Ultimate Guide To Online Casinos In Canada
There are a huge variety of online casino games in Canada. This description covers everything from roulette, a famous table game with lots of modern variants, to video poker and other table games like blackjack, baccarat and many others, which can also employ modern technology to create exciting new Canadian online casino games. In addition, there are, of course, a host of modern slot games covering almost every topic you can think of. And with so many games available, it can be quite difficult to choose those you really like. But many people find that the best online casino games tend to be those which in some way relate to aspects of their own personality.
History of casino games
Gambling itself has a history which stretches back certainly hundreds and probably thousands of years. We know, for instance, that some very basic games of chance existed in China. We know too that dice games were played in the Nile region of Ancient Egypt. And we also know from scenes depicted on pottery from Greek and Roman times that wagers were commonplace, and that many animals were bred just for racing or for fighting purposes. Playing cards, for instance, have been found at an early date in China. But these soon spread to other civilisations in India, Persia and Egypt, before arriving in European countries at some time around the 14th century. No one can agree when the card game blackjack began, but most experts think it was being played in French casinos in the 1700s. The French game was known as Vingt-et-Un (twenty-one) and was certainly played by King Louis XV and his royal court. Some people insist blackjack actually goes back as far as Roman times, when it was played as a game with wooden blocks. Whatever the truth of the matter, it was definitely French colonists who were responsible for taking the game all across North America.
Spinning wheels and betting on the outcome is also thought to have started early back in the days of Ancient Greece and Rome. Roman soldiers, for example, were fond of spinning chariot wheels – and sometimes using an arrow as a pointer. The earliest form of roulette may well have developed as a blend of two popular games: The Italian game of Hoca, and the Old English game of Even and Odd. Both these table games used spinning balls which finished up in cups – which of course meant it was possible to bet on the outcomes. A more recognisable form of roulette was played in France following the invention of Pascal’s perpetual motion machine in 1655. In French, ‘roulette’ means a small wheel, and the game soon took hold in monasteries before evolving into the popular casino game so enjoyed by James Bond and a host of other gamblers ever since. Incidentally, it’s the French/European version of roulette which traditionally has a single zero. The later American version of the game is the one played with two zero slots – a single- and a double zero.
There are two schools of thought about the origins of poker: one suggests it is descended from European card games dating back to the Renaissance, and that its name also harks back to those times. A second idea refutes this notion and claims poker is simply a uniquely American game which developed later (in the early to mid-1800s). In either case, the game certainly spread like wildfire through the US, helped by Mississippi riverboat gamblers. But it was to be later in the 20th century before poker really developed the mass appeal it can command today. But if card and table games got gaming off the ground, it was surely the invention of the slot machine (1894) which brought gambling within the budgets of ordinary people. Slots showed just how much technology could contribute to the enjoyment of gambling. And even though some of today’s new technologies are helping older casino games to reinvent themselves, modern online slot games continue to appeal to a mass audience who love the excitement, enhancement and sheer accessibility they bring to many simple games of chance.
Evolution of casinos: from land-based to online facilities
Gambling has long been a popular pursuit, but the idea of a fixed location actually sanctioned by the authorities and which was specifically for the enjoyment of gaming and wagers is much more recent. In 1638, the Casino di Venezia, in Venice, became the first official building designed for gambling among citizens to take place during carnival time. However, the real heyday of the casino as a gambling pleasure palace did not arrive until later in the 18th and 19th centuries – a time also when such establishments began to be known as ‘casinos’. Certain casinos sprang up in glamorous and exotic European locations such as Baden-Baden (1834) and Monte Carlo (1856). These extravagantly designed casinos were originally frequented by royalty and the elite members of society, which is one reason why so many early casinos (and a good few more modern ones) closely resembled splendid palaces.
