobile game, which was called Snake and available on the Nokia 6610 in 1197. As it was so popular, the company began pre-installing it on all of their products and it was soon being enjoyed worldwide. This concept of having games pre-loaded on your phone meant that it was a while before players had the option of purchasing and downloading games to their devices. When phones became internet enabled, the ability to browse new titles became possible. In 2002, the first mobile phones which could run Java were released, which allowed for better games to be played. The first pokies game for mobile came out three years later, in 2005, and Pub Fruity was the first Java casino game. It had a colourful display and was designed to mimic a fruit machine found in a pub. It featured three reels and three rows, with many different winning symbol combinations. However, there were no in-app payments available with this product, and winning on these pokies only landed you virtual rewards. Poker started to become wildly popular in the same year, which lead to Downtown Texas Hold’Em being released. This was a hugely successful game and many people downloaded it onto their phones.
When the iPhone was released in 2007, followed by the App Store a year later, many more casino gaming options became available on mobile. Android released their smartphones, along with Google Play, in response to the competition. Downloadable pokies games were on offer, and it was now possible to deposit to the game. HTML5 started being used for mobile games, and proved to be more successful than Java games. Casinos began to use HTML5 to develop their mobile games, and this led to a wider range of games becoming available to consumers. The first mobile only casino came out in 2011, when LadyLucks was launched and placed an emphasis on providing top notch casino gaming on the go.
Casino mobile download apps vs Instant Play browser games
Casino mobile download apps
- Higher quality graphics and sound – As the graphics and sounds are directly downloaded to your mobile device, you won’t have to worry about a dip in internet connection or signal causing lag or buffering issues. The software will be high quality compared to loading up a game in-browser.
- More features available – Due to having one initial download, there will be more of the features available from the online casino with a download version on mobile. This means you can invest more time into your experience and have the same kind of browsing options as you would get on desktop.
- More games available – There will be a wider selection of casino games on offer if you download a dedicated app, which means you’ll be less likely to get bored with your options on the go.
Instant play browser games
- Fast and easy – There’s no need to wait for a download to finish before loading up casino games, as all you’ll have to do is type in the URL of the relevant casino site and click on the game you want to play.
- No risk of viruses – When you initiate a download from a provider you don’t know or trust, there’s a risk you could be downloading a virus or other malicious software. However, if you stick to mobile browser casino games, this risk doesn’t come about.
- Save on memory space – Some people are put off downloading large files to their mobile devices as it takes up a lot of memory and prevents you from storing much else. There is also a risk it won’t run as quickly as a result, but this isn’t an issue if you’re playing within a mobile browser.
How to play Pokies on mobile
- Choose the pokies game you want to play
- Click on the button allowing you to start the game
- Sign up or log in to your account by entering your information
- Either download the game or play it on your mobile browser
- Set the wager amount and whether you want to manually spin or set it on autoplay
- Press ‘spin’ to get the reels spinning and see if you’ve landed a winning combination
How to play blackjack on mobile
- Navigate to the version of mobile blackjack you want to play
- Click on ‘play for real’
- Sign up or log in to your account by entering the required details
- Either download the game or progress to play within the mobile browser
- Receive two cards from the dealer and watch them take two cards also
- Decide whether to hit, stand or double down
- Make use of a set strategy to have the best chances of winning a round
How to play baccarat on mobile
- Navigate to the mobile baccarat game you want to play
- Click on the button to commence gameplay
- Sign up or log in to your account by entering your username and password
- Either download the game or load it on your mobile browser
- Proceed to start the round
How to play roulette on mobile
- Navigate to the roulette game you want to play
- Click on ‘play for real’ to load the game
- Sign up or log in to your account by inputting the necessary information
- Either download the game or enjoy instant play in your mobile browser
- Place your bets
- Watch the wheel spin and see if the ball lands in your chosen pokies
How to play video poker on mobile
- Navigate to the roulette game you want to play
- Click on ‘play for real’ to load a game for real money
- Sign up or log in to your account
- Either download the game or load up instant play
- Get started with the first round
How to play live dealer games on mobile
- Head to the live dealer section on the casino website
- Choose which style of live game you want to play
- Log into your account or create one by filling in the signup for
- Enter the live dealer game room and wait for the game to begin
Mobile game developments
Mobile gaming has developed alongside the rapid growth of smartphones and tablets. Here is an overview of how online casinos have developed, and where mobile gambling games fit into their history.
