Any conversation about the leading casino software providers has to include Microgaming. This elder statesman of the Internet gambling industry has been in operation for over two decades, and they’re continually celebrated by customers and competitors alike. If you’re unfamiliar with what they have to offer, it’s my hope that this article can help.
Microgaming debuted in 1994 with the release of the Gaming Club, an online casino that many recognize as the first such Internet establishment. While the company operated this venture themselves, they soon made the decision to focus on developing games instead of managing virtual casinos.
Two years later, their first licensed Microgaming casino went live. The following year, they became a founding member of the Interactive Gaming Council (and later eCOGRA). In 1998, their Cash Splash title became the first slot machine linked to a network progressive jackpot.
In 2008, the company withdrew from the U.S. market after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. The ban continues into the present, with all affiliated casinos refusing to accept American players. On a more positive note for 2008, Microgaming released the first virtual slot machine with 100 paylines.
The company also distinguished themselves in the field of poker by establishing a network known as Prima Poker. It was the first to offer anonymous tables, and would later be known as the Microgaming Poker Network (or The MPN).
In 2016, the software designer once again showed their penchant for innovation by unveiling virtual reality technology designed for the gambling industry. The initial release has focused on roulette, but more choice should be available in the coming years.
Available Casino Games
Over the course of their history, Microgaming casinos have had more than 850 casino games, as well as another 1,200 variants. While most customers may associate them with gaming options such as blackjack and slots, they’re also a leader in Internet poker and bingo. And for those who enjoy gaming on the go, the company’s selection of titles for tablet computers and smartphones now exceeds 350.
At the moment, the casino provides more than 600 games to its customers. These titles can be accessed by downloading the company’s software, or it can be played on any computer browser thanks to the no-download Flash option.
Return to Players
The “return to player” percentage is among the most important factors for gamers, as it directly indicates the long-term expected payback of a machine. A slot machine, for example, with a 98% RTP should pay back $0.98 for every $1 wagered. While this number may fluctuate in the short term due to random chance, it’s been carefully calculated to deliver an accurate projection over thousands and even millions of spins (or hands, depending on your game of choice).
The average RTP for slots from Microgaming is 96%, which is superior to what you can expect to find at land-based establishments. Data is hard to come by with these games, however, so the RTP can vary from one machine to the next.
If you’re looking for other Microgaming options with a strong return to player percentage, I suggest any of the following: banker bets on baccarat (98.94%), Vegas single deck blackjack (99.69%), Spanish Blackjack (99.58%), Double Exposure (99.68%), and Aces & Eights video poker (99.09%).
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the RTP for craps is the worst you’ll find. It’s unusual that a leading gaming company would be so unfriendly to craps player, but the numbers speak for themselves. Just check out the return on the following wagers: Big 6/8 (90.91%), Hard 4 or 10 (88.89%), any seven (83.33%), and place 6 or 8 (98.48%).
Most Popular Slots
Some players stick with profitable games, while others are drawn to the slots that fellow gamers are talking about. Luckily, Microgaming has been able to combine these qualities, presenting games that offer both respectable payouts and a certain level of popularity. If you like to follow the crowd, here are some of the leading options:
- Mega Moolah Mega – A progressive slot that offers the largest payouts of any Microgaming slot.
- Bridesmaids – A licensed slot based on the hit 2011 chick flick.
- Playboy – While Playboy magazine no longer publishes nude pictures, their brand name remains recognizable around the globe.
- Thunderstruck II – Based around Norse mythology, this has consistently been one of the most popular online slots for several years.
- Major Millions – A progressive slot that’s created a number of millionaires during its time.
Unlike some of their chief rivals in the online casino industry, Microgaming isn’t known for their massive jackpots. There’s still plenty to recommend, however, especially when you consider that they have the largest progressive network in the business.
Of the hundreds of slot machines produced by the company, around 20 offer progressive jackpots. The largest of these is easily Mega Moolah Mega, which pays an average jackpot of $4,608,236 every 12 weeks and five days.
While Mega Moolah Mega is the only game with an average jackpot exceeding $1 million, there are plenty of other profitable options to be had. King Cashalot, for example, offers an average jackpot of $568,880, while Major Millions paid $1,801,517 to one lucky gambler.
If you manage to win a jackpot, you can expect the prize amount to be paid in a single lump sum. This is far superior to some competing brands, where affiliated casinos often drag out payments over the span of several years.
Industry Awards Won by Microgaming
Recognition by your peers is always important, regardless of your chosen field. Not only does it demonstrate an overall impact within your industry, it also indicates that others (including your competition) admire your achievements.
Microgaming has received plenty of recognition since debuting in 1994. They’ve been repeatedly nominated for the most prestigious awards in the world of eGaming, and they’ve racked up dozens of wins during their 20+ years in business. The following are some of the most notable:
- Awarded “Best Software Supplier” in 2001 by Casino Player Magazine
- Awarded “Best Roulette, Slots, and Progressive Games” in 2001 by Casino Player Magazine
- Awarded “Best Software Provider” in 2005 by the Casinomeister watchdog site
- Awarded “Best iGaming Casino Software” in 2007 at the A Awards
- Awarded “Best Software Provider” in 2010 by the Casinomeister watchdog site
- Awarded “Best Casino Software” in 2012 by Gambling Online Magazine
- Awarded “Poker Software of the Year” in 2015 at the EGR Awards
- Awarded “Innovator of the Year” in 2016 at the International Gaming Awards
Microgaming has fought its ways into the upper echelon of the online gaming industry, and there’s no sign that they’re in danger of losing that spot. Their wide selection of games and superior graphics blow most competitors out of the water, and they’ve done an excellent job at tightening the reigns on the activities of their partner casinos. While their odds on games such as craps could be better, their 20+ years of experience allows them to consistently deliver quality sessions for players.