In the frontier atmosphere of the early USA, gambling had at first been relegated to the saloon bars of the Old West. But in 1905, railroad workers began to congregate in Las Vegas to enjoy gambling, drinking and good company. Though this was tolerated at first, a gambling ban was in force from 1910 until 1931. However, this couldn’t stop illegal gambling, and when the state of Nevada finally legalised gambling again, it was the trigger for large casino complexes to appear. These establishments provided a series of table games such as roulette, blackjack and poker, plus an army of slot machines. The money to be made in the casino industry inevitably attracted criminals too. And so from the 1940s through until the mid-1960s, gangsters were a part of the Las Vegas casino scene. This was the time of ultra-extravagance and luxury, but eventually, the ‘cleaning up’ of the gambling-industry’s casinos also broadened their appeal – even though they never really lost their air of elegance and sophistication.
Online gambling and online casinos can be seen as part of the process of democratising the gaming industry to allow all gamblers to participate. But this widespread participation had to await the arrival of comprehensive Internet access, which really appeared in the mid-1990s. And more lenient legislation in some parts of the world helped the fledgling online gambling industry to boom in popularity. Fuelled by new technologies, more efficient web communications, and more-secure ways to engage in money transactions over the web, the online gaming sector continued to grow and grow. And the introduction of mobile gaming by smartphone and tablet gave the industry a further timely boost around 2003. Now mobile gamblers are a major source of revenue for gambling companies, and technologies such as AR and VR are expanding the possibilities for modern gamblers. Today’s casinos thus can offer online gamblers an astonishing array of online games, including a popular mix of progressive jackpots, slots, live dealer games and branded games, plus a broad selection of table and card games suitably adapted for the online environment. And perhaps more importantly, mobile gambling has (in a sense) returned gambling to its roots – it’s no longer essential to have purpose-built bricks-and-mortar palaces for gambling to take place: today’s gamblers can play anytime and anyplace they may wish to choose.
Are all online casino games legit?
Perhaps because of land-based casinos and their one-time association with organised crime, many people still wonder how easy it is to fall into the clutches of unscrupulous operators who use the online environment as a means of deceiving honest leisure gamblers. But whilst the era of large-scale criminal involvement in gambling has surely disappeared, sadly the risk of small-scale online hackers and scammers is sometimes all too real. As always, the key is for individuals to make sure they are aware of the risks, and also to recognise the all-important signs that you are visiting a reliable and trustworthy online casino site.
Fortunately, playing online casino games in Canada is not only comfortable and convenient, as long as you choose a reputable site such as JackpotCity Casino, you will also know that you’re playing on a site which is fully compliant with the law. But it does take some care on the part of the player to also act responsibly and be prepared to make some checks to ensure their chosen gambling site is totally legitimate and reliable. The most important aspect to look into is the security of any gaming website’s financial transactions. This includes important privacy matters such as how the site collects and stores your personal data, who they share it with, and whether the information relating to financial transactions is always encrypted – all of which should be available for any consumer to read on the site’s data protection policy. However, perhaps the most vital information to check concerning financial security is the banking service providers whose services support the online casino’s financial transactions. The absence of familiar international names such Visa and PayPal, as well as trusted online banking methods which are commonly used in Canada should always be a cause for concern.
It’s also important to make sure any site you choose for online gambling can offer meaningful customer support. For instance, if you notice that even though the online casino is open for business 24/7 its consumer support facilities are unavailable outside office hours and at weekends, that will not be reassuring for potential customers who wish to play beyond those hours. And if the site does not offer multi-channel support via phone, e-mail, live chats etc., that too may suggest they may be hard to contact if you need them. In a multicultural jurisdiction like Canada, you should also expect language support for large groups (e.g. French speakers) to be available at all times. But when it comes to judging whether any site operator will treat gambling customers fairly, this is best established by checking what the site publishes about its commercial licensing arrangements. For a potential customer, this should include checking that the casino is also regularly audited by an international body such as eCOGRA who will ensure all gaming is conducted fairly and in accordance with gambling regulations. If this information should be missing from your chosen website, perhaps it would be best to look for a more reputable site elsewhere.
