Sports, Casino or Poker. What’s your game?
Sports, Casino or Poker. What’s your game?
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Instant-Play vs Download Casino
Online casinos tend to offer two different versions, namely, instant-play (also known as Flash) and download. These versions can differ in terms of speed, game quality, range of games and more, although the differences are usually subtle and even nonexistent at some casinos. It mostly comes down to user preference, but here, we’ll let you in on the pros and cons of each option.
When online casinos were first launched in the 1990s, they operated exclusively in ‘download mode’. This meant that you had to download the entire casino software, including all the games, onto your hard drive.
Needless to say, this was usually a horribly slow process, especially in the early days of online casinos when internet speeds were notoriously slow. However, users of this method were onto something: once the casino software has been downloaded, the games are often of a superior quality, there are no loading times, and the graphics are usually better than in the instant-play casino version.
Download vs Instant-Play – ‘Flash’
Essentially, download casinos – like for example – are considered to be superior to Flash or instant-play casinos when it comes to smoothness of gameplay. Software developers tend to offer higher graphics quality and enhanced audio on their download-version games.
This is largely because with a download casino the graphics and sounds are stored directly in your computer’s hard drive, so when you play the game there’s no need to be connected to the internet and the overall experience can be smoother.
Normally, download casinos offer all the same bonuses and special features as their instant-play counterparts, such as payment and withdrawal options, promotions and ease of use. In addition, download casinos often offer more games than the instant-play version, and many leading software developers regularly produce download-only slots for desktop play.
However, there are several downsides to download casinos. First, you need to download the entire software onto your computer, which can take a long time and use up a lot of bandwidth – and then some. Also, it takes up a lot of space on your computer as the file is usually very large and it may even affect computer performance.
Another issue with download casinos is that they’re not always compatible with different operating systems, especially Linux. However, this has improved recently and many online casinos do offer Linux versions, yet there are still many whose download versions only work with Windows or Mac. Likewise, the availability of download casinos for mobile is fairly limited. Although many casinos do offer an app which is compatible with iOS and Android, most casinos recommend using the instant-play version when playing on mobile to avoid compatibility/performance issues. Betway Casino
Finally, some customers are wary of downloading the casino software onto their desktop, as any download may contain viruses. However, this is unlikely to be an issue, as most and reliable, especially if they’re properly licenced and regulated.
Instant-play casinos (Flash) are a relatively newer concept than download casinos. Recent technological developments have vastly improved the quality of Flash-based casinos (see:Casumo) and now most online casino games work perfectly in any browser, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and mobile-based browsers. HTML5 software was particularly instrumental in allowing this development, as it helped multimedia to stream smoothly and seamlessly in web browsers, not to mention allowing the graphic and audio quality of the games to be virtually identical to the games on the download version.
Our Pick: Instant-Play
Instant-play has recently become the industry standard, and this is mostly because there’s no need to download any software, which means your system will remain uncluttered and you won’t be using up any hard drive space. This is particularly useful for players who prefer to gamble at many since if they were to download each casino individually, this would be impossible.
Faster internet speeds have also contributed to the rise of instant-play casinos; games take seconds to load when you have a strong WiFi signal or 4G connection. Additionally, instant-play casinos are popular for gamers who like to trial a new casino before they start spending money. If you just want to try out a new casino, you probably won’t want to waste your time downloading the entire games library and then uninstalling it if you’re unsatisfied for whatever reason.
Another major advantage of instant-play casinos is that you can create an online account and then play from any device using the same account. However, with a download casino, you’d be restricted to only using a device which has previously downloaded the software from the same casino.
However, instant-play casinos still don’t offer the same number of games as the download versions, and if you don’t have a fast internet connection or you’re using an old device, you may encounter technical difficulties when playing online.
