Download vs. Non-Download Casinos

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Published: 13/09/2010

In order to access and play games at most Internet casinos prior to 2000, software had be installed on the user’s computer. The programming allowed a secure connection between the casino’s host computer and the player’s terminal, and the code used for graphics, which takes up the bulk of the memory required, ran much faster if it did not have to take up bandwidth for repetitive transfers. The installed applications were called “Download Casinos,” and they are still available at most online gaming web sites today, albeit in streamlined versions with even greater functionality.

One problem with Download Casinos, however, was that they allowed players access only from the computers on which they had been installed. If a player had a laptop, it was possible to take the “casino” along. But for those who played on desktop computers, it was necessary to download the application at each location, a long and tedious process at best and often impossible, such as at Internet cafés or offices that would not allow installation of unauthorized programs.

To resolve this problem, most gaming web sites began offering “flash versions” of their games as the new millennium unfolded. Bandwidth had increased and data transfer speeds were much faster, so it became possible to play instantly from any location without any downloads required. On the face of it, this would seem like the preferred option. However, these new “Non-Download Casinos” had their own drawbacks.

For example, play is not really “instant.” Although the complete casino application does not have to be downloaded in order to play a specific game, the code for that game does need to be transferred from the host to the player’s machine in the flash version, which requires a little time. If a player likes to switch games frequently, this can really slow down play.

Early on, there were lots of compatibility problems, especially related to Macintosh versus PC operating systems and browsers. Most “instant play” games still require the installation of the latest version of Adobe Flash software. Some need special “applets” installed to run properly. It is not always as easy as the promotions suggest to “click-play-win.”

Download casinos tend to have far more games and playing options available than their non-download counterparts. As a case in point, one of the Internets oldest and most established online gaming web sites, InterCasino.com, offers more than 280 games in its Download Casino, but only 80+ in the Instant Play Casino. One of the newer online casinos, LeCroupier.com, has 3-D table games and customised avatars in its download version, but only 2-D graphics in flash mode.

Another aspect to consider when comparing Non-Download Casinos to Download Casinos is the possibility of “lags,” “stalls” or delays in data transfer when connections are poor or networks are busy. Speed and continuity of play are very much dependent on the speed and quality of the Internet connection.

Download Casinos generally offer faster play, fewer connectivity problems, and a more sophisticated visual and audio experience. Streamline versions take up about 25Mb of memory, which used to be unthinkable back in the day but seems miniscule on today’s 80-gigabyte hard drives.

Another advantage of playing with a Download Casino is the ability to use certain betting programs or “robots” to assist with wagers. By setting up certain parameters for bets and setting such software for auto-play, it is possible to play 10~100 faster than might be possible making manual wagers. For those who are into professional play, the number of hands, spins, rolls, or plays per minute is especially important, and Download Casinos offer the fastest action.

Published on: 13/09/2010

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