How to win online casino games
Most gamblers will expect to be able to win at least some of their online casino games. While this is often down to chance and what risks the responsible gambler wishes to take, it can also be a matter of skill and strategy. But once we begin to look at the strategic aspect of how to win any particular online game, it then becomes necessary to look at the concept of the ‘house edge’. This is usually described as a mathematical advantage which the commercial operator has over the gambler during any online casino game. That won’t stop any gambler on a ‘winning streak’ enjoying some great payouts early on in a certain game. But it does mean that, as you play over time, the venue can expect that an assured percentage of your stakes will be collected by the house to meet business expenses and to generate a profit. Expressed as a percentage, the house advantage can vary considerably with different games. American roulette with its twin zero pockets, for example, is known to have a higher edge than European roulette where the single zero pocket is statistically more beneficial to the player. A few games are considered to have a house advantage as low as 0.3%, while some slot games can have an edge of up to 15%, and with certain games (e.g. Keno) the house edge may be as much as 25%.
Gaming success is always a subtle blend of luck, skill and strategy, but most gamblers will always be curious about which casino game is the easiest to win. Selecting a game which has a low house edge will certainly improve any player’s chances of winning. For instance, experts believe that the house edge for single-deck blackjack can be as low as 1.5%, while the house edge in a video poker game can vary between 0.5% and 5%. In roulette, the house edge can reduce to 2.5% with certain betting, whereas three-card poker and baccarat can both offer a house edge of 1.5%, with craps a shade lower at an easy-to-win 1.4%. Online slot games have a variable house edge from as little as 2% up to 10% or even higher. With any particular slot game, the house edge is usually described as an RTP (return to player) average. So a house edge of 2% would be expressed as an RTP of 98%.
Gamblers also know that, while no one can devise a winning strategy for a slot game (where chance is the decisive factor), there are a number of games where the player’s knowledge, skill and strategic understanding can considerably reduce any house advantage. But even before looking at strategy, every player must have a thorough knowledge of the rules of any game they wish to play. This includes having an understanding of how small tweaks to the rules can affect the house edge in certain gameplay circumstances. Online blackjack ‘card counting’ is one example of a common way experienced players can learn to tilt the potential game outcome more in their favour. Card counting works by watching and mentally logging the cards dealt during a game. This gives the experienced player an idea of the remaining cards to be played and thus how they could possibly affect the flow and outcome of the game. The player will then judge how favourable his chances are and structure his betting accordingly.
What is an online casino Random Number Generator?
Ever since the arrival of slot machines offering random payouts, some gamblers have believed they can ‘read’ when a machine is about to make a big payout. And likewise, many other disgruntled players are convinced that a casino can somehow influence slot payouts and benefit from that knowledge. However, the reality is that any modern slot machine’s ability to register a win always occurs by chance and is entirely governed by what is known as a Random Number Generator (RNG). This is a continuously operating mechanism which supplies an endless stream of random numbers which are used to govern the performance of both board games and the various kinds of digital slots. So any game which is based on some kind of random matching (e.g. roulette, poker, blackjack, slots and more) will regularly refer to an RNG facility.
The overwhelming majority of RNG facilities are what is known as pseudo-random number generators. This method uses a software program code based on mathematical algorithms. Such algorithms use numbers containing literally thousands of digits which are then subject to a whole host of mathematical operations. As a result of this processing it is, for all practical purposes, virtually impossible to detect any pattern or consistency which could allow anyone to successfully predict the appearance of random numbers as used in online casinos in Canada.
Sometimes, the fact that it is just about theoretically possible to discern the next number is understood to mean that this can in fact happen. But the reality is that there is no practical method which could facilitate this. Furthermore, all gambling companies who use an RNG must also be able to prove their RNG system has been regularly examined, audited and certified for its fairness by an internationally approved gambling regulator.
Where can I play online casino games in Canada?