Here’s our overall breakdown of the pros and cons:
Download Instant-Play Pros ✓ Games stored on your computer’s hard drive
✓ Higher graphics quality
✓ Enhanced audio
✓ More games
✓ Most games work great in any browser
✓ Graphic and audio quality can be nearly identical to download
✓ No need to download software
✓ Can easily switch between different casinos
✓ Great way to try a new casino
✓ Can play from any device with your account
Cons ✘ Download takes a lot of bandwidth
✘ Needs a lot of space on your computer
✘ Can affect computer performance
✘ Not always compatible with all operating systems
✘ Can contain viruses
✘ May not feature as many games
✘ Requires a fast Internet connection and newer device
As you can see, there are pros and cons for both versions; a decade or so ago, when the internet gambling industry was much newer, instant-play casinos were something of a novelty and only customers with expensive computers would even consider using them. This meant that developers rarely produced web-based games and the instant-play selection was pitiful in comparison. However, this has all changed; now instant-play casinos are an option for virtually any online gamer and the difference in quality is minimal, if at all.
Essentially, the difference between download and Flash-based casinos ultimately comes down to personal preference and your precise situation. If you have a new computer, multiple devices and access to a high-speed internet connection then you’re probably better off using Flash-based casinos rather than the download versions. Also, if you rely on public computers or only use the Linux operating system then you may need to use the instant-play version. This will save space on your hard drive and enable you to seamlessly switch between devices, and you shouldn’t encounter any major issues.
However, if your computer is old or your internet is particularly slow, it may be best to download the casino software before playing. Also, if you want access to the full range of games and the selection offered in the instant-play version is insufficient, you will, of course, prefer to download the casino rather than playing in your browser. But be aware, downloading every single casino onto your computer can seriously hamper its performance and waste a lot of storage space. If you want to trial different casinos before selecting one that you will use exclusively, it’s best to try them out online first and then to download the one you decide on.
Most online casinos offer both versions, but it’s important to which compare both versions so you can decide which one is ideal for you.
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32Red.com – First Deposit Bonus & Dish Of The Day Deals. Casino Of The Decade. Award Winning Casino. 24/7 Support. Fast Payments. Microgaming Casino. Types: Live Roulette, Live Blackjack.
32Red at a Glance
Top highlights: Massive range of games, and some nice added value with bingo, poker and sports betting too.
VIP or loyalty programme: Yes
Other offerings: Bingo, sports and poker
As you’ll come to expect from 32Red, everything comes in abundance – and this goes for the casino promotions, too.
There are a couple of bonuses for new players, including the holy grail itself – a no-deposit bonus. There are also some nice ongoing promotions, including seasonal ones themed around popular holidays (Halloween and Christmas), as well as slot game tournaments which give out daily bonuses.
There’s also Ruby Tuesday, where every Tuesday, the casino gives out ‘Red Ruby Rewards’ (more on this later) to certain players. For fans of certain types of table games, there are also promotions related specifically to certain table games, so you can get your fill with an added bonus.
Range of Casino Games
It would be a rare day indeed that a player wouldn’t be satisfied by what’s on offer at 32Red. There are 500+ casino games to choose from, including:
- Slots (more on that shortly)
- Live casino games
- Scratch cards
…and even more. And with Microgaming-powering everything, you can rest assured of the quality to expect.
As far as slots go, some fans might find having only Microgaming games on offer a little limiting, but we don’t think it’s too much of a problem, what with 315 slots to choose from, and such a great variety, including:
- Mega Moolah
- Jurassic World
- Immortal Romance
- Cool Buck
…we think it may even be a tad overwhelming for the average player.
32Red is pretty much a one-stop-shop for all things online gaming. With an onsite sports betting section, bingo, poker and live casino client, anything you could want to bet on is just a click away – you’ll find the other sections at the top of screen, in the navigation bar.
One other option you’ll find among these is the ‘Premium Casino’ link, available on desktop only – and if you click it, your computer will download the casino client to your desktop, old school-style.
Software and Graphics
As mentioned above, Microgaming is the sole software provider for 32Red’s casino gaming. Widely regarded as one of the industry leaders, there’s certainly a lot to say about the service Microgaming provides: you can be sure as to the quality and design of the game you’re playing, as well as the range of bonuses on offer.
Microgaming is responsible for some of the most generous, highest-paying games online, including Mega Moolah and Major Millions. Although it’s sometimes seen as an ‘older brother’ to its younger competitor, NetEnt, we think that’s a bit of an unfair label – in our experience Microgaming stands for quality and entertainment, and everything works as it should (and even better).
