Bitcoin's growing popularity as a substitute for fiat cash is changing the way people do things online. From paying for goods and services to investing, bitcoin has become a hot commodity in the financial services sector. It is so popular that many in the online gambling industry are embracing it with open arms.
Online casinos in a number of countries are warming up to the idea of accepting bitcoin deposits. Some are allowing bitcoin for withdrawals as well. There is no standardization as of yet, but it looks like it's only a matter of time before it arrives.
So, what types of games can you play with bitcoin online? That depends on the casino you choose. Online gambling sites cover a full array of gaming options representing everything from sports betting to video slots. The best bet (pardon the pun) for any online gambler is to start looking around for bitcoin casinos. In theory, you should be able to play just about any game on a site that offers bitcoin banking.
Bitcoin and licensing
Before getting into the actual games you can play with bitcoin, it is important to talk about licensing issues. Online betting sites don't typically design and publish their own games. Instead, they license games made by others. Whether or not a casino accepts bitcoin as a banking solution can be determined by their game licenses.
For example, MegaMoolah.com is a very popular video slot published by Microgaming. It is one of a number of Microgaming slots that involves a progressive jackpot. None of the online casinos that operate exclusively on a Microgaming license accept bitcoin directly and do not accept bitcoin withdrawals.
The way casinos get around accepting bitcoin is to use third party payment processors to convert bitcoin to fiat before it enters the casino. This is also the case with Microgaming titles.
There are those game developers that have no objection to cryptocurrencies. In fact, we are beginning to see a small number of them actively pursuing the bitcoin market. That is good for players because it gives them more games to play.
Slot games with bitcoin
Now that all the introductory information is out of the way, let us get to those games you can play with bitcoin. We will begin with the tried-and-true video slot. Ever since mechanical slots were first introduced to land-based casinos decades ago, they have been a staple of the gambling industry.
Video slots are a favorite for online gamblers. The games can be divided into three basic categories:
- Classic slots - These are slot games that pay tribute to the old one-armed bandits of the 1950s and 60s. They usually offer just a single payline and three reels. They also utilize traditional symbols like sevens, bars, and fruit.
- Regular slots - These are more modern slot games that can be designed in any number of configurations. There are 3-reel games, 5-reel games, and multi-reel games. Regular slots also offer a variety of bonuses ranging from free spins to wheel of fortune and trail games.
- Progressive slots - These are regular slot games with a progressive jackpot attached. The progressive jackpot can be either local or network-based.
Depending on the casino you choose to play at, you may see some of the most popular titles from well-known industry publishers. Or you may choose an online gambling site that is part of a lesser-known licensing network. Either way, the games are all good.
Table games with bitcoin
Just like your average land-based casino runs table games alongside slot machines, so do online gambling sites. Table games get their name from the fact that they are played at a casino table rather than a self-contained machine - like a slot. All your favorite table games can be found across the net:
- Blackjack - The classic card game based on collecting cards with a point value as close to 21 as possible without going over.
- Roulette - This is the table game with the spinning wheel and the rattling marble. It has been a favorite among casino gamblers for centuries.
- Baccarat - This is a card game with similarities to poker. It is a great game for people who love poker but want something a bit faster.
- Texas Hold 'em - A classic American poker game involving progressive betting and four turns of the cards.
The four table games listed here just scratch the surface. You can find online gambling sites that accept bitcoin for other games as well. From Craps to Caribbean Poker, the possibilities are endless.
Live games with bitcoin
One of the hottest things in online gambling right now are live games. These are table games that are played live via a video and audio feed. They are not simulated by computer software. Live game titles typically include table games:
- Texas Hold 'em
It may not be long before bitcoin casinos start offering live games capable of competing with the big publishers. The thing is that bitcoin is built on computer technology and networks. The same kind of people who gravitate toward bitcoin as a banking solution are likely to embrace live casino gaming too. As such, it would be surprising if live games do not become a staple of bitcoin gambling in the next few years.
Other games with bitcoin
There are other games you can play with bitcoin as well. These games are less popular inasmuch as they are not necessarily offered by every online gambling site. But among those that do, you should be able to play the games just as easily as you would slots or table games. The other games category includes:
- Bingo - This Italian classic has a wide audience around the world. There are multiple forms of bingo to choose from.
- Scratch Cards - The scratch card concept is pretty popular for online casinos in Europe. They are not as well known in U.S. markets, though they are gaining steam. Online scratch card games are the digital equivalent of the physical scratch cards you might buy and scratch off with a coin.
- Keno - Keno is a lottery-like game that involves purchasing a card and picking numbers. Played online, it is a fast-moving game that doesn't require any sort of strategy or skill. It's all in the luck of the draw.
The best thing about the 'other games' category is that it is wide open. The three games listed here by no means represent an exhaustive list. If you can think of a way to gamble offline, a comparable online option probably exists somewhere. The only question is whether your favorite bitcoin casino has such a game in its inventory.
Sports betting with bitcoin
Last but not least is sports betting with bitcoin. The challenge with bitcoin sports betting is volatility. This volatility is represented in two ways. First are the actual events being wagered on. Consider this: one of the reasons sports betting is so restricted is because of the high potential for fraud. Regulators do not want competition to be influenced by money, which is always a concern when you allow betting.
Volatility is also represented in bitcoin. As you know, bitcoin's price can swing wildly in one direction or another for no apparent reason. This is a problem for some online gambling site operators.
When you are playing video slots, the games are instantaneous. A player could theoretically get hundreds of spins in without any significant change in the price of bitcoin. Thus, site owners are not risking a lot by allowing bitcoin play for slots.
Taking bets on a tennis match is entirely different. A tennis match can take several hours to complete, during which time the price of bitcoin can fluctuate greatly. This puts an undue amount of risk on the site operator.
The good news is that sports betting with bitcoin is slowly catching on as operators figure out ways to protect themselves against losses. If you cannot find an online betting site within your legal jurisdiction that allows both sports betting and bitcoin, you may have to settle for more traditional casino options.
And now you know the kinds of games you can play online with bitcoin. Are you intrigued? If so, get yourself some bitcoin and start playing. You will not know what it's like until you try it.