Any reputable online gambling company, such as JackpotCity Casino, must have responsibility for player welfare as its top priority. So it’s important to check with any site you may wish to visit that they have all the important safeguards in place. That means being able to gain access to major external support if ever the need should arise. Important links to look out for will be those to the following agencies:
1) Responsible Gambling Council: A Canadian agency which supports research initiatives, and which provides a range of programs and facilities designed to offer help to those who need support because of developments in their gaming habits.
2) Gambling Therapy: This is an organisation which works with responsible gaming operators of online casinos in Canada. The aim is to ensure players continue to benefit from a socially responsible environment which anticipates and prevents problems, and which is able to recognise and refer issues without delay.
3) Gamblers Anonymous Canada: Online casino players in Canada can access the Gamblers Anonymous portal if they should need expert advice and support. The available options include online apps; a live helpline; a global database; online support groups and forums, plus confidential e-mail advice and support.
Many online casino games in Canada provided by globally recognised online software companies such as Microgaming may not even be available within the United States. So not only can reputable Canadian online providers sometimes offer privileged and exclusive access, where the game developer is a major industry presence such as a company like Microgaming, players can also be sure that all game titles have been externally audited and verified as being entirely free of any bias against the player’s interests.
What legislation is applicable to online casino games in Canada?
Though some aspects of Canada’s gaming laws could be clearer, those who want to play online casino games in Canada can at least be reassured that any Canadian citizen who wishes to enjoy online casino games is fully entitled to do so. In fact, thanks to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission (a Mohawk regulatory body) Canada’s online casino operators are expected to comply with the strictest standards of commercial integrity.
The tricky part of this arrangement is that Canada’s Criminal Code does not allow commercial operators to host online casinos from within Canadian territory. This means that the gambling arrangements overseen by the Kahnawake Mohawk Nation remain the solitary exception to this general ruling. Nevertheless, the current legislation does allow regional legislators to permit gambling ‘operated on or through a computer’ if they so choose. Therefore it seems safe to assume that many provincial legislators will continue to look favourably upon forms of online gaming, provided they operate to high standards and offer outstanding consumer protection.
What are the top Canadian online casino games?
Slot games are always among the most popular online casino games in Canada and there is a broad selection to choose from. Online classic slots are designed to emulate early slot machines, while online fruit games also hark back to those early days with their hold features for pursuing a winning jackpot. Later slots offer 3D graphics and progressive storylines, and slots offering mobile access have taken all these games to new levels.
Blackjack remains an attractive option and there are new and exciting online variants to try. Online blackjack switch involves playing two hands instead of one, while Vegas strip is played with four decks of cards. Some players will find double exposure blackjack (where both dealer’s cards are face up) a fascinating twist on the original game. Then there is perfect pairs, which is like the standard game of blackjack but includes side betting based on receiving different kinds of pairs.
Online roulette is a classic casino game which can be enjoyed just like it’s land-based casino counterpart. Just remember that online roulette always offers two versions of the game: French roulette played with one zero slot and the numbers 1-36, and American roulette played with a different wheel layout of the numbers 1-36, plus two zero slots (0, and 00).
Video poker is another top casino favourite which exists in a fabulous array of different options. So players can enjoy games such as Draw Poker, Joker’s Wild, Deuces Wild, Bonus Poker and very many more.
Play online casino games in a responsible way
It’s important to remember that safe online gambling requires all players to play games in a responsible way. That means, for instance, planning in advance (and before you go online) what your play budget will be. Provided you then stay within your own limits, your gambling experience will allow you to enjoy your gambling as the worry free entertainment it is meant to be. Nevertheless, you should be able to expect any responsible site like JackpotCity Casino to be there to give you responsive help and support whenever it is required. That can include practical support like barring access to anyone who cannot prove they are old enough to register on the site, and allowing gamblers to regulate their play by choosing a sensible transaction limit. This then means you get a break, and thus a chance to reassess your gambling spending, when you are in danger of exceeding that limit. And in extreme circumstances, any responsible site support should also include a mechanism to set up a block which denies access to those who can no longer control their gambling.