If there’s one word that sums up the seismic changes that have taken place in the online gambling industry over the last decade, it’s mobility. Wave after wave of technological innovation have revolutionised the traditional dynamic at play between gambling providers such as casinos, and the hordes of eager gamblers who are looking to wager real money. Rather than being forced to travel to potentially faraway locales such as Las Vegas or Monte Carlo to get in on the action, modern gamblers can grab a slice of the action wherever they happen to be thanks to next-generation devices.
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A big part of putting power in players’ pockets over the last five years has been the emergence of a whole new wave of dedicated gambling applications. Whether in general casino offerings, or dedicated single-game apps, there’s a huge variety of real money gambling apps out there for users to enjoy on their own terms.
In this piece, we’ll concentrate on this exciting world of real money gambling apps and step through the current landscape and what you need to know as a player to get the most out of them. Let’s start things off, however, with a quick bit of background on the wider app revolution that’s made the current state of play possible.
Though the early days of the internet were largely driven by changes to browser technology, the arrival of the iPhone back in 2007 opened the door to a whole new class of software solutions that could take full advantage of the flexibility and power of mobile devices. It took a little while for the full implications of the app revolution to be felt across the world, but by the time the iPad rolled off the production lines, many commentators had already announced that we were now living in an “app economy”.
The last five years in particular has seen that trend solidify as the Google Play Store rapidly caught up with Apple’s lead, and new waves of devices from manufacturers such as Samsung significantly expanded the amount of users with access to smart phones. At the same time, the vast majority of major online casino providers have scrambled to provide dedicated iPhone and Android applications for players to enjoy real money gambling apps on.
Though it’s always hard to peer into a crystal ball with 100% confidence, it seems a safe bet that we’ll be living in an app-driven environment for at least the next five years as devices become ever more powerful. Let’s move on to break down the most popular types of real money gambling apps that are out there.
When you’re first getting your head around the concept of real money gambling apps, it can be tricky to navigate the set of options at your disposal. Luckily, the types of solutions on offer tend to fall into a few main broad categories. Let’s step through the leading candidates:
- Casino apps: Fans of casino games are particularly well catered for by the latest generation of apps. You’ll find that pretty much every major online casino provider offers a dedicated app for you to enjoy options such as poker, roulette, and blackjack on.
- Traditional Sportsbook: Mobile devices are a natural home for traditional sportsbook betting, and dedicated apps offer a much more enjoyable and slick betting experience than trying to use mobile browsers. Whether it’s soccer or UFC, you’ll find classic sportsbook betting available via a multitude of apps.
- In-play betting: The cut and thrust of in-play or “live” betting is a natural fit for the app environment. With a dedicated, hand-held solution for quickly reacting to in-game events, in-play betting apps let you explore the excitement of this type of gambling to its full potential.
- Peer-to-peer: This is still a relatively uncrowded field, but an increasingly interesting class of direct peer-to-peer gambling apps are springing up around the world. These add a fascinatingly social aspect to gambling, and also open an interesting range of completely new and personalised betting opportunities to casual gamblers.
The good news for modern gambling aficionados is that finding gambling apps that accept real money is a straightforward affair these days. As with our different types of gambling apps above, there are a few main categories in terms of places where you can find them. Let’s step through them:
- The App Store: Apple’s App Store is the biggest source of apps in the world and, though there are restrictions in place governing real money gambling apps, there’s still a wide range of licensed and fully legal games available throughout the App Store for owners of Apple devices.
- Google Play store: The Google Play store is famously a somewhat looser environment than the App Store, so you can expect to find an even greater range of real money gambling apps on offer here. If you’re on Android, then this should be your first port of call.
- Direct from providers: If you’re looking for an app from a particular gambling provider or mobile casino and the app stores above prove fruitless, it’s always worth checking out the relevant site to see if there are direct download apps available. Naturally, you’ll want to be a little more careful with these apps as they haven’t had to pass app store criteria, but these can be another useful place to search.
Anytime you’re potentially putting your own money on the line, it’s always worth doing a bit of due diligence up front in order to make sure you’re finding the best option. Before you commit to a particular app or set of apps, make sure you’ve taken all of the following factors into account:
- Ease of use: The whole purpose of apps is making the transactions they fuel as simple as possible. Any gambling app you’re considering using should be incredibly intuitive and downright enjoyable to use. The vast majority of apps are either incredibly cheap or downright free to download so you have plenty of opportunity to kick the tyres before making a final decision.
- Terms and conditions: Take a look around online gambling forums and you’ll soon see that the majority of disgruntled customers are those who simply haven’t taken the time to check terms and conditions in full before signing up to a service or app. Make sure you don’t make the same mistake.
