Flash Casinos

When the online casino first came about, the only option players had was to download the casino software to their desktop and then play the games available. Over time, developments in technology led to the emergence of the Flash casino. This allowed the players to play the games directly from their browser without having to download. Casinos usually offered both the download and instant play Flash options to players.

On this page we will take a brief look at the different aspects of the Flash casino. We will:

  • Discuss how the Flash casino has emerged as the more preferred option to the download casino.
  • Take a look at some Flash games.
  • Discuss the emergence of HTML5.
  • Compare HTML 5 games with Flash casino games.

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The Emergence of the Flash Casino

The Flash casino emerged a few years after the download casino came along; the latter was the only available option for players until that point in time. At that point in time, the Flash casino was considered to be inferior to the download version. There were quite a few reasons for this:

  • The Flash casino did not have the full complement of games.
  • The quality of graphics and animations as well as sound was higher in the download version.
  • Game play was considered quicker in the download version of a casino.
  • The download casino offered a more at-home gambling experience as the games were on your computer’s desktop.

What are Flash Casino Games?

Flash casino games are online casino games that are developed using Flash technology from Adobe. The following are some features of these games:

  • You can play these games directly from a browser; there is no download required.
  • The Adobe Flash Player ensures compatibility with Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, RIM, and QNX. This means you can play these games on:
    • Windows PCs
    • Macintoshes
    • Linux systems
    • Windows 8 tablets
    • Google TV
  • Initially game development was solely in ActionScript; this made the games lightweight and introduced limitations.
  • Nowadays other tools like stage3D and other programs enable introduction of features like 3D graphics and more, especially in Flash 11.

The Rise of Instant Play Flash Casino Games At Online Casinos

Things have changed quite a bit over the years. The gap between the download and instant play games has narrowed considerably to the extent that one cannot not distinguish between a Flash and download casino in terms of features and ease of use. Today instant play games have taken over at online casinos.

The main reason for this was the exponential leap in Flash technology and game development in conjunction with other programming languages as well. This resulted in massive improvements in the Flash casino in multiple areas:

  • The quality of graphics and features in the games
  • The quality of the overall experience
  • Game availability – now you get the full complement of games even at a Flash casino

Confirmation of Flash casinos being a viable alternative to the download option is apparent from one simple fact – today a number of software providers offer only instant play Flash versions of their games.

How Things Work at a Flash Casino

Things work quite simply at a Flash casino. All you need to do is locate a casino that offers both the download and instant play Flash options and choose the Flash option. You also have the luxury nowadays of playing specifically at no-download Flash casinos. Once you are at the casino:

  • Sign up with the casino by providing the required details.
  • If you want to play for real money, deposit funds into your account.
  • Click on the game that you want to play.
  • Place your wagers and start playing.
  • Fulfill the wagering requirements and other conditions to withdraw funds.

Enhancing Casino Gaming: Enter HTML5

The advent of the mobile casino was the first indication that all was not well with Flash casinos. One of the biggest challenges is the fact that Flash is not compatible with the mobile casino platform.

In fact in the beginning stages of the mobile industry, Flash was supported in only about 5% of the mobile devices. This required the usage of an alternative technology that could deliver games of the same or even higher quality to players directly on the mobile device. That requirement was met with the arrival of HTML5.

HTML5 is a hypertext markup technology that is being extensively used in the mobile space, including mobile casino development, in recent times.

  • It lets developers simplify the code and the coding process.
  • It is compatible with over 97% of the mobile devices today.
  • The different mobile platforms it is compatible with include:
    • Android
    • iOS
    • Windows Phone
    • BlackBerry
  • HTML5 games can run on computers as well as the technology is compatible with multiple browsers, including:
    • Firefox
    • Google Chrome
    • Internet Explorer
    • Safari
  • Developers can deploy different kinds of multimedia content on websites that would run on smaller devices like tablets and smartphones:
    • Text
    • Images
    • Animations
    • Video
  • Multimedia content can be rendered without the use of additional plug-ins.

Flash vs. HTML5 Casino Games

There is a lot of debate going around about which is the better technology for online and mobile casino gambling today – HTML5 or Flash. While Flash has been great for desktop-based gaming, things have turned around significantly with the arrival of mobile industry and HTML5.

The following are some comparisons between Flash and HTML5 games:

  • Flash works on PCs, Macintoshes, and other computers. The Flash player is supported by 99% of the desktop browsers while HTML5 is supported by only 82% of the browsers.
  • Flash Player 11, which uses stage3D, has audience penetration of 81%. Correspondingly, HTML5’s WebGL is supported by only 53% of the computer browsers.
  • HTML5 rules when it comes to mobile browsers, as Canvas is supported by almost every mobile browser currently.

The last point is a significant advantage because the mobile platform is being considered the future of the casino industry. The following table gives you an idea of where HTML5 and Flash games stand; the numbers here are for all games, not just casino games.

Attributes Flash HTML5
Total number of games Over 100,000 A few hundred
Compatibility Over 2 billion users Over 800 million users
Browser support 99% 82%
Distribution method Single SWF Multiple files
Technology Plug-in
Single technology for in-game animation: SWF Flash
Browser-based
2 technologies for in-game animation - HTML & CSS3 or HTML5 & JavaScript
Year it started 1998 2004

Regardless of what the table shows, one thing is clear: HTML5’s compatibility with the mobile platform puts it at a distinct advantage over Flash when it comes to casino games. Flash does not work on mobiles as mentioned and is therefore limited to the PCs and desktops. Studies by Gartner showed that in 2013, there was a 10% decline in shipments of PCs, which means an increase in the dependence on HTML5.