Mobile Casinos - ReviewsHaving heard several people I know wax lyrical about how mobile casinos were gradually taking over the world back around 2009, I tried a few out on my old Nokia brick. Horrible! Fiddly forms, frustrating disconnections, small screens, why bother? I stuck to playing on my PC. In 2012 I bought an iPad and went back recently to do a bunch of reviews, some of which feature on MobileCasinoFAQ's Top Mobile Casinos list (and some of which don't!). And it's fair to say that things have moved on since those initial efforts, mainly thanks to improvements in smartphone technology! Much, much better and I was actually just as happy to realise my iPad could be put to better use than just for checking the weather quickly (a popular English pastime and mainly why iPads sell so well over here. When it's not raining, obviously!)
So off i trundled and played around 12-14 mobile casinos on my swanky new "retina display" iPad and tried a few of them on my Android tablet at the same time just to see how they compared (not much difference in general to be honest). I have to say that the games now look a lot better in general than they did back when mobile casino games were first touted around (2009 'ish) and that is as much to do with the developers using new technology like HTML5 as it is to do with the advances in tablet and phone technology.
One thing that I guess wasn't too surprising while doing these reviews is that mobile casinos are still a bit of a mixed bag although in essence, all the casinos I tested perform pretty well on an iPad. Any problems are mainly down to teething issues, poor implementation or poorly thought out user experiences but on the whole, there are some great mobile casinos and games out there. Several of the mobile casinos mentioned below also have popular PC-based offerings that feature in my favorite online casinos and they all have a reasonable track-record, bar Lucky247.
Although there were no live casinos available on mobile when I last checked, the best options for RNG Blackjack, Roulette, Bacarrat has to be Paddy Power's Roller Casino app which looks really smooth. It also has 4-play video poker & a selection of reasonable slots ("Luxor Valley" is Book Of Ra in a different skin) but there are better options for slots and video poker players elsewhere in this review. The Blackjack and European Roulette games look stunning on the iPad, even if one of them loads upside down on mine! The implementation is nicely done with integrated banking system, quick cashouts and just a good experience all round.
Of all the mobile casinos sites and apps I played or downloaded, Roller was the only one that came as an "app". All the others are essentially played by visiting the website (see the links to the right) in Safari and then played in the browser itself, so no downloads are necessary.
Moving on, for slots players I found that the mobile games from Microgaming worked best on my iPad. It too has decent Blackjack and European Roulette plus some video poker variants like Deuces Wild but the slot games are the key to this: Thunderstruck, Spring Break, Ladies Nite, Avalon, Agent Jane Bond and Immortal Romance are all available. I played these games on several mobile casinos actually: 32Red is my casino of choice but the same games can be found at Royal Vegas, the popular Jackpot City, a new Microgaming outfit called Lucky247 and a casino I played regularly a few years ago, Roxy Palace.
Of those casinos mentioned above, you can read much more detailed reviews of 32Red mobile casino and Royal vegas mobile casino, conducted in 2013.
Which of those above you go for will depend on what you want in terms of service, bonuses or loyalty rewards. Both Royal Vegas and Jackpot City are very good at rewarding loyal players who wager regularly and stick around, while Roxy Palace tend to cater well to the small-stakes player who stays loyal. All of them have reverse pending times though: 24 hours at Royal Vegas and Jackpot City and 48 hours at Roxy. By contrast, 32Red's is only 4 hours and even then, they will offer a manual flush (if you are unfamiliar with these terms, see my article on reverse pending and flushing which explains them). The trade-off at 32Red is fewer loyalty bonuses than the others. Lucky247 is a bit of an unknown quantity when it comes to rewarding loyal players as it's new but I had some good sessions there and they paid out promptly.
Microgaming's main competitor for creating online casino games is Playtech and they too have mobile software that works on iPads, iPhones and android. I came across this at 3 iPad-compatible casinos: Paddy Power, Betfair and Bet365 Casino. The implementation at Betfair was the worst of the three: the banking system is a bit of a challenge - you deposit and then the money isn't in the mobile casino so you have to log into the website and transfer it over. Even then, it seemed to give me errors so overall I didn't hang around long and instead, headed to the excellent bet365 where I have played (on the PC version of the casino) for years.
As expected, the setup process was far smoother and you just fire up Safari, sign up and log in. The banking system is easier too, although not quite as easy as Paddy Power's. Both casinos are very good and easy to use but the software could still use a tweak on the bet limits which, in the case of most slot games, go up in prohibitively large increments (ie: $2, $5, $12.50, $25) with nothing inbetween.
The games are very good and in the case of slots, there are two ways you can spin: flick on the reels or press the button. On many of the slots there is an Autoplay feature now too and thankfully they have got rid of that frustrating method of increasing the bet size by double-tapping on the reels. Now you sselect from a rotator but as I mention above, with very limited options.
The final set of mobile casinos to grace my iPad were a couple that have popular terrestrial slot games like Cleopatra, Davinci Diamonds, Rainbow Riches and Cats (pictured). Both Sky Vegas and Virgin Games operate iPad casinos that use this software with IGT games. To be honest, if you are a table games player then these aren't the best iPad options but if you like the slots I just mentioned, they are excellent operators with very fast cashouts, no reverse times and average loyalty programs.
The IGT games on mobile that I have played do seem a little dated when you put them alongside the Playtech and Microgaming games on the casinos I have reviewed above but I'm told new HTML5 versions are in the works (2013). For now though, these games still play OK even if they don't look fantastic.
Conclusions Simply put, if you want to play table games on your iPad then play at Roller Casino. If you like to mix it up then any of the Microgaming casinos listed to the right are good options with 32Red being my personal preference. If you want to mix it up with bonuses, tend to low-roll and don't mind 3-4 day cashouts then I'd go with Roxy Palace or if you high roll then Royal Vegas.
If you just have to play Playtech games on your iPad and you can't wait for Playtech to fix the issues I raised above, then Paddy Power marginally pips the others because it has smoother implementation but be prepared to get a bit frustrated with the software and bet sizes!
For IGT slots and good service, fast cashots) then there is very little to choose between either BetVictor Casino or Sky Vegas to be honest although BetVictor's mobile casino seems to be growing faster with the addition of plenty of new games every time I look!
These iPad casinos were reviewed by Simmo!, Casinomeister moderator and owner of Slotjunkies, between October and December, 2012.