- Frequency of updates: Hardware upgrade cycles are pushing ahead at an incredible pace, particularly when it comes to Apple devices. You want to be sure that whatever app you go for in the end is regularly updated to take advantage of the latest technological developments and that you don’t end up getting stranded on legacy software.
- Costs and in-app purchases: As we mentioned above, overall costs should be tiny, but you always want to have a clear picture going in. Make sure you’re checking not simply the sticker price on any apps, but also how much any in-app purchases may end up costing you.
In addition to the in-app factors above which you should be taking into account, you also need to have a bit of a think about whatever your primary device is going to be. Here’s a quick list of points to bear in mind:
- Device recency: Whether it’s Apple's iPhone or Android, you generally want to stay well within two major releases of the latest hardware. Though modern devices are built to stand robust use, they tend towards obsolescence remarkably quickly.
- Operating system: Tactics vary here depending on which platform you’re on. Apple’s policy of aggressively pushing software upgrades means you’re generally better off staying on the latest release. The Android ecosystem is a little more haphazard and chaotic – don’t dive straight in once a new release comes around here, but let the dust settle a bit before upgrading.
- Battery performance: Battery performance can vary wildly depending on the particular combination of hardware, software, and provider that you happen to be running. Take the extra time to actually finetune your local setup in terms of battery performance to make sure you’re really getting the most out of your device.
The last part of the puzzle you need to pay attention to is the actual operating system you’ll be using to operate the app. There’s a relatively short list of candidates to choose from here:
- iOS: Though other operating systems are catching up rapidly in terms of speed and sophistication, Apple’s iOS remains the benchmark all other mobile operating systems are judged by. It’s also a perfect operating system for mobile gambling apps.
- Android: Though iOS takes the plaudits, Android has won the battle for the biggest market share. Manufacturers worldwide have taken Google’s underlying technology and put it to work in a huge variety of affordable devices. As with iOS, you’ll find very few problems using Android to play real money gambling apps.
- Windows: Windows has struggled badly to keep up in the mobile wars. Though users find few problems with the phones in terms of day-to-day use, many app providers find it hard to justify the extra development work required to make apps for the OS. As a player, you may struggle to find proper real money gambling apps on Windows devices.
- Blackberry: The war is basically over for Blackberry these days. Despite having a huge lead in mobile technology and user base, the firm has lost its way recently. You’ll find virtually zero real money gambling apps available for Blackberry devices.
The convenience and power of gambling apps is great from a user satisfaction point of view, but it does mean you need to be vigilant in terms of managing your money and not getting carried away. The main thing to bear in mind when playing is that you should always be sure to set a budget in advance, rather than deciding how much you’re willing to gamble in the heat of the moment when playing poker.
You’ll also want to carefully track your winnings and losses over time in order to be sure that you’re keeping your overall spending in check. As a follow-on to that point, you are also advised to be particularly careful when it comes to using credit to gamble. This can be a dangerous road to go down, so make sure you’re only gambling money you can actually afford to lose.
You’ll find a full list of popular table games available to enjoy on most real money betting apps. Here’s a quick list of the main options:
- Poker: The king of all casino games, poker is available on pretty much any casino app worth its name.
- Blackjack: You’ll find a full range of blackjack variants including live dealer games available in popular real money casino apps.
- Roulette: Roulette retains a unique air of glamour amongst the classic casino games and it translates even into smaller devices. The latest range of 3d roulette titles make for a truly compelling app experience.
- Slots: Slots have always been a great way to unwind, and they’re a perfect fit for smaller devices. Again, 3d graphics and a narrative element are making the latest generation of slots particularly engaging.
You’ll find a familiar set of funding options in terms of loading and withdrawing money when it comes to app accounts. Much the same options as you’d use with a standard online casino will be available:
- Wire transfer: It’s been available as an option for decades, and remains a convenient solution for many. If you’re dealing with large sums and the relevant fees add up, wire transfer can be a highly secure and straightforward option.
- PayPal: Online e-wallets offer an enormous amount of flexibility and wider use, and PayPal remains the pick of the bunch here. Though options such as Skrill are growing in popularity, PayPal remains the most popular e-wallet for use with real money gambling apps.
- Credit cards: Traditional options such as Visa and Mastercard remain an excellent way of funding accounts across the board. It’s always worth having at least a couple of credit cards available in the background even if you’re primarily using other funding methods.
When it comes to enjoying a bit of action on the move, it’s hard to beat the power and convenience of real money gambling apps. We hope our overview has gotten you up to speed with their use and wish you all the best of luck when you get down to business playing!
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