There are many choices to consider when it comes to choosing the right online casino to play at, and we have guides to help you with them all.
However, there is a question that few people consider before making their first, tentative steps into the online casino market, and that is whether they would prefer to play at a downloadable, or instant play casino.
It’s a tough decision to make, because there are positives with both options, ultimately, the decision comes down to personal taste.
As is the case with all tough decisions that you will face in the online casino world, we are here to offer you our help, by giving you all of the information necessary to make an informed decision, and to ensure you’re making the right choice for you.
Almost every online casino you will visit in the modern market will offer an instant play (or “Flash”, due to them usually being powered by Flash technology) version of their software. This means that you can play at the casino directly from your browser (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc) without any additional actions necessary.
This is definitely the fastest, and probably the easiest way to play at an online casino, because access is pretty much instant in most cases (depending on your internet connection).
Saving time down loading software to your computer frees you up to get straight into the game you want to play. Download times are getting shorter by the year, and that’s true in the online casino too, but it is likely to always be quicker, if only slightly, to play at an instant play casino.
It isn’t only playing that is quicker either. Say you are unhappy with the experience you are having at an online casino, if you are playing via instant play, then all you have to do is cancel your membership and you’re done, without any difficult software to remove from your system.
It isn’t only the ease of access that causes many players to prefer playing at an instant play casino, there is another huge reason, and that is safety.
The online casino world can be a dangerous one, due to its size, popularity, and the fact that large parts of the industry are still largely unregulated, there are risks everywhere, and it is necessary to constantly be vigilant and careful.
It isn’t that instant play casinos will never damage your computer, there’s no guarantee of that, but the chances of picking up a virus are far higher as soon as you download software to your computer.
However, it is always worth checking that you are playing at a trusted and licensed casino site before depositing any money.
Downloads take up space on your computer, and despite the huge steps forward in available memory on most systems, as the memory increases, so does the necessity for it, so we all find ourselves near the limit every now and again. As soon as you utilise an instant play casino, you are immediately making the world easier for yourself, with only tiny temporary files necessary.
Possibly the biggest reason that instant play casinos have become so popular in the modern market is the accessibility they offer to players.
With a downloadable casino, you are only able to play your favourite games on systems you have downloaded the software on.
This simply won’t do for many players in the increasingly mobile-friendly iGaming market, and instant play casinos give people the option of playing from their desktop at home, their work computer (on breaks, obviously!), their mobile phone, or their tablet.
Accessing an online casino from any computer or device in the world is definitely a huge advantage for instant play casinos, but it isn’t all good news.
The biggest issue with instant play casinos is that, almost without exception, they do not provide anywhere near as many games as the downloadable versions of the sites.
The world is changing when it comes to this, with the increase of average internet speeds many more games are able to be played online, and developers are acting accordingly, with NetEnt being the first (unsurprisingly) to offer all their games via a flash (or HTML5 more often in the modern world) product, and Microgaming are (as always) not far behind the Swedish software giant.
Downloadable casinos may be fairly old school in comparison to their instant play brethren, but they are still considered by most to be the superior of the two options available.
The biggest advantage to download play is within the games available. As mentioned earlier, there are usually more of them, and for many players variety is the most important thing, but it isn’t only that.
The likes of Playtech and Microgaming are well known for using the benefits that download casino play still has over instant play in terms of providing increased quality of graphics and sounds, meaning that the games are more immersive, while also often being more reliable than instant play versions, or at least more stable.
With a downloadable casino, the graphics, animations, and sound effects that a game utilises are stored directly onto your computer, meaning that they can be instantly accessed outside of your internet connection, so unless there is an issue with your device itself, then the games should never slow down, stutter, or stop working.
With your favourite casino games waiting on your computer for you, access is also only slower at first, as you can open up and play your favourite games whenever you fancy for as long as you have them downloaded to your computer.
There is never a time when playing at online casinos that it is sensible to stop being careful, but there are times when you have to increase your general scepticism even further, and when playing downloadable casino games is one of these times.
There is a genuine risk of viruses when you are downloading software from the internet, and the more popular an industry is, the more likely people are to take advantage of the possibilities for scamming people that exist.
With the immense and ever-growing popularity of the online casino industry, there are many people out there trying to take advantage of players, and one of the easiest ways to do this is placing viruses within downloadable content.
It is, therefore, always sensible to download content at trustworthy online casinos, and from trustworthy software developers, but even then, you can never ensure that you are completely safe. Make sure you have excellent antivirus software and you do regular checks if you are choosing to download.
It’s always frustrating when there isn’t a simple answer to that question, but like almost every aspect of the online casino world, there isn’t.
What’s right for one person, may be wrong for the next and vice versa, so the sensible thing to do is weigh up the kind of player you are, and what you’re looking for.
When all is said and done, it probably comes down to this battle. Is it more important for you to have gaming options you can access swiftly and from a number of different devices, or are you looking for a wide range of excellent games?
If you travel a lot for work, perhaps, or much of your gaming is done via your smartphone or tablet, then the chances are the instant play casinos will be for you. You sacrifice a little in terms of gaming options, granted, and some of the titles you play will be slightly inferior to their downloadable versions, but for many, this is a reasonable sacrifice to make in the name of accessibility and ease of use.
On the other side, if you tend to only play in one place, at home perhaps, and you really care about the quality of the games that you are playing, then you’re likely to favour downloadable options.
That way, you get to try the entire portfolio of every software provider and every online casino that you visit, and all the games you will play will be presented in the very best possible way, with top quality graphics, animations, and soundtrack.
If you do decide to go down the download route, remember to always be vigilant, but even if you choose instant play, it’s still not advisable to take your foot off the gas.
As mentioned above, you must be constantly careful when playing in the online casino world, so ensure you always put in the necessary research to check that you are using trusted and reliable software.
Whether you choose to play at download or instant play casinos, there’s a huge amount of options available for you, so you’ll never feel like you’re missing about. Chances are, however, that you will probably end up using some kind of combination of the two options!