|1994||Licenses were delivered to casino operators who had taken their business online|
|Microgaming developed online casino software, becoming the first to do so|
|1995||Cryptologic developed the cryptography technique, which allows for secure deposits and withdrawals with online casinos|
|1996||There were 15 online casinos available|
|1997||The number of online casinos went up to 200|
|1998||Internet poker came into existence|
|Progressive jackpots were launched online, with Cash Splash developed by Microgaming|
|2003||Live dealer games were introduced by Playtech, with games including Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat|
|2005||Microgaming partnered with Spin3 to start creating mobile casino games|
|2006||Microgaming introduced live dealers for their table games and launched popular progressive pokie Mega Moolah|
|2008||Sports betting rapidly increased in popularity due to the 2008 UEFA European Football Championship and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games|
|2010||An increase in available payment methods with online casinos, such as Dankort, Postepay, Abaqoos, Lobanet, eKonto, iDeal and Nordea|
|2011||Mobile gambling was the biggest trend over Christmas, along with a surge in iPad sales|
|More games were featured from Microgaming and other software providers|
|The iPad 2 began to feature in casino promotions|
|Online casinos added mobile gambling platforms to match an increasing demand for Apple products, tablets and smartphones in general|
|Mobile-only casinos were launched and became hugely successful|
|Microgaming, Playtech and other major developers added games designed for smaller screens|
|Special progressive pokies for mobile were created|
|2013||Most major casinos now had mobile versions to cater to demand|
|Half of all revenue now came from mobile users, according to some operators|
|Most gambling customers had a smartphone, tablet or both|
The future of mobile gaming
Mobile casino gaming has made huge leaps and bounds over the past decade, but there is still a lot of room for growth. For example, with the advancement of VR technology, there will likely be inclusions of this element in casino ventures, such as having an online 3D poker hall or even a full casino with working pokies machines. There will also undoubtedly be a bigger market, with casino software developers building increasingly advanced mobile sites with better games, services and visuals. Finally, there will most likely be a stronger demand for cryptocurrency, with increasing numbers of players using options such as Bitcoin on mobile friendly casino sites.
Top mobile casinos
Ruby Fortune – This casino has over a decade of experience as it first entered the gambling industry in 2003. It has user-friendly state of the art software and all games have been tested by eCOGRA. There are over 450 games, including 300 pokies games, along with a play for free option.
Jackpot City – Enjoy the latest games and software from Microgaming with Jackpot City Casino. There are over 450 real money and free play pokies and table games on offer, and you can enjoy Instant Play on mobile. The casino has been checked for fair play and offers high levels of security.
Spin Palace – Mobile casino availability is just one of the perks available with Spin Palace. It offers an excellent payout rate and has a huge base of loyal players. There are VIP packages of the highest quality, along with a range of bonuses to make the most of. It’s licensed by Malta Authorities and Lotteries.
Betway Casino – Enjoy gaming on iPhone and Android with Betway Casino. There are many pokies, live and virtual table games available with this platform, along with video poker from Microgaming. Their games are routinely audited, and there are dedicated support professionals available around the clock to help customers with their queries.
888 – You can rely on a wealth of experience if you sign up with 888 Casino, as their platform has been around since 1997. They have multiple languages available, plus the eCOGRA Seal of Approval. There are many software developers involved in providing games for this site, and there is a generous VIP Rewards Program on offer.
