Online casinos, also known as virtual casinos or Internet casinos, are online versions of traditional ("brick and mortar") casinos.
Online casinos enable gamblers to play and wager on casino games through the Internet. Online casinos generally offer odds and payback percentages that are a bit higher than land-based casinos.
Some online casinos claim higher payback percentages for slot machine games, and some publish payout percentage audits on their websites.
Assuming that the online casino is using an appropriately programmed random number generator, table games like blackjack have an established house edge.
The payout percentage for these games are established by the rules of the game.
Many online casinos rent or buy their software from companies like Crypto Logic Inc (now Amaya), International Game Technology, Microgaming, Playtech, Golden Race and Realtime Gaming.
Online casinos can be divided into two groups based on their interface: web-based and download-only casinos. Web-based online casinos (also known as flash casinos) are websites where users may play casino games without downloading software to their local computer.
Games are mainly represented in the browser plugins Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave, or Java and require browser support for these plugins.
Also, bandwidth is needed since all graphics, sounds and animations are loaded through the web via the plugin.
Some online casinos also allow gameplay through a HTML interface.
Apple devices such as i Pod, i Pad and i Phone cannot play Flash games as the technology is not supported.
Download-based online casinos require the download of the software client in order to play and wager on the casino games offered.