Graphics-wise, the site itself is rather – you may have guessed it – red. Red screams at you from every corner of the screen – this may not be the casino of choice for those with sensitive eyes! Despite that, it’s very easy to navigate the site, with everything clearly divided into sections – whether that be the different types of games you’d like to play, or the different betting sites offered by 32Red, you’ll find them easily and quickly.
32Red is almost the epitome of what an online casino should be: it has the games, it has the promotions and it has the variety – despite having only one software provider. On that note, 32Red is almost Microgaming’s flagship brand. As such, players can be certain that the bonuses are actually worth their time, as are the games, and that they are appreciated as players.
Loyalty or VIP Programme
Every player who makes a deposit and plays at 32Red is automatically – from the very first bet – entered into the ‘Red Ruby Rewards’ loyalty programme. From then on, every time they play, the player will receive ‘Red Rubies’ (loyalty points) and advance through the programme.
This is, of course, dependent on the casino game, as not all casino games’ stakes contribute equally to the wagering requirements of the programme. But once you get there, every 1,000 Red Rubies received can be redeemed for 10 free casino chips to play with.
Here’s how it works:
- Bronze: 50 Red Rubies; earn 25 to stay in bronze
- Silver: 1,000 Red Rubies; earn 500 to stay in silver
- Gold: 5,000 Red Rubies; earn 2,500 to stay in gold
- Platinum: 10,000 Red Rubies; earn 5,000 to stay in platinum
- Club Rouge: By invitation only; eligibility reviewed regularly by VIP managers
You get to move up the tiers automatically, depending on how many Red Rubies you earn, but be warned – you have to re-earn the amount of Red Rubies needed each month to stay on the same VIP tier each time.
The benefits look pretty worth it, though. Here’s what you can expect from each tier:
- Bronze: 1,000 Rubies birthday bonus
- Silver: 10% bonus points; 2,500 Rubies birthday bonus
- Gold: 20% bonus points; 3,000 Rubies birthday bonus; personalised promotions
- Platinum: 50% bonus points; 5,000 Rubies birthday bonus; consideration for Club Rouge
- Club Rouge: Up to 200% bonus points; 5,000 Rubies and exclusive birthday bonus; enhanced bonuses, promotions and more
To redeem your Rubies, simply login to your account, on either desktop or mobile – and tap on the ‘R’ icon at the top right of the screen. You’ll have to follow several prompts to complete the process, and you can only redeem units of 1,000 Rubies each time.
32Red offers a pretty nice variety of banking methods:
Instant once your deposit has been credited as cleared funds to our account
*Current as of November 2017; check 32Red’s website for any updates
As with most online casinos, the length of time it takes for receiving your cash after requesting a withdrawal can really widely vary. With credit and debit cards, you might find yourself waiting up to 7 days, while with a bank transfer the wait could be as little as 3 days.
The casino states that some of the newer, more funky ewallet payment methods can process your cashouts quicker, in anywhere from 24 hours. On a side note, the casino itself is known as one of the quickest in the biz for processing these transactions, so you might just have to try it and see for yourself.
PayPal Free Instant £10
3 – 5 days
Free if above minimum
*Current as of November 2017; check 32Red’s website for any updates
32Red hosts its very own mini-site with help topics and FAQs, divided into helpful subsections, including ‘Getting Started’, ‘Deposits and Withdrawals’, ‘My Account’ and so on.
But, if you’re at a loss and want to talk to someone, it’s best to turn to any of their customer support avenues, which are:
- Phone – UK landline: 0808 180 3232
- Live chat, available 24/7 and answered within 15 seconds of when we tried it
- Email: support
- Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus
Currently, the only language support is offered in is English.
Who Can Play?
UK residents are free to play at 32Red Casino, although players from the following countries are barred:
The casino is available in the following languages:
32Red is licensed by the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA).
32Red is pretty impressive, as far as casinos go.
With a massive variety of games and types of betting, you’re sure to find something to like here. While some may grumble that this is a Microgaming-only casino, others will enjoy the selection of games that brings. We think it’s a solid place to start at for new players, and a great place for experienced gamers too – we recommend you try it out for yourself, and get playing at 32Red today.
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