Top mobile casino games
European Roulette – This version of roulette features 37 divisions on the wheel. They are alternately coloured in red and black, with the single zero coloured green. The objective is for a player to correctly predict which pocket the ball will settle on after the wheel has been spun.
High Limit Blackjack – As the name suggests, this version of blackjack involves playing with a high limit to your bankroll. If you’re a high roller, the casino will usually provide you with special treatment and you will probably be invited to their VIP club or rewards program.
Starburst – This is one of the most popular and well-known pokies games out there. There are 10 fixed paylines, 5 reels and 3 rows. Rewards are paid out both ways, and re-spins are available. The wilds will substitute for other symbols to form reel combinations.
Thunderstruck 2 – Enjoy gameplay with Nordic gods Loki, Odin, Thor and Valkyrie when you load up Thunderstruck 2. There are many symbols, including Thor’s Hammer as a bonus. The Thunderstruck 2 logo is a wild, and it doubles your wins in a winning combination.
Game of Thrones – Fans of the wildly popular TV series will enjoy this pokies, which has 5 reels, 3 rows and 243 ways to win. There are various symbols, including the coat of arms of all houses – Baratheon, Stark, Lannister and Targaryen. The Baratheon symbol is the highest paying one on the reels, and the scatter symbol is the Throne icon.
Mobile casino FAQ
Are there any risks associated with playing mobile casino? Using a mobile casino carries the same risks as you would have using such a site on a desktop device. In other words, if you want to download software for your casino games, you should ensure it comes from a reputable and legitimate source to prevent installing viruses by accident.
Which games are available at mobile casinos? Thanks to advancements in technology, you will be able to access practically the same number of casino games on mobile as you would be able to on desktop. This answer largely depends on the casino site you sign up with, as while some may have been able to translate their full library to mobile, others will only have a selection available.
Do I have to download a casino app to play on mobile? It isn’t necessary to download a casino app for mobile gaming in all cases. A select few may recommend downloading their dedicated app for enhanced gameplay, but most sites will offer both options or only have mobile browser gaming available.
What does instant play mean? As the name suggests, this means you are able to play a casino game instantly. Essentially, there is no wait involved with additional steps such as downloading software before you can pick a game to enjoy.
Can you play live dealer games on mobile? In recent times, casino sites and software developers made an effort to add liver dealer games to their mobile selection, recognising that there would be a big market for people wanting to combine the convenience of playing at a casino whenever and wherever they liked with both the feel of a land-based casino and playing on the go. Therefore, many mobile casino sites will have a selection of live dealer games available.
What kind of mobile device do I need for casino games? There aren’t usually many strict requirements when it comes to the kind of mobile device required for casino gaming on the go, but generally speaking, a smartphone which is developed enough to have access to an app store and a mobile browser is necessary. Having the ability to play video and stream animation is also important to enjoy the highest quality experience.
Can I make deposits and withdrawals on mobile? It is certainly possible to carry out financial transactions on mobile, as the same payment methods will be available in portable browsers, meaning that you don’t have to worry about making a deposit on your desktop device before heading out and logging into your account on your mobile device.
Can I sign up for a new account at a mobile casino? Yes, you are able to sign up for a new account within your mobile browser, as the setup will be identical to that on desktop apart from the fact that the screen will be optimised for mobile. Having an email app installed on your phone will speed up the process in the event that you are required to verify a code emailed to you in order to set up your account.
Is customer support available on mobile casino? You will be able to access customer support on a mobile browser in the same way as you can on a desktop site. The only difference you may experience is a circumstance where your internet connectivity drops out due to signal while you’re on the move during a live chat; for this reason, it’s recommended you use a WiFi connection or a stable 3G/4G signal.
What kind of internet connection do I need to play casino games on mobile? If you are playing for real money, and especially within a mobile browser as opposed to a downloaded casino app, it’s important to have a good internet connection so you can experience the highest quality the site can offer. Problems you may encounter with an unstable or poor internet connection include disconnecting from games, lag, buffering or sound not matching up with video.